April 15. You see the date (surrounded by a frantic red circle) on your office calendar, and begin to experience a small twinge of dread. The ides of April — the cruelest month — is Tax Day in the United States. Whether you've waited until the last minute to crunch last year's numbers, or have already filed and found out that you owe the government money, then April 15 may be a day that you want over as soon as possible.
But it's not all bad! Several establishments realize this is a stressful time, and in an attempt to soothe the nerves of cash-strapped citizens nationwide, a number of merchants are offering goods and services at no cost. Gratis. Complimentary. Free! And nothing beats free, especially on Tax Day!
Below, we've rounded up the top Tax Day freebies that have already been released. Unless noted, these promotions take place on April 15 only. Keep in mind that we'll be updating this list as we get closer to the big day and more offers appear.
Freebie: For the third straight year, the fast food chain is offering emotionally- and financially-taxed Americans a delicious freebie on Tax Day. Arby's is serving up patrons a choice of a free value-sized order of Curly Fries or a small order of Potato Cakes via this printable coupon. Not only is it a nice treat, it's also a great way to save some dough on lunch or dinner.
Freebie: Last year's Tax Day fell on April 17, but that doesn't seem to stop Panda Express from offering its freebie on April 17 of this year, too. On the Wednesday after Tax Day, present this coupon (either printed or via mobile phone) for a free Samurai Surf & Turf entree. Try this brand new meal without having to dish out any cash.
Freebie: Feeling bitter about filing? (Paltry return? Writing a check to Uncle Sam?) Then head to your nearest Cinnabon and nab two Cinnabon Bites for free. It'll sweeten up your day without emptying your wallet.
Freebie: Food isn't the only type of freebie you can get on Tax Day! After poring over every last detail of those tax returns, your mind and body need a rest. Bring this printable coupon to your nearest participating HydroMassage location for a free HydroMassage Experience. If you already have plans, don't worry — this offer is valid until April 19.
Freebie: It's always helpful to keep copies of your tax return. (You'll need to cough 'em up if you plan on applying for a mortgage, for example.) Keep the 2012 tax year on file by going to Office Depot and receiving a free black and white copy of your tax return (up to 25 pages, single-sided). Or if you need to dispose of some sensitive information, Office Depot also provides free document shredding (up to 5 lbs.). Offers expire May 1.
Updated: Other Great Freebies for Tax Day (or Otherwise)
- Schlotzsky's: The Original small sandwich for free with the purchase of a 32-oz. drink and chips (4/15 only)
- 7-Eleven: Medium Slurpee for free when you text "Slurp7" to "711711" (ends 4/30)
- The Melting Pot: Buy one portion of cheese fondue, get a second one for free (ends 4/11)
- Subway: Buy one 6" sandwich before 9 am, get a second one for free (ends 4/30)
- Chili's: Free appetizer or dessert when you "like" its Facebook page (ends 4/15)
- AMC Theaters: Free small popcorn (4/12 to 4/15)
- Great American Cookies: Free birthday cake cookie (4/15 only)
- Pinkberry: Free Pinkberrygreek yogurt from 11 am to 2 pm every Wednesday (ends 4/24)
While there are plenty of freebies already available, we will most certainly unearth more offers as we get closer to April 15. Make sure to bookmark this page and check back often for all the latest freebie deals!
Alison Barretta is a senior editor for Dealnews.com, where this article first appeared.