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Here Come the Tax Day Deals, From Cut-Rate Hotel Rooms to Free Shredding

A roundup of marketers' frenzied annual bid to turn pain into profit, for both us and them.

The Internal Revenue Service sent out more than $330 billion in refunds to U.S. taxpayers last year. To capture some of this year's cash, and jump on a marketing opportunity, companies are offering freebies and discounts celebrating the end of the annual filing ordeal.

Here's a roundup of what's on offer. Unless otherwise noted, prices are, sadly, before taxes. 

Food and drink

  • Discounted dinners: Visitors to Boston Market on Tax Day, April 18, can get a half-chicken individual meal with two sides, cornbread, a regular fountain drink, and a cookie 1 An extra dollar lets you upgrade to a Marsala or Apple Butter half-chicken; for an extra 50¢ you can upgrade to a slice of cake or pie.  for $10.40, in honor of the awful form. Without the promo deal, the tab would be $11.77 at many Boston Market restaurants. At Outback Steakhouse restaurants, diners can get 15 percent off their check on April 18 2 The deal may be available a few days prior to April 18, but the chain had not determined the exact timing as of publication.  . To get a coupon, go to the web site's Offers section and sign up for emails. You'll also get the coupon if you download Outback's mobile payment app. If barbecue's more your thing, Sonny's BBQ will offer half-price Sweet & Smokey or House Dry-Rubbed Rib Dinners on Tax Day. No coupon necessary.
  • Free kids meal: On April 18, parents who bring their "little deductibles" to Noodles & Company get a free kid's meal when they buy any regular entree, a $5 savings. And those who order online between April 11 and 18 can get $4 off orders of $10 or more by entering the promo code TAXDAY at checkout 3 This offer is not valid at the chain's locations in Missouri and Long Island, N.Y.  .
  • Half-off drinks: All alcoholic beverages will be half off at the BLT Prime restaurants in New York and the Trump National Doral resort in Miami on April 18. The same deal applies at BLT Steak restaurants in New York, Charlotte, Waikiki, Washington, D.C., and White Plains, N.Y. Other ESquared Hospitality restaurants taking part in the promotion: New York's Casa Nonna, Horchata, and the Wayfarer, and the Florentine in Chicago.
  • Free beer: World of Beer taverns will offer patrons a free select draught on April 18. Guests in Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, Virginia and New York get $5 off their check instead. 
  • Free sandwiches: Schlotzsky's is giving customers a free small Original sandwich with the purchase of a 32-oz. drink and a bag of chips on April 18. Random prizes will be awarded to fans who upload a picture of their free sandwich to Twitter or Instagram using #TaxDayBites.
  • Discounted margaritas: Guests get $5 Presidente Margaritas (that’s tequila, orange liqueur, and brandy) at participating Chili’s.
  • A burger for a song: The Hard Rock Cafe in New York City's Times Square (and 42 other Hard Rock Cafes in the U.S.) on April 18 hosts Sing for Your Supper on Tax Day. From 5 to 7 p.m., anyone over 18 4 Anyone under 18 can sing for their supper as well if they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. in Times Square who wants one of the chain's Legendary Burgers for free must sing karaoke outside the restaurant, on 43rd and Broadway. The burger is $17.95 for those who can't, or won't, sing.
  • Free burgers, no song required: Ohioans can enjoy some McDonald's deals on Tax Day. Participating locations in Dayton and Cincinnati will offer those who buy a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder a second one for 18¢. In Toledo, customers can get a second Quarter Pounder for 18¢. And in northeast Ohio, customers who buy one Sausage McMuffin with egg or Big Mac can get another one for 29¢ at participating locations. Hungry taxpayers who prefer burgers from Sonic Drive-In can get half-price single-patty cheeseburgers on April 18.
  • Free coffee: Participating McDonald's in Arizona, Vermont, Colorado, and Wyoming are offering tired taxpayers a free small coffee on April 18. 
  • Free shaved ices: Kona Ice trucks will offer free shaved ice on April 18 “to help anxious tax payers CHILL out.” The usual cost is $3 to $5, depending on the location. To find out if one of the company's 700 trucks is in your area, tweet your zip code to @KonaIce.
  • Free dessert: Leading up to Tax Day, people who sign up for Tony Roma's Email Club will get a coupon for a free dessert in their e-mail, valid through April 29. Those who eat at a participating location on Tax Day—the majority of restaurants offering the deal are in Florida, New York, Texas, and California—will get a dessert coupon to use on their next visit to a participating location.

Sweepstakes

Services

  • Shredding: On April 18, taxpayers can get five pounds of paper shredded for free at Staples stores across the country. At Office Depot and Office Max, print out a coupon from the website or show one on your phone and get five pounds of bulk bin shredding now through April 23. 
  • Spa deals: The Hand & Stone spa franchise, with about 150 locations in the U.S. and Canada, offers members getting a one-hour massage or facial a "1040 EZ Upgrade" of a hot towel hand or foot massage, peppermint scalp massage, or mini cold stone face massage for $10.40 extra. Guests and members can get a one-hour massage or facial itself for $39.95, a $10 discount. Oasis Day Spa, with locations in New York and Westchester, N.Y., is giving taxpayers 15 percent off all spa services from April 11 to 15. Tax preparers get 15 percent off in-office services such as massage. 
  • Free hydromassage: Planet Fitness and HydroMassage are offering anyone 18 or older a free HydroMassage 6 That's massage "using a combination of water, heat and massage in a bed or lounge," according to a Planet Fitness press release. from April 18 to 22 at more than 1,000 of the fitness chain's locations. Coupons can be downloaded from the Planet Fitness web site starting April 18. 

Travel

  • Kimpton Hotels: Among the deals offered by the chain is the Monaco Pittsburgh's Relax After You Tax Sale,  which frees guests from city and state taxes. Call between April 15 and 19 to book stays through June 30. Deals at Kimpton's Palomar and Monaco Philadelphia hotels include a stay in a suite, a couple’s massage, an "amenity from the chef," and a bottle of sparkling wine (rate code for all three deals: TAXDAY) for $1,040. The deal is good for stays between April 15 and 25 at the two properties. 
  • The tax offer at four Kimpton Chicago properties lets guests pay $10.40 for perks valued at $20, such as 2 p.m. checkout, a bottle of wine or Prosecco, $20 off parking, or a free appetizer and cocktail at the bar. The promotion at Kimpton's Grand Hotel Minneapolis offers those who book a stay during April a room with a king or two queen beds, a “tax-friendly welcome amenity” including local beers and candy (such as a Payday bar), a $25 restaurant credit, and no room tax. Available April 1 through April 30, Thursday through Sunday. 
  • Grand Lucayan Bahama: The Tax Season Relief Sale offers travelers who book a stay of at least three nights 50 percent off rates, which start at $95 per room per night, from Sept. 2 through Nov. 15. The sale includes a $100 resort credit per room. The deal must be booked between April 1 and April 30 (rate code: RTTAX16).
  • Marriott: The chain wants consumers to “make the most of their tax return dollars” at 10 of its Washington, D.C., hotels, such as its JW Marriott, Autograph Collection, Renaissance, Marriott, Courtyard, and Residence Inn properties. From May 6 to Sept. 5, the longer a guest stays, the more he or she saves. Book three nights, save 15 percent; stay four and save 20 percent (promo code: SPU). 
  • Westin: The Westin New York Grand Central Hotel’s The Tax Is On Us deal offers a 15 percent reduction off flexible rates on weekends now through Dec. 31, 2016, when booked by May 17. (Lodging taxes in New York are about 15 percent.) Rates start at $186, and some blackout dates apply; use promo code TAXBRK when booking online.
  • Tribute Portfolio: On the West Coast, there’s a tax-free stay deal at Avenue of the Arts Costa Mesa, in Orange County. That’s an 11 percent discount for those who book a room between now through April 30, for visits through April 30. (Use rate plan LTPKG1 when booking online.) The starting rate is $199.
  • Wyndham Hotels: Some of the chain's hotels in "top family vacation destinations," such as Puerto Rico, Orlando, Miami, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Charleston, offer up to 35 percent off the best available weekday rate for those who visit between May 2 and Sept. 2. Starting room rates range from about $84 a night in Atlanta to about $161 a night in Miami. Customers must book between April 10 and April 17 and use the code DISTAX.
  • Viceroy: The Viceroy Central Park New York is offering 18 percent off all 2016 bookings for any room, suites included, when you book on April 18. 

Gambling

  • Free slots: BorgataCasino.com is giving online account holders 10 bonus dollars free to play slots, classic slots, and progressive slots if they deposit $40 or more with the site on April 18. After signing in, go to the cashier tab and deposit at least $40 using the bonus code TAXDAY16.
  •  Free slots, tax bonus: Plaza Hotel & Casino Slots players who win at least $1,200 (the point at which federal taxes are due) will be paid a 28 percent bonus on any winnings above that amount and get up to $20,000 in free slot play on April 18. To win, you have to be a member of Plaza's Royal Rewards Players Club, its loyalty program.
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