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Retailers Want Your Tax Refund

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business is: Tax Day.

If you are waking up this morning and you haven't filed your taxes, well, you still have time to do it.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

I'm sure you've done yours, right, David?

GREENE: No comment. If you end up getting money back in a return, retailers actually want that money. They're offering sales and promotions to separate you from that hard-earned refund.

DAVID MUHLBAUM: Well, businesses are looking for an opportunity for a promotion and they've decided to attach themselves to Tax Day, which has not always had the greatest connotations for people, but here's a chance to get something for free or for less.

MCEVERS: David Muhlbaum is in editor at the personal finance site Kiplinger.com. He says retailers will try anything for a sale.

MUHLBAUM: You know, when you look at the Facebook pages of these major chains, they are offering promotions all year round tied to the most improbable things.

GREENE: For example, Tax Day. Boston Market has a chicken for $10.40. That's 1040, like the tax form. And Great American Cookies, the chain of cookie stores, is giving away free chocolate chip cookies today. Yay. It's all fair game, says Muhlbaum.

MUHLBAUM: You know, it's like any promotion. It's not entirely clear why we're supposed to buy cars on Presidents' Day but yet that's what a promotions are. You know, if they can get you in the store with a free cookie, chances are you might find more. Buy more, you might come back again.

MCEVERS: And again, you might put it off. Right, David? Just like taxes?

GREENE: Yeah.

MCEVERS: The IRS has gotten about 100 million tax returns so far for this year, expects another 35 million by today's deadline. About 12 million people - ahem - have asked for extensions.

That's the business news from MORNING EDITION on NPR News. I'm Kelly McEvers.

GREENE: Oh, sorry. I was already starting to finish my taxes. I'm David Greene. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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