So, what would you rather do on Tax Day:  pay taxes or get free stuff?

Marketers are betting on the latter. More than a dozen national companies are offering Tax Day promos — from free photocopies to free snacks — hoping to lure tax-weary consumers with the prospect of free or discounted goodies.

Companies do it to coax consumers into spending. “Once you’re in the store, they’re hoping you’ll remember that ink cartridge that you need for your computer,” says consultant Allison Cohen.

But Tax Day marketing doesn’t usually work.

“Most of these guys are not going to get their money’s worth,” she says.  “It’s pretty random who is offering what, and as more companies jump on the bandwagon, it dilutes the effect.”

This year’s federal tax filing deadline is Monday, April 18.  Among Tax Day marketing lures:

Free snacks. Most Cinnabon bakeries will give away two Cinnabon Bites to guests on Monday from 6 to 8 p.m.  Most Maggie Moo’s Ice Cream stores will give away 3-ounce Crumb Cake Fundaes on Monday from 3 to 6 p.m. Arby’s has free fries on Friday for folks with its Facebook coupon.

Discounted food. P.F. Chang’s guests get 15% discounts on Monday. “After the stress of filing taxes, everyone deserves a break,” says COO Rick Tasman.  McCormick & Schmick’s gives $10.40 “Tax Relief Certificates” to folks who order bar drinks on Friday and Monday.  Bruegger’s is offering a pack of 13 bagels and two tubs of cream cheese for $10.40 through Monday with a downloaded coupon.

Free photocopies. Get free copies (limit 25 pages) of tax returns at participating Office Depot branches through Monday.  “This continues to be one of our most popular promotions,” says Kristin Micalizio, VP of copy and print.

Free workouts.Bally Total Fitness offers free workouts on Monday, and members can get free personal training.  “We hope it motivates members and non-members to … use exercise as an ongoing source of stress relief,” says marketing chief Dennis Cary.

Free dates. Online dating site offers free three-day memberships on Monday “to help singles take their mind off taxes,” says GM Mandy Ginsberg.

Free massages. Through Monday, HydroMassage centers offer free 10-minute mini-massages. Last year, the promo resulted in 200,000 requests, says Paul Lunter, President.

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