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How to throw your own tax party

Music, food, fun...and taxes. Here are five killer ideas for sharing the misery of tax season with your favorite company. We have tech advice, game ideas, and recipes from Chow.com good enough to make a hardened auditor grin.

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Jessica Dolcourt

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1 of 5 CBS Interactive/ Corinne Schulze

Tech set-up

Music, food, fun...and taxes. Here are five killer ideas for sharing the misery of tax season with your favorite company. Who knows, you may even find a way to make tax season fun.

You don't just promise people a surcease from tax-prep hellishness without giving them the proper atmosphere. Have extension cords and power strips handy for your friends' laptops (we like these), secure home Wi-Fi, and plenty of bum-cushioning, like bean bags and cushions. Remember to make room for food, drinks, and volumes of paperwork. Soothing music optional; streamers essential.

Read in-depth reviews of Intuit TurboTax | H&R TaxCut.

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2 of 5 CBS Interactive/ Corinne Schulze

Give out prizes

Taxes are serious, but why not make a game of them? Give out prizes for the first singleton and couple to finish their returns, or a goody bag for the pal who owes the government the most green. Play it to the hilt by awarding bonus points for the most unique deductible claimed, and for the most colorful epithets uttered throughout the day.

Read in-depth reviews of Intuit TurboTax | H&R TaxCut.

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3 of 5 CBS Interactive

Deductible Bingo

It's Bingo, with a twist. Replace the numbers in a 5x5 grid with the names of common and unusual deductibles, like the child tax credit, a clean fuel credit, and a farm animal subsidy. For best results, alternate among 35 deductions, using online lists like this one to guide you. There's even a free-to-try Bingo Card creator to lend a hand if Bingo becomes a party habit.

Read in-depth reviews of Intuit TurboTax | H&R TaxCut.

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4 of 5 CBS Interactive

Whack a piñata

There's nothing as cathartic as whacking something solid with all your might, especially if the object of abuse in question is feathered with papier mache and filled with sweet morsels. You can purchase a piñata at party stores and Latino markets, or even order a custom piñata online. If you like the taste of irony, we suggest loading up your sacrificial scapegoat with chocolate coins and fake dollar bills.

Read in-depth reviews of Intuit TurboTax | H&R TaxCut.

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5 of 5 CBS Interactive/Chow.com

Serve yummy snacks

The food you serve can lend your tax party its character. Try dishing up foil-wrapped chocolate coins, money-green champagne, and 'Checks mix' to give your guests a chuckle. Whatever you do, don't forget the Po' Boys.

Our own Chow.com supplied these toothsome recipes, and threw in an extra for good taste--spiced cranberry sangria. Even if you don't get back much of a refund this year, whipping up this ruby-red elixir will make you feel like a million bucks.

Read in-depth reviews of Intuit TurboTax | H&R TaxCut.

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