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More than 8 million extension requests are expected through this week, with the vast majority of those Forms 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, being filed electronically. But you do have only until April 18 to file a 4868. Also remember that just because you're granted an extension doesn't mean you can't file your return on time.

"Normally tax day is on the 15th but because of the weekend, and then, Emancipation day in Washington D.C. which is observed, we go to the next day which is April 18th, so that's our deadline", said senior tax specialist Pat Dosdall.

A return filed in a rush now is likely to include errors or be missing some information.

If you're running low on time and are anxious about making costly tax mistakes, consider filing for an extension.

If you need extra time to gather information, such as a missing 1099 for nonemployee compensation you earned previous year.

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If you own a business or have invested in one (such as a partnership or S corporation). Billions of tax records, including W-2 and 1099 forms, get sent each year to the IRS, where computers analyze them, looking for missing taxpayers and unreported income.

A recent TaxSlayer survey found numerous surprising things that Americans find easier to do than filing their taxes.

However, Jonathan Horn, senior manager for tax policy and advocacy at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, offers a different take.

If you have questions, you can contact the IRS by phone at 1-800-829-1040.

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But that still leaves a large chunk of tax payers that have yet to submit their paperwork. The penalty for returns filed more than 60 days late can be $205 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax. "If you file by paper, and you request a paper check, you're looking at six to eight weeks".

Now (and depending on Mother Nature), taxpayers in parts of Georgia and MS have until May 31 to file and pay.

On top of those 18 million tax returns, the IRS expects to receive another 12 million tax returns this week. As long as you get your request in by the tax filing deadline, the IRS will grant it automatically.

You can apply for a free 120-day extension to pay the bill or use an IRS installment plan. Some who choose not to are within their rights: If you have a very low income, you probably don't need to file. But both those audit rates were steep declines from the year before.


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