The Internal Revenue Service already has received nearly 100 million tax returns this year but anticipates getting another 35 million more by the deadline of midnight tonight.
Did you know: Getting a big tax refund may not be a good thing
As the tax deadline looms, IRS spokesman Dan Boone in Nashville offered these top five tips for last-minute filers:
1. Avoiding the late-filing penalty is simple. File either your tax return or an extension request before midnight April 15.
2. Anyone can file an extension request free at IRS.gov through the IRS Free File program. Filers whose 2013 income was $58,000 or less can use the Free File program to file their federal tax return. The IRS expects roughly 12 million taxpayers will make such a request before the tax filing deadline, enabling them to take an additional six months — until Oct. 15 — to prepare their tax return.
3. An extension grants additional time to file, but tax payments are still due April 15. So pay as much as you can when you file your tax return or extension request, then fill out an online payment agreement request at IRS.gov to pay the rest.
4. Data entry errors can cause problems. Make sure information on your tax return, such as Social Security numbers and bank routing or account numbers, is correct.
5. Find the tax information and tools you need at www.IRS.gov.
If you need help from the IRS by telephone, don't expect it right away or even the first time you call. Last year, only 61 percent of taxpayers calling the IRS for help got it. This year, officials expect the numbers to be similar. To help free up operators, callers with complicated tax questions are directed to the agency's website.
The good news this tax season – your chances of getting audited are slim.
Budget cuts and new responsibilities are straining the Internal Revenue Service's ability to police tax returns. This year, the IRS will have fewer agents auditing returns than at any time since at least the 1980s.
Last year, the IRS audited less than 1 percent of all returns from individuals, the lowest rate since 2005. And IRS officials said this number will decline in 2014, thanks to budget cuts.
Your chances of getting audited vary greatly, based on your income. The more you make, the more likely you are to get a letter from the IRS.
Only 0.9 percent of people making less than $200,000 were audited last year. That's the lowest rate since the IRS began publishing the statistic in 2006.
By contrast, 10.9 percent of people making $1 million or more were audited. That's the lowest rate since 2010.