Tax returns must be filed today

Photo by Sharra Klug

Photo by Sharra Klug

Americans had three extra days to file taxes this year, but the time has finally come to hand over your paperwork to Uncle Sam.

The IRS has already processed nearly 96 million tax returns this season, according to the agency's latest filing statistics. That's a 2.8% increase from this same time last year.

The biggest chunk of taxpayers has chosen to file their taxes electronically this year. The IRS has received more than 83 million e-filed returns this year -- an 8% jump from last year.

On this last day forms can be sent in, the IRS is busy doling out refunds. The agency has already paid nearly 81 million taxpayers a total of $234 billion, with the average taxpayer receiving a refund of $2,895 -- 1.5% lower than the average refund of $2,940 people received at the same time last year.

If you need more time to get your taxes in order, you can file an extension through midnight of April 18 by submitting Form 4868. But remember that, while this will give you more time to file your taxes, people who owe money to the IRS still need to pay by April 18.

The failure to pay penalty is one of the most common tax penalties out of the 140+ penalties that the IRS imposes. This penalty is charged to individuals that have not paid their taxes or have underpaid their taxes.

The Standard failure to pay penalty is .5% monthly penalty on the balance of taxes that is outstanding. The maximum amount this penalty can be is 25%. If you have also paid the maximum amount for the failure to file penalty then the maximum failure to pay penalty will be 22.5%.