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Tax deadline extended to April 17

WASHINGTON -- Taxpayers get two extra days to get their income tax returns filed this year.

The IRS said today the deadline is April 17, because April 15 falls on a Sunday and Monday is Emancipation Day.

Emancipation Day is a holiday observed in the District of Columbia, and according to federal law, District of Columbia holidays impact tax deadlines in the same way that federal holidays do.

As a result, all taxpayers will have two extra days to file this year, according to Carrie Resch, with the IRS office in Minneapolis.

Taxpayers who need even more time and need to request an extension will have until Oct. 15 to file their 2011 tax returns.

The IRS expects to receive more than 144 million individual tax returns this year, with most of those being filed by the April 17 deadline.

Resch encourages taxpayers to e-file as it is the best way to ensure accurate tax returns and get faster refunds. The IRS will begin accepting e-file and Free File returns on Jan. 17.

She said the IRS is also introducing a number of improvements to help make this tax season easy for taxpayers, including new navigation features on its website, that will help taxpayers use interactive video to get help with tax issues.