Your Money, Your Future
Your Money, Your Future

Americans spend 6 billion hours doing taxes. Better get moving

Key Points
  • You have until April 18 this year
  • The average refund is $2,897

The clock is running out for tax procrastinators.

Plenty of consumers wait until the 11th hour to file, and despite having an extra three days this year to prepare, many people are still scrambling. The IRS has said it expects to receive high call volumes this week ahead of the April 18 deadline, and has extended hours for its toll-free help lines in anticipation.

Three smart ways to spend your tax refunds
Three smart ways to spend your tax refunds

According to data released March 31, the agency had received nearly 94 million returns by the end of the month, about 4 percent less than it had received by the same time last year.

To put that in perspective, that's less than two-thirds of the individual income tax returns expected to be filed this year, according to (See slices of their infographic below, for more tax-season stats.)

If you're among the procrastinators, these resources from CNBC's personal finance team can help you maximize deductions, avoid expensive mistakes — and meet that deadline.

Seek out filing help

Hunt down deductions

Avoid tax missteps

Plan for a tax refund

Get ready for next year