Taxpayers have turned to electronic tax filing in record numbers ahead of the April 18 deadline, with 1 in 3 people in the U.S. choosing to do so, the Internal Revenue Service said Monday.

By early Monday morning more than 101 million taxpayers e-filed their returns for the 2011 tax season, up 8.8 percent from last year. In all of 2010, there were a total of 98.7 million.

The IRS saw a late surge of e-filed returns over the weekend, the tax collecting agency said.

The agency also said it is approaching a milestone of one billion tax returns filed electronically since the e-file program became national in 1990.

Earlier this month the IRS released a bulletin providing last-minute filers with tips on how to get their taxes done. The top tip was to file electronically.

Among others were making sure all ID numbers were correct, double checking of figures, and sending the return to the right address in case the form was being filed by paper.

Requests to extend the time to file can also be made ahead of the tax day.