With the deadline getting closer, millions of Americans are asking the pertinent question so they don't end up on the wrong side of the IRS: When is the tax deadline for 2012?

The Internal Revenue Service announced in January of this year when the 2012 tax season began that taxpayers have until April 17 to file their tax returns this year. One reason is that the traditional deadline, April 15, falls on a Sunday. Another reason is Emancipation Day.

Said the IRS about the April 17, 2012 deadline: Taxpayers will have until Tuesday, April 17, to file their 2011 tax returns and pay any tax due because April 15 falls on a Sunday, and Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in the District of Columbia, falls this year on Monday, April 16. According to federal law, District of Columbia holidays impact tax deadlines in the same way that federal holidays do; therefore, all taxpayers will have two extra days to file this year. Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Oct. 15 to file their 2012 tax returns.

The IRS is also encouraging taxpayers to e-file this year in order to ensure accurate tax returns and get faster refunds.

Additionally, the IRS has also set up a Web page to allow filers expecting a refund to use the agency's Where's My Refund? tool.

You can check it out here and find the status of your refund if you are expecting one.

At the IRS, we're working hard to make the process of filing your taxes as quick and easy as possible, said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. Providing quality service is one of our top priorities. It not only reduces the burden on taxpayers, but also helps in filing an accurate return right from the start.

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.

The IRS began accepting e-file and Free File returns on Jan. 17, 2012.