Utica, NY (WIBX) - It's time to start gathering your records. The 2011 IRS tax filing season has officially launched.This year, people are once again getting two extra days to file, because of the weekend date and Emancipation Day, a holiday recognized in Washington, DC.

IRS spokesperson, Dianne Besunder says some of the extended credits to look for is the American Opportunity Credit for those pursuing higher education, and the Earned Income Credit--a credit she says people really don't want to miss out on. "Particularly if they've never qualified for it before but are making less money maybe because of changes in the economy or their situation, and people actually with incomes up to a little over $49,000, can qualify for this refundable credit, which could mean up to $5,400 in peoples pocket, so it can be kind of valuable," she said.

The IRS has an interactive tool on its website, www.irs.gov, to see if you qualify for the EIC. Besunder says electronic filing is still the best way to go, and that can be done--free of charge--starting on January 17th on the IRS website. The 2011 tax filing season ends Tuesday, April 17th. The IRS estimates that about 9.2 million New Yorkers will file individual tax returns this year.