Filing income taxes by the due date of April 15 is something we have learned to live with and schedule around. However, there may be good and valid reasons why we can't meet the deadline. If that's the case, don't just let the date slide by - do something! And that something is filing Form 4868, "Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return".
I'd be willing to wager that this form is used by millions of taxpayers each year. It will allow you to delay filing your 2012 federal income tax return until October 15, 2013.
It is a very simple form but there is one major catch You must still send in any tax due on or before April 15, 2013. The logical question is, "How can I send in what I owe if I have not completed my tax return?" You just have to use your best judgment. For example, perhaps you can estimate the amounts based upon previous years' tax returns. In any event, the IRS expects you to pay what you owe by April 15. If you don't, you'll be subject to interest and penalty. That will be determined once you file your actual return on or before October 15.
So, request an extension if you will not be able to complete your return on time. Some states may automatically grant an extension if you file a Federal extension request. Georgia is one of those states.
A related but different problem is the situation when you have all the information to file your return but don't have enough money to pay what's owed. In this case, go ahead and file the return by April 15 and send in what you can. The IRS will bill you for the balance and you'll be subject to interest and penalty on that balance. See this article I wrote last year on this subject: