(CBS Moneywatch) — So the deadline’s here, and you still don’t have the right forms? What can you do now?

If you discover you don’t have all the documents you need to complete your tax return on time, it doesn’t mean you have to pay a penalty.

The IRS will almost always give you an extension of time to file an individual return. Just use a Form 4868, Extension of Time to File, and you’ll get until Aug. 16 to file your return.

But keep in mind, this is not an extension of time to pay your taxes. You are required to make an estimate of your 2012 tax on the Form 4868 and send any tax due along with the form by April 15.

If you don’t pay what’s owed when you file for the extension you may be charged a penalty for paying tax late unless you have a reasonable cause. You may also be assessed interest charges and both will date back to April 15.

If you don’t owe any tax, just file the extension request and show zero for tax due. If the IRS denies your extension for some reason you will be allowed to file within 10 days of the notice you get from the IRS.

(Copyright © 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved.)


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