Taxpayers affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita now have until Feb. 28, 2006 to file tax returns and pay any taxes due, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Taxpayers affected by the hurricanes may be eligible for tax relief regardless of where they live. For taxpayers located in the hardest-hit areas -- those counties or parishes designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as "individual assistance areas" -- the tax relief will be automatic, and taxpayers won't need to do anything to get the extensions and other relief available.

In areas where FEMA has determined damage is more isolated - designated "public assistance areas" -- or for other taxpayers outside the hardest-hit areas whose books, records or tax professionals are located in the affected areas, people will need to identify themselves to the IRS as hurricane victims.

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