The Internal Revenue Service will offer special relief to taxpayers in the disaster areas struck by Hurricane Katrina.

For taxpayers who generally would have had until Oct. 31 to file tax returns and submit tax payments, the IRS will abate interest and any late filing or late payment penalties that would otherwise apply. This relief includes the Sept. 15 due date for estimated taxes and calendar-year corporate returns with automatic extensions

"People affected by Hurricane Katrina have more than enough concerns, taxes shouldn't be among them," said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson. "We hope the relief we are providing will help taxpayers in their financial recovery from this devastating storm."

The Federal Tax Deposit Penalty Waiver Period for employment and excise tax deposits runs through Sept. 23. The Extension Period for returns and other tax payments runs through the end of October.

The disaster areas designated for individual relief encompass 31 Louisiana parishes, 15 Mississippi counties and a trio of Alabama counties. More disaster-related tax relief information, and a complete listing of the relief areas, can be found at

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