In recent interviews, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Mark Everson has said that the agency will postpone initiating collection activities against taxpayers in areas struck by Hurricane Katrina until next year.

Earlier this month, the IRS issued announcements reminding affected taxpayers in the areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama most severely damaged by the hurricane that the deadline for filing their 2004 and 2005 individual income tax returns was Oct. 16, 2006.

The deadline applies to affected taxpayers from 31 Louisiana parishes, 49 Mississippi counties and 11 Alabama counties.

While no further postponements or extensions are available for tax year 2004 tax returns, an additional six-month filing extension, to April 16, 2007, is available to affected taxpayers whose 2005 due date was postponed from April 17, 2006, to Oct. 16, 2006.

The postponement also applies to tax returns of many businesses who are affected taxpayers.

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