$6.1B KATRINA RELIEF BILL HEADS TO PRESIDENT: Despite concerns over the rising deficit, both houses of Congress sent a $6.1 billion Katrina tax-relief bill to President Bush for his signature without a dissenting vote being cast.The House gave its approval on a 422-0 vote, and the Senate moved the legislation through without a roll call. At press time, the president was expected to sign it.

Individuals and businesses will see a waiver of rules limiting personal-casualty deductions, and taxes on early IRA withdrawals and cancelled debts, as well as time extensions for spending insurance settlements without paying taxes. More employers will be eligible for Work Opportunity Tax Credits and for employee-retention tax credits. In 2005, tax limits on individual and corporate cash donations will be waived and deductions for donating books to public schools can be taken.

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