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Katrina relief workers qualify for tax extension, IRS announces

WASHINGTON (BP)–Relief workers serving in the Hurricane Katrina disaster zone have until Jan. 3 to pay any taxes due, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

The immunity applies to the Sept. 15 due date for estimated taxes and for calendar-year corporate returns with automatic extensions; the Oct. 17 deadline for individuals who received a second extension for filing their individual income tax returns; and the Oct. 31 deadline for filing quarterly federal employment and excise tax returns.

The government agency has afforded relief workers the same status as individuals and businesses located in the disaster areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama who were also granted extensions because of the hurricane.

Eligible relief workers, including those affiliated with recognized government or philanthropic organizations and others, should notify the IRS of their worker status when they file returns or respond to notices or contacts from the tax agency, the IRS said in a mid-September news release.

Relief workers should mark the top of the appropriate forms with “Hurricane Katrina” written in red ink or call the IRS toll-free at 1-866-562-5527.

The IRS will halt interest and penalties that otherwise would apply to late filing, late payment or failure to deposit, the news release said.

For more information, visit www.irs.gov.

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