In the middle of a notably busy hurricane season that seems to spawn new storms daily, the Internal Revenue Service announced Sep. 3 that it was postponing until Jan. 5, 2009, the deadlines for individuals and corporations to file tax returns and pay estimated taxes for residents of 36 Louisiana parishes affected by Hurricane Gustav. The decision covers individual estimated tax payments and corporate extended 1120 tax returns due Sep. 15, and individual extended 1040 tax returns due Oct. 15. The IRS is also waiving the late penalties that normally would apply to businesses on their employment and excise deposits that were due on or after Sep. 1 through Sep. 16, as long as those payments are made by Sep. 16.

In its announcement, the tax agency said its computer systems would “automatically identify taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and apply automatic filing and payment relief.” The IRS urged taxpayers who reside outside the 36 parishes to call its IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227 to request tax relief.

For a complete list of the affected parishes in Louisiana and other provisions of the IRS’s Grant of Relief, click here.