WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service today announced special tax relief for taxpayers in the Presidential Disaster Area that was struck by Tropical Storm Bonnie and Hurricane Charley beginning Aug. 11, 2004.

Taxpayers in 25 Florida counties generally will have until Oct. 15 to file tax returns and submit tax payments. The IRS will abate interest and any late filing or late payment penalties that would apply.

"Storm victims shouldn't be worrying about taxes at a time like this," said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson. "The special tax relief announced today will give people more time to file and pay their taxes."

The IRS announcement coincides with Aug. 16, which is the national deadline for almost 8.5 million taxpayers who received an automatic extension to file tax returns originally due on April 15.

The disaster area consists of 25 Florida counties: Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Polk, St. Johns, Sarasota, Seminole and Volusia. Among the tax relief details:

The Federal Tax Deposit (FTD) Penalty Waiver Period for employment and excise tax deposits is Aug. 11-23, 2004.

The Extension Period for returns and other tax payments is Aug. 11 - Oct. 15, 2004.
The Disaster Designation for this area is "Bonnie/Charley" - taxpayers mark certain relief-related forms with this designation.