Mar 24, 2020 9:59 AM

Professor: Emergency will have impact on tax law, but it's still fuzzy

Posted Mar 24, 2020 9:59 AM
Roger McEowen
Roger McEowen


Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON — A tax law professor from Washburn University says it's important to watch Congress for changes after the filing and payment deadline has been moved back to July 15 for this year.

"We may see more developments concerning that," said Roger McEowen, the Kansas Farm Bureau Professor of Agricultural Law and Taxation at Washburn University School of Law. "There was a provision put in some late 2019 legislation, the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, that had a provision in it that puts an automatic trigger on the tax code provision anytime that the President declares an emergency or a disaster area, then there's an automatic shut off of the tax provisions for that particular area until 60 days after the emergency or disaster is declared over. There is no geographic limitation on that."

Since the President has declared a nationwide disaster, that could present some issues.

"The Treasury secretary and the IRS have not fully accepted that yet," McEowen said. "They missed the provision in the disaster legislation. That's why you saw initially the payment deadline move, but not the filing deadline. It was pointed out to them that, look, you can't do that. They both automatically move. It's until 60 days after the declaration's over. Well, they haven't accepted that fact yet, so that could still move."

Also, the CARES legislation, which is the latest response from Congress to the COVID-19 crisis is still alive and working and changes could come through that.

"The question is, how long is it going to take?" McEowen said. "That's the problem I woke up to this morning. The other side of the aisle now wants to propose their own bill. Once you do that, that really grinds things down pretty slowly in the Congress. We'll see. This may take some time. However, they really don't have time to get this done. They need to put the politics aside and get things done."

There are also discussions about everything up to a full on tax holiday that remain on the table as long as the legislation isn't in its final form, according to McEowen, but what comes out in the end remains to be seen.

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Mar 24, 2020 9:59 AM
Look for ways to help children cope during crisis, experts say

MANHATTAN – Children and adults experience and react differently in times of crisis.

“We sometimes only think of disasters as weather-related events, but we know that anything that disrupts daily life and community well-being on a large scale is a disaster,” said Bradford Wiles, associate professor and extension specialist with Kansas State University’s College of Health and Human Services. “Thinking about and being compassionate in how we all feel and process our emotions is crucial to our own, our families’, and our communities’ resilience in the face of the current pandemic.” 

A K-State publication, written by Wiles and associate professor and extension specialist Elizabeth Kiss, includes information that can help communities recognize the negative effects that tough times have on the mental well-being of children.

The publication, titled Disasters: Children’s Responses and Helping Them Recover, is available online from the K-State Research and Extension bookstore.

Wiles and Kiss outline suggested ways parents can help children cope during hard times:

  1. Reassure the child that you are still together and that you will be there to help as long as you can.
  2. Return to pre-disaster routines to the extent possible, including bedtime, bath time, meal time and waking up times.
  3. Make sure you are taking care of yourself. It can be difficult to take care of a child if you are not feeling well.
  4. Talk with your child about your feelings.
  5. Encourage children to draw, write or tell stories about their experiences. Talking about how the disaster or tough time has changed them can be beneficial.

The publication also includes signs to look for in children and how to emerge in a positive direction from times of crisis.

K-State Research and Extension has compiled numerous publications and other information to help people take care of themselves and others during times of crisis. See the complete list of resources online.

Local K-State Research and Extension agents are still on the job during this time of closures and confinement. They, too, are practicing social distancing. Email is the best way to reach them, but call forwarding and voicemail allow for closed local offices to be reached by phone as well (some responses could be delayed). To find out how to reach your local agents, visit the K-State Research and Extension county and district directory.

Signs of depression

Signs of depression in early childhood: tantrums, physical complaints, brief periods of sadness, listlessness or hyperactivity, lack of interest in activities, withdrawal.

Signs of depression in middle childhood: new phobias, hyperactivity, conduct disorders (lying or stealing), refusal to leave parents, periods of sadness, vague anxiety or agitation, suicidal thoughts.

Signs of depression in adolescents: changes in appearance, withdrawal, fatigue, eating problems, substance abuse, risk-taking, sudden change in peer group, loss of interest, sleep problems, hostility, suicidal thoughts.

-- Source: Disasters: Children’s Responses and Helping Them Recover