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
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