Georgia State and Local Tax Updates July 2019

County tax info available by Georgia county

July 31, 2019

If you need property tax information for a specific Georgia county, direct your Web browser to the Georgia Dept. of Revenue: Users can click on a specific county and review a list of their local tax officials, examine homestead exemptions and find motor vehicle registration information, among other information. Users can also search counties using the map search feature:

A lawsuit against Savannah tour guides has been dismissed

July 31, 2019

A U.S. District Court ruled that it lacks jurisdiction over whether the City of Savannah unfairly burdens tour guides with the $1 per customer tax. The court insisted that the issue belongs in state courts. The “tour tax” is intended to help maintain Savannah’s historic monuments. Savannah tour guides have argued that the tax is unfair because other businesses that profit from tourism don’t have to pay it.

Do you owe Georgia state taxes? If so, read this…

July 24, 2019

Do you owe Georgia state taxes? If so, you can take advantage of the department’s Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (VDA). The VDA program encourages taxpayers who have unfiled or underreported tax liabilities and haven’t yet been contacted by the department to voluntarily come forward. Qualified taxpayers have the opportunity to receive a waiver of all penalties and a limit of the length of time they must disclose and pay previous liabilities. This length of time, called the “look-back period,” generally is three years, depending on your particular circumstances. Learn more about the VDA here:

Georgia state law has amended provisions relating to partnership income

July 17, 2019

The provisions provide that, if the commissioner determines that a partnership or tiered partner fraudulently underreported its income on a return, the commissioner will treat income attributable to a tiered partner of the partnership as being apportioned and allocated entirely to Georgia. This is to the extent that the direct and indirect partners of the tiered partner are resident partners.

Georgia announces changes to the Qualified Rural Hospital Organization Expense Tax Credit

July 17, 2019

The Georgia Department of Revenue is informing taxpayers that it has removed from the Georgia Tax Center (GTC) the requirement for a donor to confirm the amount of the donation to the Qualified Rural Hospital Organization. Also, the time to make the donation has been extended to 180 days. Both changes apply to any new approvals as well as to any preapproval which was still in process at the time of the change on June 26, 2019.

Deduction for 529 plans doubles for Georgia residents

July 10, 2019

Applicable to tax years on or after January 1, 2020, Georgia state law doubles the income tax deduction for 529 plan contributions from $2,000 to $4,000 per beneficiary for single filers, and from $4,000 to $8,000 per beneficiary for married couples filing jointly.

Exemption for public-charity-owned property proposed

July 10, 2019

Effective on voter approval, the proposal would exempt all real property owned by public charities if the property is held exclusively for the purpose of building or repairing single-family homes. The home must be financed to individuals using no-interest loans, with a recapture of tax savings for any part of the property that isn’t financed interest free. The bill creates a statewide election ballot item to be submitted on the November 2020 elections asking Georgia voters to approve the tax exemption.

Electronic reporting of fuel distributor reports now required

July 3, 2019

Effective July 1, 2019, Georgia state law requires the electronic filing of a fuel distributor’s monthly report with the Commissioner of Revenue by the 20th of each calendar month. The law provides that, by regulation, the Commissioner may prescribe the manner by which the reports are electronically filed and may allow distributors having a quarterly or annual tax not exceeding amounts set by the Commissioner to file quarterly or annual reports.

Georgia Supreme Court rules that sovereign immunity doesn’t apply in case

July 3, 2019

The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled that sovereign immunity doesn’t apply to a lawsuit brought by the City of College Park against Clayton County. As a result, the lawsuit can go forward involving the dispute of College Park and Clayton County over the proper collection and allocation of alcohol taxes at the Atlanta airport. The airport is owned by the City of Atlanta, but is located primarily within the geographic limits of Clayton County. The court held that sovereign immunity has no application to the current litigation because the City and the County are merely exercising their own respective home rule powers by collecting tax revenues for their own purposes. (Dkt. No. S19A0460)


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