Georgia State Tax ― Personal Income Tax
Georgia’s personal income tax was established in 1929. Today, the tax is administered by the Georgia Department of Revenue and it’s based on a person’s federal adjusted gross income (AGI), with certain Georgia adjustments.
Individual income tax is withheld from paychecks by employers, who report their payroll records to the Department of Revenue on a regular basis. The individual income tax is a graduated tax with six income brackets and rates ranging from 1% to 6%. It applies to the following three groups:
- All resident individuals, estates, and trusts who file a federal income tax return.
- All nonresident individuals, estates, and trusts who file a federal return with income from Georgia.
- All residents and nonresidents who have income subject to Georgia tax that is not subject to federal tax.
The following rates apply to Georgia taxpayers who use the “Single” filing status:
- 1% on the first $750 of taxable income
- 2% on taxable income between $751 and $2,250
- 3% on taxable income between $2,251 and $3,750
- 4% on taxable income between $3,751 and $5,250
- 5% on taxable income between $5,251 and $7,000
- 6% on taxable income of $7,001 or more
The following rates apply to Georgia taxpayers who use the “Married Filing Separately” status:
- 1% on the first $500 of taxable income
- 2% on taxable income between $501 and $1,500
- 3% on taxable income between $1,501 and $2,500
- 4% on taxable income between $2,501 and $3,500
- 5% on taxable income between $3,501 and $5,000
- 6% on taxable income of $5,001 or more
The following rates apply to Georgia taxpayers who use the “Married Filing Jointly” or “Head of Household” status:
- 1% on the first $1,000 of taxable income
- 2% on taxable income between $1,001 and $3,000
- 3% on taxable income between $3,001 and $5,000
- 4% on taxable income between $5,001 and $7,000
- 5% on taxable income between $7,001 and $10,000
- 6% on taxable income of $10,001 or more
Returns are due by April 15th, and Georgia does accept automatic federal extensions of time to file ― IRS Form 4868 (Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return). Note that an extension does not allow additional time for payment and it must be attached to your Georgia tax return.
Georgia State Tax ― Corporate Tax
Georgia’s Corporate Income Tax has a non-graduated rate of 6%, minus certain credits. It applies to any corporation (domestic or foreign) with taxable income from property and/or business activities located in Georgia. Georgia’s corporate tax is based on federal taxable income, with certain state adjustments.
For most multi-state corporations, income tax is calculated using an apportionment ratio based on gross receipts. For all corporations, tax returns and payments are due by the fifteenth day of the third month following the end of the tax year (March 15th for calendar year taxpayers).
The Corporate Franchise (Net Worth) Tax is a graduated tax based on a corporation’s taxable net worth, for the privilege of owning property or doing business in Georgia. This tax ranges from corporations having $10,000 or less in net worth with a minimum tax of $10, up to corporations having over $22 million in net worth with a maximum tax of $5,000.
Georgia State Tax ― Sales & Use Tax
Georgia’s state sales tax is 4%. It applies to the retail sale, use, rental, lease, or consumption of tangible personal property and some services. State sales tax is administered by the Department of Revenue, paid upon the time of the purchase, and collected by registered vendors. Items exempt from sales tax include certain agricultural machinery, prescription drugs, medical devices, and groceries.
The Use Tax is a component of the sales tax. It usually applies to Internet, mail order, and out-of-state purchases, or any purchases for which the correct sales tax was not collected. In many cases, it becomes the personal responsibility of the consumer to report it in the “Use Tax” section of Form ST-3 (Sales and Use Tax Return). The use tax has the same rate as the sales tax, based on the jurisdiction where the product is used.
In addition to the 4% state sales tax, counties may also impose the following local option taxes:
- Local Option Tax (standard): At a rate of 1%, levied by county governing authorities.
- Special Purpose Tax: At a rate of 1%, levied by county governing authorities.
- Educational Purpose Tax: At a rate of 1%, levied by local boards of education.
- Homestead Tax: At a rate of 1%, levied by county governing authorities only in counties that do not levy the standard Local Option Sales Tax.
- Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) Tax: At a rate of 1%, levied only within the MARTA area.
The City of Atlanta collects an additional 1% Municipal Option Sales Tax on items (not including vehicles) that are sold or used within Atlanta’s incorporated city limits.
Georgia State Tax ― Property Tax
Property Tax in Georgia is a local “ad valorem” tax, meaning that it is taxed according to value. All real and personal property is taxable unless specifically exempted by law.
Property taxes are enforced locally and administered by the following departments:
- County Boards of Tax Assessors: Value and assess property
- County and Municipal Governing Authorities and Local School Systems: Levy the applicable millage rates
- The State Revenue Commissioner: Oversees the equalization of assessments throughout the state
- County Tax Commissioners and Municipal Authorities: Collect the tax
Revenue collected from property tax goes to the locality in which the tax was levied. Properties generally exempt from tax include public properties, places of worship, non-profit or charitable institutions, college buildings, and properties constructed for air or water pollution reduction purposes.
In general, property tax returns are due between January 1st and April 1st, and property tax payments are due by December 20th.
Georgia State Tax Forms
Form 500 (Georgia Individual Income Tax Return)
Form 500-EZ (Georgia Short Individual Income Tax Return)
Form IT-303 (Georgia Application for Extension of Time for Filing State Income Tax Returns)
Form 500X (Georgia Amended Individual Income Tax Return)
Form 525-TV (Georgia Payment Voucher)
Form 600 (Corporation Tax Return)
Form ST-3 (Sales and Use Tax Return)
Georgia State Tax Resources
Georgia Department of Revenue: etax.dor.ga.gov
“Free Electronic Filing Program” brochure for Georgia state taxes: etax.dor.ga.gov/inctax/efile/TSD_Free_Electronic_Filing_Program
Georgia Sales Tax Rate Chart (by county): etax.dor.ga.gov/salestax/salestaxrates/LGS_Rate_Chart
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA): www.itsmarta.com
The Georgia Department of Revenue offers an “Online Return Inquiry System” where taxpayers can check the status of their current year returns: etax.dor.ga.gov/WMReturnInquiry
The Georgia Department of Revenue also has an “Online Refund Inquiry System” so taxpayers can check the status of their state tax refunds: etax.dor.ga.gov/WMRefund
“A Tax Guide for Georgia Citizens” (Georgia Department of Revenue): etax.dor.ga.gov/taxguide/TSD_Tax_Guide_for_Georgia_Citizens
Georgia’s Tax Freedom Day is April 12th.