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Georgia State and Local Tax (SALT) Alerts

State and Local Tax Insights

Georgia State and Local Tax Alerts – August 2020

  • Georgia State University’s Fiscal Research Center (FRC) has developed an online interactive data tool that allows users to view year-over-year changes in sales tax distributions at the county, regional or state level from January 2016 through June 2020. The data shows that three Georgia regions experienced double-digit declines in sales tax distributions in the June 2020 quarter due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The sales tax data, provided by the Georgia Dept. of Revenue, will be updated monthly. Taxpayers may access the FRC’s sales tax distribution tool online at: https://bit.ly/39SiHz4
  • The Georgia Dept. of Revenue has issued updated guidance on the sales and use tax exemption for qualified job training organizations (QJTOs) to remind taxpayers that the exemption expired June 30, 2020. However, a QJTO may apply for a tax refund if it possesses a letter of authorization that’s valid for the timeframe when the purchase was made. The guidance clarifies that a tax refund claim must be submitted within three years after the tax was paid to the commissioner. Contact us for additional information.
  • The Revised Homestead Option Sales and Use Tax Act of 2020 has been enacted. The new law sets the procedures, conditions and limitations for homestead option sales tax within the 159 special districts and co-terminus counties; provides for a revised distribution of the proceeds from the levy of an equalized homestead option sales and use tax; provides for the levy of a special purpose local option sales and use tax in certain counties; and provides for elector petitions and referenda.
  • The Georgia Dept. of Revenue issued a letter ruling on the sales tax application on admission charges made to attending certain seminars. In this instance, the taxpayer coordinates events to provide attendees an understanding of its products and gives guidance on how to achieve sales goals. Unlike customers purchasing tickets for an exhibition event, distributors attend the taxpayer’s event to develop business skills. Thus, the taxpayer’s events are akin to job training or continuing education conferences, and the taxpayer’s charges for the events don’t appear to be the type of charges contemplated as taxable sales. Download Letter Ruling No. LR SUT-2020-03 here: https://bit.ly/3iNdaNE
  • Georgia is imposing an excise tax on consumable vaping products. Effective Jan. 1, 2021, the tax on consumable vapor products is 7% of the wholesale cost price exclusive of any discounts, allowances or promotions. In addition, for vapor devices that contain consumable vapor product at the time of sale and which aren’t intended to be reused, the tax is 7% of the wholesale cost price. This tax will be collected and paid through the use of stamps. A vapor device is defined as any device developed to deliver a consumable vapor product to an individual who inhales from the device. The term includes an electronic nicotine delivery system, an electronic cigarette, vape pen or electronic hookah.
  • Tax appeal deadlines and county tax digest submissions have been extended due to COVID-19. The Georgia Dept. of Revenue issued guidance to County Tax Commissioners and Boards of Assessors regarding the tolling of property tax appeal deadlines by the Georgia Supreme Court in emergency orders issued due to COVID-19. For notices of assessment issued between March 14, 2020, and July 13, 2020, the 45-day appeal period began running on July 14, 2020, making the new appeal deadline Aug. 27, 2020. Regarding the appeal deadline, county tax digest submissions with the certification regarding properties under appeal should be made after the new appeal deadline of Aug. 27, 2020.
  • The Georgia Dept. of Revenue has issued updated guidance on the sales and use tax exemption on sales of food and food ingredients to qualified food banks that was recently made indefinite by Georgia state law. The procedure for applying for sales tax exemption letters of authorization (LOAs) remains the same. LOAs will expire on June 30 each year. Taxpayers must still apply for a new LOA annually. For more information: https://bit.ly/3aSok0R

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