Georgia State and Local Tax (SALT) Alerts

State and Local Tax Insights

Georgia State and Local Tax Alerts – April 2021

  • Marketplace facilitators are included in Georgia’s definition of “innkeepers.” Effective July 1, 2021, the definition of “innkeeper” has been amended for the excise tax on rooms, lodgings and accommodations to include marketplace facilitators. All taxes levied or imposed on transactions facilitated by a marketplace innkeeper will be paid by the purchaser to the marketplace innkeeper who must remit the taxes to the taxing authority. The law also expands the nightly excise tax to include all rooms and lodgings subject to certain exceptions and provides for optional return of funds by a destination marketing organization to certain municipalities levying certain excise taxes.
  • Effective July 1, 2021, and applicable for tax years beginning after Jan. 1, 2022, Georgia has established a teacher recruitment and retention program. The program allows a $3,000 tax credit for designated participating teachers who agree to teach in qualifying public schools. The $3,000 credit is for each school year and isn’t to exceed five years. The credit also isn’t to exceed the taxpayer’s income tax liability and isn’t allowed against prior years’ tax liability. Any unused credit may be carried forward to the next succeeding three years.
  • The Georgia Dept. of Revenue has adopted the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, effective May 3, 2021. The tax credit allows eligible participants to apply for a state income tax credit equaling 25% of qualifying rehabilitation expenses capped at $100,000 for a personal residence, and $300,000, $5 million or $10 million for all other properties. The tax credit is amended to bring the rule into conformity with a recent law that changed the certifying agency for the credit from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
  • A quick Georgia tax fact: the average tax refund Georgians received for fiscal year 2019 was $3,162, according to 24/7 Wall St. Where does this amount rank nationally? It’s 16th highest among the 50 U.S. states and is lower than the average 2019 refund amount of $3,709. Bear in mind that this amount includes personal income tax, corporate tax, estate tax and more.
  • Georgia hasn’t adopted the American Rescue Plan’s (ARPA’s) unemployment compensation exclusion. The Georgia Dept. of Revenue has updated its federal income tax guidance to provide that the provisions of ARPA excluding up to $10,200 of unemployment compensation from federal gross income on an eligible taxpayer’s 2020 federal return haven’t been adopted. Unemployment income remains taxable at the Georgia state level and must be included in a taxpayer’s income on his or her Georgia return. Any unemployment income that was excluded on the taxpayer’s federal return should be added back on Georgia Form 500, Schedule 1, Line 5. Contact us for more information.
  • Good news for Georgia drivers: The Georgia Dept. of Revenue has announced that the Vehicle Emissions Inspection and Maintenance Program has been restored. (The program previously experienced a system outage.) Motor vehicle owners can now obtain an emissions test. As such, emissions testing will be required as normal for motorists who need to register or renew their vehicle registrations. Motorists previously granted the emissions test waiver who registered or renewed vehicles from March 31, 2021, to April 8, 2021, will not need to get an emissions test until their renewal period next year.
  • Due to a system outage with the Vehicle Emissions Inspection and Maintenance Program, the Georgia Dept. of Revenue is notifying motor vehicle owners that they’re currently unable to obtain vehicle emissions tests. As such, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division has issued an emissions test waiver for motorists who need to register or renew their vehicle registrations. However, motorists granted the waiver must still provide all other necessary registration documentation and meet insurance requirements. As soon as the Vehicle Emissions Inspection and Maintenance Program’s functionality has been restored, emissions testing will be required as normal.
  • The Georgia Dept. of Revenue has announced the average retail sales prices used to calculate the prepaid local tax on motor fuel sales for the months of May and June. The following average retail sales prices will be in effect from May 1, 2021, through June 30, 2021: gasoline, $2.227 per gallon; diesel, $2.514 per gallon; aviation gasoline, $3 per gallon; and liquefied petroleum gas, $1.954 per gallon.

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