Georgia State and Local Tax (SALT) Alerts

State and Local Tax Insights

Georgia State and Local Tax Alerts – September 2021

  • The Georgia Supreme Court has affirmed the dismissal of a mandamus action brought against the Board of Tax Assessors for the board’s alleged failure to exercise their duties regarding tax assessment. The board’s failures included not finding that a stadium company had a leasehold interest in the Atlanta Falcon’s stadium that’s subject to ad valorem tax. The board’s decision was based on an “unconstitutionally adopted” exemption. The trial court properly concluded that the appellants’ mandamus claim had, in part, been resolved in the appellees’ favor when the Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the previous order dismissing the appellants’ original mandamus claim (Dkt. No. S21A0329).
  • If you receive a letter from the Georgia Dept. of Revenue, there’s no need to panic but you do need to be aware of scams. Note that the department will never ask you to purchase and pay debts with a prepaid debit card, transfer money to a specific account, or threaten you with arrest if you don’t immediately pay. Most letters from the department provide specific instructions of what actions you need to take. For example, you may be asked to log in to the Georgia Tax Center and follow the directions provided. If you receive a letter regarding Georgia state taxes and are unsure of what you need to do, contact us. We’d be pleased to help.
  • The Georgia Dept. of Revenue has issued a table showing the local sales and use tax rates for energy sold to manufacturers for the third quarter of 2021. The rates are effective Oct. 1, 2021, through Dec. 31, 2021. The tax rates are imposed for energy sold to manufacturers as levied by counties within the 159 special districts and the City of Atlanta. The tax is levied initially by ordinance following the phase-in schedule rates.
  • If you need information regarding your county property tax, the Georgia Dept. of Revenue’s website has you covered. Visit the Georgia Department of Revenue’s County Property Tax Facts page and click on your county. Information available includes (depending on the county) links to the county’s tax commissioner and chief appraiser as well as details on property tax returns and homestead exemptions among other things.
  • Georgia State Revenue Commissioner Robyn Crittenden has announced an innovative leadership team. To streamline services for taxpayers, the department has reorganized key divisions within the functional areas of Tax Operations, Agency Operations and Governance & Planning. Frank O’Connell will serve as Deputy State Revenue Commissioner and General Counsel. Dr. Georgia Steele will serve as the Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Agency Operations and Governance & Planning. Chester Cook will serve as the Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Tax Operations. For more information read the Georgia Department of Revenue’s press release.
  • If you believe you have unclaimed property, visit the Georgia Department of Revenue’s Unclaimed Property page to begin your search. Unclaimed property refers to accounts held by financial institutions and other businesses who’ve lost contact with their owner of record. Unclaimed property includes wages, savings accounts, insurance payments, shares of stock, escrow funds, royalties and contents from safe deposit boxes. Most property is reported to the program after five years of inactivity.
  • According to recently released figures by the Georgia Department of Revenue, the state ended the 2021 budget year with a surplus of nearly $2.2 billion. In addition, the department reported that the state’s “rainy day fund” reached its legal limit of $4.3 billion. Possible uses for the surplus may include restoring money to public grade schools and increasing teachers’ salaries. Some lawmakers have indicated that they would like to use the funds to bolster retirement funds for state employees. Stay tuned for more information regarding the August 2021 revenue numbers.
  • Are you tired of waiting in line at the DMV to renew your vehicle’s registration? Bypass the line by using one of the state’s self-service registration/tag renewal kiosks. Scanning and touchscreen technology is used to securely update vehicle registration information. You can also pay insurance fines at a kiosk. Step-by-step instructions, along with optional voice assistance, is provided on-screen. After successful renewal, documents print at the kiosk. To find a kiosk near you visit the Georgia MV Express’ Self-Service page.
  • Recently released numbers from the Georgia Department of Revenue show that the collection of individual income tax increased 13.9% in August. The total was nearly $1.11 billion, up from $970.3 million during August 2020. However, the amount of individual income tax refunds issued decreased 8.6%, or $8.3 million.
  • The Georgia Department of Revenue reports that for August 2021, corporate income tax collections were down 81.3% compared to August 2020. The collections amount decreased $9.2 million. Corporate tax refunds issued jumped 134.7% in August compared to last August. The increase was $19.1 million.

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