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Georgia State and Local Tax (SALT) Alerts

State and Local Tax Insights

Georgia State and Local Tax Alerts – November 2020

  • The definition of a “loaner” vehicle has been amended. Georgia state law has updated the definition for loaner vehicle for purposes of the Title and Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT) Fee. A loaner vehicle means a motor vehicle owned by a dealer which is withdrawn temporarily from dealer inventory for exclusive use as a courtesy vehicle loaned at no charge for a period not to exceed 45 (formerly 30) days within a 366 day period to any one customer whose vehicle is being serviced by the dealership.
  • Georgia state law now provides for an Agricultural Commodity Commission for Wine and Grapes for excise tax purposes. The law provides that no marketing order issued by the Agricultural Commodity Commission for Wine and Grapes will exceed the highest excise tax levied under Georgia state law.
  • The Georgia Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment ordering a purchaser at a tax sale to convey the property to a person who made an offer to redeem. The purchaser argued the amount tendered should include a 20% premium for the first year and 10% annually thereafter. The trial court held the 10% premium for the second year didn’t apply because the one-year period was set to expire on a legal holiday, so it was extended to July 5, when the tender was made. The Court of Appeals stated the law recognizing July 4 a legal holiday didn’t authorize the trial court to treat July 5 as falling within the first year of the redemption period. (Dkt. No. A20A1339)
  • The Georgia Dept. of Revenue has updated its policies on electronic signatures and filings and has authorized broader acceptance of digital or e-signatures. To be accepted, an e-signature must be a typed name within the electronic document, a scanned image of a handwritten signature attached to an electronic document or a handwritten signature input on an electronic signature pad. The e-signature must be executed by a person with the intent to sign and be bound by the document. It must be associated with or attached to the electronic document being signed to show that it was applied to a specific electronic document. For more information: https://bit.ly/3lE0L0r
  • The Georgia Dept. of Revenue has issued answers to FAQs relating to expenses that qualify for the film tax credit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Costs incurred during the COVID-19 shutdown qualify if they’re due to the COVID-19 shutdown to the extent that they’re not reimbursed by insurance or the federal government, and only if the production continues filming in Georgia. Costs for hotels, per diems, allowances and airfare during the shutdown don’t qualify for cast and crew members who aren’t performing ongoing production activities. However, cast and crew are allowed reasonable transportation costs from Georgia and back to Georgia.
  • Georgia’s individual income tax collections for the month of September totaled almost $1.26 billion, up from $1.13 billion in September 2020. This is an increase of nearly $126.4 million, or 11.2%. Among the notable components within the individual income tax that combine for the net increase: tax refunds issued (net of voided checks) were down nearly $9.2 million, or 9.4%; and income tax withholding payments increased by $103.4 million, or 11.2%, over 2020. In addition, income tax estimated payments decreased by roughly $20 million, or 9.5%, from last year.

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