Georgia State and Local Tax (SALT) Alerts

State and Local Tax Insights

Georgia State and Local Tax Alerts – February 2021

  • The Georgia Dept. of Revenue has adopted the Qualified Timberland rules and the Property Appraisal Manual. The manual includes a regional table of values for the appraisal of timberland property and contains parameters for the appraisal of qualified property, including Commercial Timberland Table of Per Acre Values and projected Forest Land Conservation Use Table of Values. In addition, it includes a formula to ensure that a Qualified Timberland Property’s fair market value is no less than 175% of a property’s Forest Land Conservation Use Value. Download the Qualified Timberland Rules and the Property Appraisal Manual here:
  • The Georgia Dept. of Revenue has released county tax rate changes effective April 1, 2021. The counties of Crawford, Effingham and Mitchell will each impose a 1% single-county transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. This increases the total tax rate in each county from 7% to 8%.
  • A unique tax question that arises is what to do tax-wise when a spouse passes earlier in the tax year. The Georgia Dept. of Revenue says that the surviving spouse, or the estate’s administrator or executor may file a tax return on behalf of the taxpayer who died. When filing, use the same filing status and due date that was used on the federal income tax return. To have a refund check in the name of the deceased taxpayer reissued, complete Form GA-5347, Deceased Taxpayer Refund Check Claim and provide a copy of the death certificate, original refund check issued in the deceased’s name and any other information specified on the federal tax form.
  • If you’ve filed your Georgia state taxes (or will be doing so soon), you’ll likely want an easy way to track your refund. The Georgia Dept. of Revenue has the online tool you’ll need on its Where’s My Refund webpage. A few facts first: the department began accepting state returns on Feb. 1, and it generally takes 90 days to process a return and issue a refund. To track your return visit: and enter all relevant information. Contact us for more information.
  • The Georgia Dept. of Revenue is informing alcoholic beverage wholesalers, breweries, distilleries and wineries that due to a system-wide tax system upgrade when the Georgia Tax Center will be unavailable, they’ll be unable to file January tax returns during the period of Feb. 5 through Feb. 10. The department is encouraging these taxpayers to plan ahead and file the January tax return, which is due Feb. 15, either during the period of Feb. 1 through Feb. 4, or after the upgrade is complete, anytime during the period of Feb. 11 through Feb. 15. The late filing of this tax return after Feb. 15 will be subject to penalties and interest.
  • Do you know if you have any unclaimed property? Unclaimed property generally includes, but isn’t limited to, wages, savings accounts, customer refunds, accounts payable, insurance payments, shares of stock, escrow funds, royalties and contents from safe deposit boxes. The Georgia Dept. of Revenue has a webpage where you can search for any unclaimed property. The webpage includes a list of FAQs, including one that answers the question: How does property become “unclaimed.” Visit the webpage here:
  • Attention: Georgia tobacco and vapor-product sellers. The Georgia Dept. of Revenue is informing these business owners that due to a system-wide tax system upgrade when the Georgia Tax Center will be unavailable, the new licensing features and tax return features pertaining to vapor products won’t be available until Feb. 11, 2021. Thus, the department is asking all tobacco and vapor-product sellers to file January excise tax returns (ordinarily due Feb. 10) on Feb. 11. In addition, the department is extending the deadline to file these records and make payments until Feb. 26. No penalties or interest will be due for late-filed January returns so long as they’re received by Feb. 26.
  • The Georgia Dept. of Revenue has adopted the Electronic Signature and Remote Notary and the Signature Requirements for Tax Returns, both effective Feb. 10, 2021. The former sets out requirements and guidelines for the department’s acceptance of documents with electronic signatures or remote notarizations in compliance with the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act. The latter sets out the signature provisions for the valid filing of all paper tax returns, electronic tax returns and signature-related recordkeeping requirements for tax return preparers, electronic returns originators and electronic returns transmitters.

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