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Georgia State and Local Tax (SALT) Alerts

State and Local Tax Insights

Georgia State and Local Tax Alerts – April 2020

  • To provide relief due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), Governor Brian Kemp has announced the extension of the 2019 state income tax filing and payment deadline to July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest. The deadline extensions are for state income tax payments and income tax returns due on April 15, 2020. It also includes state estimated income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, for a taxpayer’s 2020 taxable year. While the state relies on federal information for income tax, that’s not the case for other types of tax. Thus, no extension is provided for the filing, payment or deposit of any other type of state tax. For more information: https://bit.ly/2vZbI8g
  • The Georgia Dept. of Revenue has adopted an amended regulation that provides the steps for reissuance of a refund check in instances when an endorsement on a refund check is alleged to be a forgery. The amendment also affects when a refund check has been issued and a replacement check is needed and in instances when a refund check is issued to a deceased taxpayer. Amended regulation: 560-3-2-.01 (Reissuance of Refund Checks)
  • The State of Georgia reported its tax collection improved 9.8% for March 2020. However, much of that collection occurred before the government and businesses began shutting down due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). State officials warned that the state is expecting to see a precipitous drop in tax collection revenue in the coming months. Overall collections were up $163 million for March 2020 over March 2019, mainly because people were paying income taxes at a higher rate. Income tax collections were up 25.5% for the month.
  • The Local Government Services Division of the Georgia Dept. of Revenue has issued guidance to county tax commissioners on best practices for certain April 1, 2020, property tax deadlines in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Specifically, a governing authority can grant a waiver of penalties and interest for failure to comply with laws governing the assessment and collection of ad valorem taxes when the failure was because of reasonable cause and not due to gross neglect. Such a waiver may be applied to the following April 1 deadlines: the deadline to file returns of tangible personal property of business enterprises; and the deadline to pay ad valorem taxes on mobile homes.
  • The Georgia Dept. of Revenue has issued FAQs on coronavirus (COVID-19) tax relief. The FAQs clarify that the extended due date of July 15, 2020, applies to estimated income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, for a taxpayer’s 2020 tax year, and also applies to the net worth tax that is included on applicable income tax returns. The relief doesn’t apply to the penalty for failing to timely pay estimated tax payments during 2019. The extension applies only to the April 15, 2020, due date and doesn’t extend the statute of limitations to file a refund. For more information: https://bit.ly/3ekETUz
  • The Georgia Dept. of Revenue is reminding motor fuel distributors that under recent law changes, distributors must electronically file all motor fuel excise tax reports (Form MFD-04) using the online Georgia Tax Center. The department no longer accepts Form MFD-04 in any other manner. If a motor fuel distributor or its representative attempts to submit Form MFD-04 in paper or with attachments, the department will reject the return and instruct that the return be filed online.
  • The Georgia Dept. of Revenue has announced that additional tax deadlines have been extended in conformance with the U.S. Treasury Dept. and the IRS. As announced in March, the state estimated income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, have been extended to July 15, 2020. As of April 16, 2020, any other estimated income tax payment due after April 15, 2020, and before July 15, 2020, will be extended to July 15, 2020. Additionally, the statute of limitations to file a refund claim for a previous tax year has been extended to July 15, 2020, for refund claims that would have expired from April 15, 2020, and before July 15, 2020.
  • The Georgia Dept. of Revenue, Local Government Services Division, has adopted an emergency regulation (Emergency Rule 560-11-17-0.34) for Conservation Use Property and Forest Land Conservation Use Property. The emergency regulation extends the application filing deadline for all qualifying property to June 1, 2020, unless the statute provides for a later deadline.
  • The Georgia Dept. of Revenue has issued guidance on county tax digest submissions and homestead exemption applications. County tax digests are due Sept. 1, 2020, and it’s standard practice to grant requested extensions in 30-day increments. Counties are encouraged to submit the tax digests as close to the Sept. 1 deadline as possible. Homestead exemption applications are accepted year-round. Counties that want to change their homestead exemption application requirements should consult with their county boards of tax assessors. If a taxpayer is denied a homestead exemption, he or she can appeal the determination during the appeal period following the date of the notice of assessment.
  • The Georgia Dept. of Revenue has announced that the average retail sale price for gasoline has decreased more than 25% since Jan. 1, 2020, requiring a revision in the average retail sales prices used to calculate the prepaid local tax on motor fuel sales. The following average retail sales prices will be in effect June 1, 2020, through June 30, 2020: gasoline, $1.533 per gallon; diesel, $2.554 per gallon; and aviation gasoline, $3 per gallon.

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