An Overview of Georgia State Taxes

FT Contributor  | 

Understanding how tax regulations in Georgia apply to you is important if you’re a resident in the state. Georgia has a unique tax structure and learning more about property, sales, and income taxes is crucial to ensuring you pay the right amount of taxes on time.

There are serious negative consequences to not paying taxes. If you skip filing your tax return or you don’t pay the right amount, you could face hefty penalty fines, interest charges, seizure of assets, or even jail time. Review this guide to learn more about how to ensure you’re following Georgia tax regulations.

Georgia Income Tax

You must file income taxes in Georgia if you’re a resident or nonresident who earned income in the state. Georgia has graduated income tax rates, also known as progressive taxes, so the rate you must pay depends on your filing status and the amount of income you earned. The Georgia income tax rate is between 1% and 5.75%.

If you’re a single taxpayer, the following tax rates apply:

Taxable Income Earned Tax Rate
Below $750 1%
$750 to $2,250 $8 plus 2% of taxable income over $750
$2,250 to $3,750 $38 plus 3% of taxable income over $2,250
$3,750 to $5,250 $83 plus 4% of taxable income over $3,750
$5,250 to $7,000 $143 plus 5% of taxable income over $5,250
Over $7,000 $230 plus 5.75% of taxable income over $7,000

If you’re married and filing jointly or filing as head of household, the following tax rates apply:

Taxable Income Earned Tax Rate
Below $1,000 1%
$1,000 to $3,000 $10 plus 2% of taxable income over $1,000
$3,000 to $5,000 $50 plus 3% of taxable income over $3,000
$5,000 to $7,000 $110 plus 4% of taxable income over $5,000
$7,000 to $10,000 $190 plus 5% of taxable income over $7,000
Over $10,000 $340 plus 5.75% of taxable income over $10,000

If you’re married but filing separately from your spouse, the following tax rates apply:

Taxable Income Earned Tax Rate
Below $500 1%
$500 to $1,500 $5 plus 2% of taxable income over $500
$1,500 to $2,500 $25 plus 3% of taxable income over $1,500
$2,500 to $3,500 $55 plus 4% of taxable income over $2,500
$3,500 to $5,000 $95 plus 5% of taxable income over $3,500
Over $5,000 $170 plus 5.75% of taxable income over $5,000

Low-Income Tax Credit

If you earn a low income, you may qualify for a credit on your Georgia income taxes. To claim the tax credit, your income must be less than $19,999.

The credit you qualify for depends on the income you earned and may be between $5 and $26. To apply for the low-income tax credit, you must complete the low-income credit worksheet and submit it before the end of December.

Retirement Income Exclusion

If you’re 62 or older, or completely and permanently disabled, you may qualify for a retirement income adjustment. If you’re eligible for this adjustment, you can exclude the following income from your tax return:

  • Interest and dividends;
  • Pension and annuity income;
  • Rental property income;
  • Royalties;
  • Capital gains;
  • Up to $4,000 in regularly earned income.

To apply for this exclusion, you must complete a Retirement Income Exclusion Worksheet and submit it to the Department of Revenue (DOR).

Georgia Sales Tax

In Georgia, the statewide sales tax is 4%. However, local jurisdictions may impose their own tax rate in addition to the statewide sales tax. This can increase the sales tax up to an additional 5%. For example, in Taliaferro county, the sales tax rate is 8% but if you made a purchase in Gwinnett county, you’d pay a 6% sales tax.

Additional Sales Tax

Inside the city limits of Atlanta, a 1% Municipal Option Sales Tax (MOST) is imposed on qualifying transactions. Some jurisdictions charge a Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) while others may impose a Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) tax on all transactions that occur in the county.

Georgia Property Taxes

If you own property in Georgia, you must pay property taxes each year. Tax rates vary by county but are usually between 0.5% and 1.8%. You can reference your location to find out the tax rate that applies to your property.

Your county tax assessor values your property and a percentage of this value is used to calculate your taxes. Your tax assessor or tax commissioner sends a property tax bill by mail and you usually have 60 days to pay it.

Homestead Exemptions

If your home is your full-time residence, you may qualify for homestead exemption, which reduces your property tax liability. If you’re eligible for this county exemption, it’s usually more beneficial than the standard homestead exemption offered by the state. To apply for homestead exemption, you submit an application to your tax commissioner or tax assessor’s office before April 1.

Georgia Estate Taxes

Legislation that passed on July 1, 2014, eliminated the Georgia estate tax. However, Georgia’s estate tax law is still in place and follows the federal estate tax law for residents who died on or before January 1, 2005.

Tips for Filing Taxes in Georgia

Your Georgia income taxes are due on the same date as your federal income taxes:   April 15. If you meet the qualifications, you can use the Georgia DOR website to electronically file your taxes for free. To use this online service, you must complete the identity verification quiz and register with the site. Once you’ve filed your taxes online, you can check the status of your refund or payment at any time.

Before you begin the filing process, it’s important to prepare to file your taxes by gathering any documents you need, such as your W2 or exemption applications, as well as your bank account information. By accurately filing your Georgia taxes on time, you’ll avoid late penalty fees, interest charges, or other consequences.


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