Taxpayer Services Division

Individual Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about the New Computerized Version of the Form 500

I printed out the form 500 with my computer software and the form does not look like the form 500 that is in the IT-511 booklet. Why is the form different?

What is the correct mailing address for computerized forms?

Filing requirements and Other Filing Questions for Residents, Nonresidents, Part-Year Residents, and Military Personnel

What are the resident requirements for filing a Georgia Individual Income Tax Return?

What are the requirements for a resident who earned income in another state?

What are the filing requirements for a nonresident who works in Georgia and/or has other Georgia source income?

What are the filing requirements for military personnel?

How do we file a tax return when one spouse is a resident of Georgia and the other is not?

If we file jointly on the federal return, can I file separately on the state return?

What are the tax law rules for changing filing status from married filing separate to married filing joint and married filing joint to married filing separate?

Does Georgia recognize common law marriages?

What should I do if I received an additional W-2 or 1099 after I filed my return?

If I need to file for prior years, can I use the current year return?

If I owe tax, can I file without paying?

How do I obtain an extension for filing my Georgia income tax return?

Normally Georgia will accept the automatic federal extension to file (form 4868) if it is attached to the Georgia return. What procedure should be used if the federal extension was obtained over the telephone or electronically?

Can I file from my personal computer?

Nonresidents and part-year residents

Is severance pay received by a nonresident taxable for Georgia purposes?

Are vacation, holiday, and sick pay for a nonresident who works in Georgia taxable for Georgia purposes?

If I am receiving a pension from another state and I move to Georgia, is the pension taxable for Georgia purposes?

If I am receiving a pension from Georgia and I move to another state, is the pension taxable for Georgia purposes?

What form should be used by a nonresident or a part-year resident?

I live in another state but receive interest from a savings account in a Georgia bank. Is it taxable for Georgia purposes?

Retirees

Does Georgia tax Social Security?

Does Georgia offer any income tax relief for retirees?

Can both my spouse and I qualify for the retirement exclusion?

I am a part-year or nonresident. Am I allowed to take the retirement exclusion?

General Questions

Will Georgia follow IRS Notice number 2004-54 relating to paid preparer signatures?

How do I submit an address change?

How do I obtain a copy of a Georgia income tax return?

Does Georgia have a section 529 college savings plan?

If I itemize my deductions on my Federal Schedule A, can I deduct my auto registration and ad valorem tax?

The IRS is allowing preparers to apply for an alternative identification number that is used instead of a social security number. On a Georgia return, can a preparer use this number?

I itemized deductions on my federal return. What amount do I use on line 12 of my Georgia return?

What is the individual income tax rate?

I am claimed as a dependent on my parent or guardian’s income tax return. Does Georgia allow me the personal exemption allowance?

Should I remove my Georgia income tax refund from my AGI?

Should I remove an income tax refund from another state from my AGI?

How do I treat Roth IRA’s for Georgia purposes?

I am a Georgia resident and a shareholder in a s-corporation operating in a state that does not recognize the s-election, therefore tax is paid by the corporation. How is this treated on the Georgia individual return?

In 1999, Tennessee expanded the type of entities that are subject to the Franchise and Excise tax. In addition to s-corporations, it now includes limited liability companies, limited partnerships, etc. As is mentioned in the previous question, a Georgia resident, who is a shareholder in an s-corporation operating in a state that does not recognize the s-election, can make an adjustment for this income on form 500 if the tax is paid by the corporation. Does this adjustment also apply to a member of a limited liability company (that is treated as a partnership for Federal Income Tax purposes) or a partner of a limited partnership when the limited liability company or the limited partnership pays the Tennessee Franchise and Excise Tax?

What are my chances of being audited and what is the time frame for an audit?

What is required if my tax return is chosen for an audit?

Does Georgia consider the Texas Margin Tax to be an income tax? 

Credits

How can I qualify for the low income credit?

If my wife and I file separate can we each take a low income credit?

Can a part-year resident qualify for the low income credit?

What is the low emission vehicle tax credit?

What is the zero emission vehicle tax credit?

Does Georgia have an earned income credit?

What are the current criteria for qualifying with the Department of Revenue for the Georgia Low Income Housing Credit?

What should be included with the tax return when claiming the Georgia Low Income Housing Credit?

Estimated Tax

What are the requirements for filing and paying estimated tax?

What are the due dates for filing estimated tax?

How do I file estimated tax payments?

Penalties and Interest

How are interest and penalty calculated on unpaid taxes?

For Federal income tax purposes, the IRS does not charge a late payment penalty, for the period covered by the extension(s), if at least 90% of the actual tax liability is paid on or before the regular due date of the return through withholding, estimate tax payments or payments submitted at the time the extension is requested. Does Georgia have a similar rule?

Statute of Limitations

What is the statute of limitations for a refund?

What is the statute of limitations for assessing tax liabilities?

What are the requirements when the Internal Revenue Service changes my return?

Return Processing

If I have not filed my return, what is the fastest way to get my refund?

How long will it take to process my refund?

How do I check on the status of my refund?

Am I required to send pages 1 through 6 of the Georgia form 500 even if I only use pages 1 through 3?

Do I need to send a copy of my complete Federal return?

Will Georgia accept a copy of my W-2 instead of the original?

What should I do if I forgot to sign my return or include my W-2 with the return?

What should I do if I forgot to include a check with my return?

What is an offset notice?

What is the procedure for protesting an assessment notice?

Innocent/Injured Spouse Relief

Does Georgia have innocent spouse rules?

Every year my refund is offset to a liability my spouse has with the Department of Human Resources. The IRS instructs me to submit an Injured Spouse form with my return when I file. What should I submit with my Georgia return?

Additional Information

If I have additional questions, what should I do?

Questions about the New Computerized Version of the Form 500

  1. I printed out the form 500 with my computer software and the form does not look like the form 500 that is in the IT-511 booklet. Why is the form different?
  1. Forms that are produced by certain software companies include the two dimensional bar code. However, it is not mandatory for every software company to use it. The bar code contains the information you have entered onto your return. It will only be visible when your return has been printed. The purpose of this technology is to assist in processing your return in a more accurate and timely manner. These design changes do not apply to the booklet version of the form.

  1. What is the correct mailing address for computerized forms?
  1. The mailing address for forms that contain a two-dimensional bar code is different from that of other computerized forms. You should mail your form to the address provided in your software package or by your tax preparer.

Filing requirements and Other Filing Questions for Residents, Nonresidents, Part-Year Residents, and Military Personnel

  1. What are the resident requirements for filing a Georgia Individual Income Tax Return?
  1. You are required to file a Georgia income tax return if any of the following apply: (a) You are required to file a Federal income tax return; (b) You have income subject to Georgia income tax but not subject to federal income tax; (c) Your income exceeds Georgia’s standard deduction and personal exemptions. These requirements apply as long as your legal residence is Georgia even if you are temporarily absent from the state or live outside the state temporarily. Even though your income may be less than the filing requirements (personal exemption(s) plus standard deduction), you may file a return to receive a refund of tax withheld.
  1. What are the requirements for a resident who earned income in another state?
  1. A full year resident is taxed on all sources of income regardless of where the income is derived. Georgia allows other state credit for income taxes paid to states other than Georgia. A copy of the other state(s) income tax return must be attached to the Georgia return. Use the worksheet in the Georgia instruction booklet (IT-511) to compute the other state credit for a full or part-year resident. If you paid taxes to more than one state, use the total of the other state’s income to compute the credit. No credit is allowed for income earned in another state if the income was not taxed by the other state. The credit cannot exceed your Georgia income tax. No credit is allowed for income earned in another country.
  1. What are the filing requirements for a nonresident who works in Georgia and/or has other Georgia source income?
  1. Nonresidents, who work in Georgia or receive income from Georgia sources and are required to file a Federal income tax return, are required to file a Georgia income tax return. Some examples of Georgia source income are wages, Georgia lottery winnings, income from flow through entities (s-corporations, partnerships, LLC’s, trusts, and estates), rents, etc. If you are a legal resident of another state, you are not required to file a Georgia income tax return if your only activity for financial gain or profit in Georgia consists of performing services in Georgia for an employer as an employee when the compensation for services performed does not exceed the lesser of five percent of the income received in all places during the taxable year or $5,000.
  1. What are the filing requirements for military personnel?
  1. Military personnel whose home of record is Georgia or who are residents of Georgia are subject to Georgia income tax upon all income regardless of source or where it is earned, unless specifically exempt by Georgia law. Refer to the instruction booklet (IT-511) for additional information.
  1. How do we file a tax return when one spouse is a resident of Georgia and the other is not?
  1. If one spouse is a resident of Georgia and one is not, the taxpayer should write three (3) in the residency code block (nonresident) of the Form 500. You must use schedule 3 of Form 500 to calculate your Georgia taxable income.
  1. If we file jointly on the federal return, can I file separately on the state return?
  1. Generally a taxpayer must use the same filing status on their Georgia return that they used on their federal return. However, a taxpayer who filed a joint return with a nonresident, who has no Georgia source income, may file a separate return and claim himself or herself only. Please note also that same-sex couples must file State income tax returns as if they were each single. Please click here for more information.
  1. What are the tax law rules for changing filing status from married filing separate to married filing joint and married filing joint to married filing separate?
  1. If taxpayers filed separate returns, they may change to a joint return for that year any time within three years from the due date of the separate return or returns. If they filed a joint return, they cannot choose to file separate returns for that year after the due date of the return. Exception: A personal representative for a decedent may change from a joint return elected by the surviving spouse to a separate return for the decedent. The personal representative has one year from the due date of the return to make the change.
  1. Does Georgia recognize common law marriages?
  1. Prior to 1997, Georgia recognized common law marriages. Georgia no longer recognizes common law marriages that occurred after 1996.
  1. What should I do if I received an additional W-2 or 1099 after I filed my return?
  1. File Form 500X to amend your return.
  1. If I need to file for prior years, can I use the current year return?
  1. Some prior year forms are available on our website. Other prior year forms can be ordered by calling 1-877-GADOR11 (1-877-423-6711) .

  1. If I owe tax, can I file without paying?
  1. Yes. Pay as much as possible and be sure to file by the deadline to avoid a late filing penalty. If you are unable to pay the full amount of tax due as shown on your individual income tax return, you may request monthly installment payments. To apply for an installment agreement, complete and file your return by the due date. You may also call (404) 657-0295 to request an installment payment plan once you receive a bill. To minimize the interest and penalty charges, you are encouraged to pay as much of the tax as possible by April 15. If you would like to make additional payments before receiving a bill, send payments to: Installment Program Section, P.O. Box 740396, Atlanta, GA 30374-0396. Be sure to write the tax year and your social security number on the check. Note: Interest and late payment penalties will apply to any amount not paid by April 15, even if your request to make installment payments is granted. Before requesting an installment payment agreement, you should consider less costly alternatives.
  1. How do I obtain an extension for filing my Georgia income tax return?
  1. There are two ways to obtain an extension:
  2. 1. Georgia will accept a copy of the Federal extension attached to the Georgia return when filed; or

    2. You may file an extension on Georgia Form IT-303.

An extension to file extends the filing date only, it does not extend the date for paying the tax. The tax must be paid by the due date of the return. Georgia Form IT-560 is used to pay the tax.
  1. Normally Georgia will accept the automatic federal extension to file (form 4868) if it is attached to the Georgia return. What procedure should be used if the federal extension was obtained over the telephone or electronically?
  1. The instructions to the 4868 indicate that before you call or file electronically you should fill in form 4868 as a worksheet. If you did not fill in this 4868 worksheet as they requested, fill one in now with the appropriate information. Attach this 4868 worksheet to your Georgia return. Also, write "filed extension by telephone" or "filed extension electronically" and the IRS confirmation number on the top of the 4868 worksheet. If you eventually file your return electronically, it is not necessary to send us a copy of the 4868 worksheet. The 4868 worksheet should be retained with your copy of the return.
  1. Can I file from my personal computer?
  1. Yes, click here for additional information.

Nonresidents and part-year residents

  1. Is severance pay received by a nonresident taxable for Georgia purposes?
  1. Severance pay received by a nonresident is not taxable for Georgia purposes. Non taxable severance pay is defined as pay that is received for which no services are rendered in Georgia. Any portion of the income included in the W-2 that is received for past or future services rendered in Georgia, including accrued vacation, sick pay, and holidays, will still be taxable for Georgia purposes as is outlined in the next question. For example, a taxpayer is terminated by a Georgia employer but the employer agrees to pay them $500 per week severance pay for two weeks. No services are required to be rendered to receive this pay. The first week the taxpayer receives a check for $1100, which includes $500 of severance pay and $600 of accrued vacation pay. The $600 accrued vacation pay is taxable for Georgia purposes but the $500 severance pay is not taxable. The next week the taxpayer receives a check for $500 for severance pay. This is not taxable for Georgia purposes.
  1. Are vacation, holiday, and sick pay for a nonresident who works in Georgia taxable for Georgia purposes?
  1. If a nonresident works in Georgia, he/she is taxed on all income that is received from an employer, including vacation, holiday, and sick pay, based on regulation 560-7-8-.01(b)(1), unless he/she falls under the 5% exception of Georgia code section 48-7-1(11)(A). Georgia regulation 560-7-8-.01(b)(1) is clear that for a nonresident the actual number of days worked in Georgia divided by the total days worked everywhere is the ratio that should be applied to determine Georgia source income. If the nonresident only works in Georgia, the ratio would be 100 percent and all income that is included in the W-2 that is received for past or future services rendered in Georgia, including vacation, holiday, and sick pay, would be taxable for Georgia purposes.
  1. If I am receiving a pension from another state and I move to Georgia, is the pension taxable for Georgia purposes?
  1. Yes.
  1. If I am receiving a pension from Georgia and I move to another state, is the pension taxable for Georgia purposes?
  1. No.
  1. What form should be used by a nonresident or a part-year resident?
  1. Form 500, including schedule 3.
  1. I live in another state but receive interest from a savings account in a Georgia bank. Is it taxable for Georgia purposes?
  1. Generally it is not taxable for Georgia purposes if an individual owns it.

Retirees

  1. Does Georgia tax Social Security?
  1. No. Taxable Social Security and Railroad Retirement on the Federal return are exempt from Georgia Income Tax. The taxable portion is subtracted on schedule 1 of form 500.
  1. Does Georgia offer any income tax relief for retirees?
  1. Yes. A retirement exclusion is allowed provided the taxpayer is 62 years of age or older, or the taxpayer is totally and permanently disabled. Retirement income includes items such as: interest, dividends, net rentals, capital gains, royalties, pensions, annuities, and the first $4000.00 of earned income. Earned income is income from a trade or business, wages, salaries, tips, or other compensation. Refer to the instruction booklet for the amount of the exclusion and for additional information
  1. Can both my spouse and I qualify for the retirement exclusion?
  1. Yes, but each must qualify separately.
  1. I am a part-year or nonresident. Am I allowed to take the retirement exclusion?
  1. A. Part-year residents and nonresidents must prorate the retirement exclusion. Please see the Form IT-511 instruction booklet for more information

General Questions

  1. Will Georgia follow IRS Notice number 2004-54 relating to paid preparer signatures?
  1. Yes. Using the IRS requirements, Georgia will permit paid preparers to sign original returns, amended returns, or requests for filing extensions by rubber stamp, mechanical device (such as signature pen), or computer software program. Also refer to Regulation 560-3-2-.27 “Signature Requirements for Tax Returns”
  1. How do I submit an address change?
  1. The change can be submitted via email to ctaxreg@dor.ga.gov or you can call 1-877-GADOR11 (1-877-423-6711) .
  1. How do I obtain a copy of a Georgia income tax return?
  1. Please call the Taxpayer Services Division at (404) 417-6760 for information on how to obtain a copy of your Georgia income tax return.
  1. Does Georgia have a section 529 college savings plan?
  1. A plan was established in the 2001 Legislative Session by House Bill 417 and modified in the 2002 Legislative Session by House Bill 1434. Please click here for more information.
  1. If I itemize my deductions on my Federal Schedule A, can I deduct my auto registration and ad valorem tax?
  1. Only the ad valorem tax portion of the annual auto registration can be deducted on your Federal Schedule A.Please note also that the new Title Advalorem Tax (TAVT) does not appear to be deductible for Federal or Georgia purposes. In order to be deductible as a personal property tax, it must be imposed on an annual basis.
  1. The IRS is allowing preparers to apply for an alternative identification number that is used instead of a social security number. On a Georgia return, can a preparer use this number?
  1. Yes, if the preparer sends us a copy of the IRS application for the number and a copy of the IRS notice that lets them know what the number is. This information should be sent to the following address:

Georgia Taxpayer Services Division
Directors Office
P.O. Box 49748
Atlanta, GA 30559

Please note that the preparer is not required to use this number. They can still use the federal identification number of their firm or their social security number.

  1. I itemized deductions on my federal return. What amount do I use on line 12 of my Georgia return?
  1. Federal itemized deductions have to be reduced by taxes that are paid to states other than Georgia and for investment interest expense which is for the production of income exempt from Georgia income tax.
  1. What is the individual income tax rate?
  1. Georgia has graduated rates with a maximum rate of 6 percent. Refer to the instruction booklet (IT-511) for additional information.
  1. I am claimed as a dependent on my parent or guardian’s income tax return. Does Georgia allow me the personal exemption allowance?
  1. If you are claimed by a parent or guardian on his/her federal return, you should claim one exemption for yourself on your Georgia return.
  1. Should I remove my Georgia income tax refund from my AGI?
  1. No.
  1.  Should I remove an income tax refund from another state from my AGI?
  1. Yes.
  1. How do I treat Roth IRA’s for Georgia purposes?
  1. Roth IRA’s are treated the same for Georgia purposes as they are treated for Federal purposes.
  1. I am a Georgia resident and a shareholder in a S-corporation operating in a state that does not recognize the S-election, therefore the income tax is paid by the corporation. How is this treated on the Georgia individual return?
  1. An adjustment for this income can be made as a “Subtraction from Income” on the ”Other Adjustment” line of schedule 1 of Form 500.
  1. In 1999, Tennessee expanded the type of entities that are subject to the Franchise and Excise tax. In addition to s-corporations, it now includes limited liability companies, limited partnerships, etc. As is mentioned in the previous question, a Georgia resident, who is a shareholder in an s-corporation operating in a state that does not recognize the s-election, can make an adjustment for this income on form 500 if the income tax is paid by the corporation. Does this adjustment also apply to a member of a limited liability company (that is treated as a partnership for Federal Income Tax purposes) or a partner of a limited partnership when the limited liability company or the limited partnership pays the Tennessee Franchise and Excise Tax?
  2. Effective for tax years beginning on or after 1-1-06, an adjustment to income is allowed on form 500 for a member of a limited liability company or a partner of a limited partnership when the limited liability company or the limited partnership pays the Tennessee Franchise and Excise tax.
  1. What are my chances of being audited and what is the time frame for an audit?
  1. Companies are selected on a random basis for audit. The DOR has 3 years after the filing of a return to audit a taxpayer. Tax may be assessed at any time in the case of a false or fraudulent return or a return filed with the intent to evade tax, or the failure to file a return. (See O.C.G.A §48-2-49).

  1. What is required if my tax return is chosen for an audit?
  1. The auditor will ask to see supporting documentation for the income, deductions, exemptions and/or credits reported on the tax return. A taxpayer will receive notification that the return(s) have been selected for audit and generally an audit will be scheduled three to nine months after notification, allowing the taxpayer sufficient time to compile the supporting documentation.

  1. Does Georgia consider the Texas Margin Tax to be an income tax?

  1. No. As such, an individual cannot subtract the amount taxed by Texas.
 Credits
  1. How can I qualify for the low income credit?
  1. You qualify if you are a Georgia resident, your Federal AGI is less than $20,000, and you are not claimed or eligible to be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer on their Federal or Georgia return. Refer to the instruction booklet (IT-511) for additional information.
  1. If my wife and I file separate can we each take a low income credit?
  1. Yes, but the credit is limited to the amount that would have been allowed had a joint return been filed.
  1. Can a part-year resident qualify for the low income credit?
  1. Yes, if they are living in Georgia at the end of the year and they meet the other requirements, a full credit will be allowed.
  1. What is the low emission vehicle tax credit?
  1. This is a credit of the lesser of 10% of the cost of the vehicle or $2,500 for the purchase or lease of a new low-emission vehicle. There is also a credit for the conversion of a standard vehicle to a low-emission vehicle which is equal to 10% of the cost of conversion, not to exceed $2,500 per converted vehicle. Refer to the instruction booklet (IT-511) for additional information.
  1. What is the zero emission vehicle tax credit?
  1. This is a credit of the lesser of 20% of the cost of the vehicle or $5,000 on the purchase or lease of a new zero-emission vehicle. There is also a credit for the conversion of a standard vehicle to a zero-emission vehicle which is equal to 10% of the cost of conversion, not to exceed $2,500 per converted vehicle. Refer to the instruction booklet (IT-511) for additional information.
  1. Does Georgia have an earned income credit?
  1. No.
  1. What are the current criteria for qualifying with the Department of Revenue for the Georgia Low Income Housing Credit?
  1. In order to qualify for the Georgia low income housing credit, the qualified Georgia project must be eligible for the federal housing credit, as defined in Section 42 of the IRC of 1986.
  1. What should be included with the tax return when claiming the Georgia Low Income Housing Credit?
  1. For consistency with IRS Regulations, a partnership K-1(if claiming the credit as a flow through from a partnership), the associated Federal Form 8609 tax credit certificate and a schedule that includes each property for which a credit is claimed with a building-by-building allocation should be submitted with the tax return. See Form IT-HC.

Estimated Tax

  1. What are the requirements for filing and paying estimated tax?
  1. Estimated tax is for taxpayers having income not subject to withholding tax. It should be paid by taxpayers subject to Georgia income tax who expect to have during the year gross income which exceeds the personal exemption, plus credit for dependents, plus estimated deductions, plus $1,000 income not subject to withholding. Estimated tax is not required if, under an agreement between the employer and employee, additional tax is withheld to cover income that normally would require estimated tax to be paid.
  1. What are the due dates for filing estimated tax?
  1. The due dates are: April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15.
  1. How do I file estimated tax payments?
  1. Complete Form 500ES. The Form 500ES and estimated tax instructions are included in the Georgia Instruction Booklet (IT-511). If you need assistance call 1-877-GADOR11 (1-877-423-6711) or 1-888-247-8175. After your first payment, the Department of Revenue will send you a coupon book for future payments. Make your check or money order payable to "Georgia Taxpayer Services Division".

Penalties and Interest

  1. How are interest and penalty calculated on unpaid taxes?
  1. The penalties are as follows:

A. Penalty for late filing of return - 5% of the tax not paid by the original due date for each month or fractional part thereof up to 25%.

B. Penalty for failure to pay tax shown on a return by the due date - 1/2 of 1% of the tax due for each month or fractional part thereof - up to 25%.
Note: The combined total of the penalty for late filing of return and penalty for failure to pay tax shown on a return cannot exceed 25% of the tax not paid by the original due date.

C. A penalty of $1,000 may be assessed against an individual who files a frivolous return. A frivolous return either does not contain information needed to compute the correct tax, or the information shown on the return reflects a substantially incorrect tax filed with the intent to interfere with the Georgia Tax Laws.

D. Penalty for negligent underpayment of the tax - 5% of the underpayment.

E. Penalty for fraudulent underpayment - 50% of the underpayment.

F. Penalty for failure to file estimated tax - 9% per annum for the period of underpayment. Form 500 UET is available upon request for computation of underestimated installments.

G. Interest is computed at 12% per annum on any unpaid tax from the due date until paid. An extension of time for filing does not give relief from late payment penalty or interest.

  1. For Federal income tax purposes, the IRS does not charge a late payment penalty, for the period covered by the extension(s), if at least 90% of the actual tax liability is paid on or before the regular due date of the return through withholding, estimate tax payments or payments submitted at the time the extension is requested. Does Georgia have a similar rule?
  1. Georgia statutes do not provide a specific exception to the late payment penalty in this situation. However, a taxpayer may be considered to have "reasonable cause" for the waiver of the late payment penalty, for the period covered by the extension, if the following requirements are met:
  1. The return under consideration is a return whose required filing date has been extended pursuant to a timely, valid and approved extension(s) under the appropriate laws, rules and regulations of this State;
  2. At least 90% of the actual tax liability is paid on or before the regular due date of the return through withholding, estimate tax payments or payments submitted with the extension request (560 or 560C); and
  3. Any balance due shown on the income tax return is properly remitted with the return when filed.

If this situation applies to you, please call Taxpayer Services at 1-877-GADOR11 (1-877-423-6711) and inquire about the procedure to request this penalty waiver.

Statute of Limitations

  1. What is the statute of limitations for a refund?
  1. For tax years 2002 and before, a taxpayer has three years from the date the tax was paid to claim a refund. For tax years 2003 and after, a claim for refund must be made within three years after the later of the date the tax was paid or the due date of the return, including extensions. Taxes paid by withholding or estimated tax are treated as having been made on the regular due date of the return. Refer to the instruction booklet for additional information.

  1. What is the statute of limitations for assessing tax liabilities?
  1. The limitations are as follows:
    1. The Department of Revenue normally has three years in which to assess additional tax. However, if a claim for refund is filed within the six-month period, before the close of the statute of limitations period, the period of assessment is extended for six months beginning on the day the claim for refund is filed.
    2. If the taxpayer has omitted more than 25% of the gross income from the return, the limitation is six years.
    3. In the case of fraud or if the taxpayer fails to file a return, there is no time limit.
  1. What are the requirements when the Internal Revenue Service changes my return?
  1. The requirements are as follows:
    1. When a change is made, the taxpayer must notify the Department of Revenue within 180 days.
    2. If the taxpayer fails to notify us, we have five years after we receive the report from the Internal Revenue Service to make an assessment.
    3. Interest on the tax is due from the due date of the return through the date the taxes are paid.
    4. If it is determined there has been an overpayment of tax for the year, failure to notify the Commissioner within 180 days will result in the forfeiture of your right to any refund as a result of the change or correction. However, for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 1987 90% may be applied to another year’s liability on the same Internal Revenue Service report.

Return Processing

  1. If I have not filed my return, what is the fastest way to get my refund?
  1. Electronic filing is the fastest way. Click here for additional information.
  1. How long will it take to process my refund?
  1. The earlier you file your tax return, the quicker you will receive your refund. Please allow up to 8 weeks if you file prior to April 1st and 12 weeks if you file after April 1st.
  1. How do I check on the status of my refund?
  1. If your refund has not been received within this specific period and you live in the Metro Atlanta dialing area, you may call 1-877-GADOR11 (1-877-423-6711) . If you live in Georgia, but outside the Atlanta dialing area you may call 1-877-GADOR11 (1-877-423-6711) .
  1. Am I required to send pages 1 through 6 of the Georgia form 500 even if I only use pages 1 through 3?
  1. No.
  1. Do I need to send a copy of my complete Federal return?
  1. No. However, send pages 1 and 2 if your Federal AGI is $40,000 or more, or if your AGI is less than your W-2s. Additionally you must send Federal Schedule A if you itemized your deductions.
  1. Will Georgia accept a copy of my W-2 instead of the original?
  1. Yes.
  1. What should I do if I forgot to sign my return or include my W-2 with the return?
  1. Wait until the department contacts you and notifies you of a problem.
  1. What should I do if I forgot to include a check with my return?
  1. Write your social security number and the tax year on your check and send it to:

Georgia Department of Revenue

Taxpayer Services Division

P.O. Box 105499

Atlanta, GA 30348-5499

  1. What is an offset notice?
  1. This notice informs the taxpayer that a refund has been applied to an outstanding state or federal liability.
  1. What is the procedure for protesting an assessment notice?
  1. Follow the instructions on the notice and DO NOT file an amended return.

Innocent/Injured Spouse Relief

  1. Does Georgia have innocent spouse rules?
  1. The Georgia legislature passed innocent spouse legislation during 1999. Generally a person must have been treated as an innocent spouse under IRS guidelines before innocent spouse status can be considered for Georgia purposes.
  1. Every year my refund is offset to a liability my spouse has with the Department of Human Resources. The IRS instructs me to submit an Injured Spouse form with my return when I file. What should I submit with my Georgia return?
  1. It is not necessary to submit a copy of the Injured Spouse form with your Georgia return. When you receive the offset notice, submit your paperwork to the Department of Human Resources.

Additional Information

  1. If I have additional questions, what should I do?
  1. For general information, taxpayer assistance, or other problems, you may now call Taxpayer Information Programs and Services (TIPS) at 1-877-GADOR11 (1-877-423-6711).