Filing Your 2021 State Income Taxes in Georgia

Filing Your 2021 State Income Taxes in Georgia
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If you are preparing to file an income tax return in Georgia, you'll want to know what forms you need, where and how to file them and how much you can expect to be taxed. Georgia has a progressive income tax structure, depending on your age, taxable income and filing status.

Who Must File Georgia Income Taxes?

Full-year residents of Georgia, even if absent from Georgia temporarily, are taxed on all income, regardless of where it is derived, unless it is tax-exempt. In Georgia, you must file a state tax return if any of three criteria apply:

  • You are required to file a federal return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • You have income that is taxable by the State of Georgia, even if the IRS does not tax it
  • Your income in the tax year exceeds the standard deduction and personal exemption amounts defined by the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR)

Nonresidents and part-year residents who work in Georgia or earn any income from Georgia sources and are required to file a federal tax return must file an income tax return in Georgia. With proper documentation, a credit is available for taxes paid to a state other than Georgia.

Legal residents of other states do not have to file in Georgia if their only income from Georgia came from working as an employee with wages earned totaling ​less than $5,000​ or ​less than five percent​ of the individual’s total income from that employer for the tax year.

There are also rules for nonresidents who receive income from stock options earned in Georgia. See Regulation 560-7-4-.05 if that situation might apply to you.

For more information on filing requirements depending on residency, military status or other considerations, see the complete 2021 filing instructions from the Georgia DOR.

What Are the Forms to Use?

Regardless of residency status, all taxpayers in Georgia use the same personal income tax return, Form 500. Part-year residents and nonresidents are directed to skip lines on the form and fill in an additional document, Schedule 3 of Form 500. Most full-year residents under age 65 who earn less than ​$100,000​ may use Form 500-EZ instead of Form 500.

Those who need to file an amended return will use Form 500X.

Form 500 contains any necessary schedules for credits or adjustments to income. The form and instructions are in the Georgia Department of Revenue's 2021 IT-511 Individual Income Tax Booklet.

Other individual forms are available on the Georgia Department of Revenue website.

What Is the Tax Rate in Georgia?

Georgia state tax ranges from ​1 percent​ to ​5.75 percent​, depending on filing status and taxable income:

  • 1 percent​ for singles in the $1 and $750 range or those filing joint/head of household in the $1 to $1,000 range
  • 2 percent​ for singles in the $751 to $2,250 range or those filing joint/head of household in the $1,001 to $3,000 range
  • 3 percent​ for singles in the $2,251 to $3,750 range or those filing joint/head of household in the $3,001 to $5,000 range
  • 4 percent​ for singles in the $3,751 to $5,250 range or those filing joint/head of household in the $5,001 to $7,000 range
  • 5 percent​ for singles in the $5,251 to $7,000 range or those filing joint/head of household in the $7,001 to $10,000 range
  • 5.75 percent​ for singles over $7,000 or for those filing joint/head of household over $10,000

The thresholds for individuals married but filing separately are lower than for filing single. The full rate schedule and tax tables are on pages 49 and 53 of the tax booklet.

The Georgia DOR recommends filing your federal return before beginning the Georgia state return because the Georgia individual income tax is based on your federal adjusted gross income (AGI).

What Are the Filing Deadline and Extension Process?

Georgia state tax returns must be postmarked or received by ​Monday, April 18, 2022.​ Six-month automatic extension requests are due that same day. With an extension, your completed Georgia tax return will then be due by ​October 17, 2022.

File for an extension with Form IT-303 and submit to the Georgia Department of Revenue, Processing Center, P.O. Box 740320, Atlanta, GA 30374-0320.

If you have already applied to the IRS for a federal extension to file using federal Form 4868, you do not need to file a form with Georgia. When you file your Georgia income tax return, attach a copy of your federal form 4868 or the IRS confirmation letter.

An extension to file does not grant you an extended time to pay. When submitting an extension to file, if you have taxes due, you must submit payment by ​April 18, 2022​, using Form IT-560.

What Are the Penalties for Late Filing and Underpayment of Taxes?

The penalty for late filing in Georgia is ​5 percent​ of the tax owed for each month the return is late, up to ​25 percent​ of the total tax due.

If your payment is late, interest is calculated at an annual rate equal to the Federal Reserve ​prime rate plus 3 percent​. In addition, a penalty of ​0.5 percent​ of the unpaid taxes will be charged, up to ​25 percent​ of the total tax due. Underpayment of tax is subject to ​5 percent​ tax if negligent and ​50 percent​ tax if fraudulent.

A full list of potential penalties for non-compliance is available on the Georgia DOR website. You may request a penalty waiver with Form TSD-3.

Where Do I Mail/E-file My Georgia Return?

E-filers can submit a return through any of Georgia’s approved vendors of tax preparation software. Some taxpayers may qualify to file for free of charge.

You can also print out the forms and mail them to the Georgia Dept. of Revenue, PO Box 740380, Atlanta, GA 30374-0380 if no payment is due. It is recommended that you complete the fillable form online and print it out. Forms completed electronically are processed faster than handwritten forms.

How Do I Pay Taxes Due?

If you have a tax payment due and are mailing a check with your completed return, you may mail a check, along with payment voucher 525-TV, to the Georgia Dept. of Revenue, PO Box 740399, Atlanta, GA 30374-0399. You may also file a paper return and pay electronically with a funds transfer through the Georgia Tax Center (GTC), or you can make a credit card payment through a third-party vendor.

You may also request a payment plan through the GTC.

If you file online, you may pay taxes due through the tax preparation software using a credit or debit card or electronic transfer. You can also make your payment through the GTC or the third-party vendor.

Where Can I Check My Georgia Refund Status?

Your Georgia income tax refund status is available through the GTC system's Where's My Refund tool. You will need to enter your Social Security number and the exact amount of your expected tax refund.

If you sign up for a Georgia Tax Center (GTC) login, you can choose to receive notifications about your refund status.

Allow ​90 business days​ for returns to be processed. If you are a first-time filer in Georgia or haven’t filed in at least ​five years​, your return will be sent as a paper check.

What About Georgia Taxes if You're Self-employed?

If you are self-employed in Georgia, you may need to pay estimated state taxes as you earn income during the tax year. There is a schedule for calculating estimated payments in the 2021 Tax Booklet.

What About Georgia Taxes if You're a Business?

The corporate tax rate in Georgia is a flat ​5.75 percent​ of a corporation’s Georgia taxable net income. Your business may also have to pay a net worth tax if its net worth is over ​$100,000​. Tax requirements for small businesses depend on several variables. Visit the business taxes section of Georgia.gov for more information.

Rates and dates in this article are correct as of publication. But check for any changes with the Georgia Department of Revenue before you file.