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Georgia begins issuing second year of income tax refunds

Money
Posted at 6:01 PM, May 01, 2023

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced Monday that the first of a projected $1 billion of state income tax refunds have been issued.

The plan, approved overwhelmingly by the General Assembly under House Bill 162, gives a refund of up to $250 to single filers, up to $375 to single adults who head a household with dependents and up to $500 to married couples filing jointly.

It's the second year in a row that lawmakers have approved Kemp's request to issue income tax refunds, a move made possible because Georgia ended its last budget year with $6.6 billion in surplus revenue in the bank. That’s in addition to the state’s rainy day fund, filled to its legal limit of $5.2 billion.

Both the income tax rebate and a separate property tax giveback were key Kemp pledges in his successful reelection campaign last year.

The refund is only being paid to people who filed tax returns for both the 2021 and 2022 tax years, and no one can get back more than they paid in state income taxes in 2021. Refunds are automatic for anyone who files a 2021 and 2022 return, with no further action required.

People who don’t owe state income taxes, including many retirees, won’t get any money. However, people claimed as dependents who worked last year, often students, can get refunds if they file taxes separately.

The Republican governor says all taxpayers who filed a state income tax return by the regular April 18 deadline should get refunds by the end of June. People who filed an extension to delay their return won't get a refund until their return is filed.

Lawmakers approved a separate plan this year for a $950 million property tax rebate.