Recording the Security Instrument
Every holder (lender) of a long-term note secured by real estate must record the security instrument in the county in which the real estate is located within 90 days from the date of the instrument executed to secure the note.
Before recording the security instrument with the clerk of the superior court, the security instrument must be presented to the collecting officer of the county in which the real estate is located.
The collecting officer will collect the intangible recording tax due from the holder of the security instrument. The collecting officer will then attach a certificate to the security instrument indicating that the tax has been paid.
The tax for recording the note is at the rate of $1.50 for each $500.00 or fractional part of the face amount of the note. The maximum amount of recording tax on any single note is $25,000. Failure to pay the tax will incur a 50 percent penalty of the tax amount and 1 percent interest per month from the time the tax was due.
The holder of the note can pass the amount of tax on to the borrower, but it can not be considered a finance charge in connection with the loan transaction.
The Georgia intangible recording tax is not the same as the Georgia personal property tax. Inquiries concerning specific exemptions should be addressed to the local tax officials of the county in which the property securing the note is located.
Who Collects the Intangible Recording Tax?
The collecting officer for intangible recording tax is the Clerk of the Superior Court, although in some counties having a population of 50,000 or less the collecting officer may be the tax collector or the tax commissioner.
The following is a list of the counties where the tax collector or the tax commissioner collects the recording intangible tax (last updated July 2015):
A New Note or Modification of a Pre-existing Note
When the new note is taxable and has previously been recorded, there is no further need for recordation. The holder of the note may elect to execute a sworn affidavit in the form required by the Revenue Commissioner which gives the information required by O.C.G.A. 48-6-66. The sworn affidavit is presented to the collecting officer of the county in which the real estate is located, and the tax due will be collected from the holder of the note.
Procedure for Recording Real Property Located in More Than One County
When any security instrument that is required to be recorded creates a lien upon real property located in more than one county, the tax shall be prorated among all applicable counties with the proportionate amount of the total tax due paid to the collecting officer of each county. The collecting officer in each county then attaches a certificate to the security instrument to indicate that the tax has been paid.
Nonresident Holder of Security Instrument on Real Property Located in Georgia and Outside of Georgia
If the real property is located in and outside of this State, and the holder of the note is a nonresident, the portion of the note that is taxable in Georgia will be based upon the value of the property located in Georgia in proportion to the total value of the property in and outside the State.
Resident Holder of Security Instrument on Real Property Located Outside of Georgia
Every resident in Georgia--including domestic corporations and foreign corporations with their principal place of business in Georgia--is required to file at intervals specified by regulation a memorandum of the security instrument securing a long-term note on real property located outside of this State. The memorandum is filed on forms that are required by the Revenue Commissioner at the same time the tax is collected. The revenues collected are distributed to the state, counties, and municipalities as if the real property were located in the county of the domicile of the taxpayer; or if a corporation, the county of the principal place of business.
For questions about intangible recording tax you should contact the collecting officer in the county in which the property securing the note is located. See the section on this page “Who Collects the Intangible Recording Tax?”.