Who is eligible for the HB 162 tax refund?
Any Georgian who was a full-year resident in 2021 and 2022 and who also filed a Georgia individual income tax return for 2021 and 2022 is eligible for the refund. Part-year and nonresident filers who file Georgia individual tax returns for both years (2021 and 2022) will be eligible for a proportional refund equal to the maximum amounts based on filing status multiplied by the share of their income taxable in Georgia.
When will I receive this refund?
House Bill 162 was signed into law by Governor Kemp on March 14, 2023, when some taxpayers had already filed their 2022 returns. The Department began issuing refunds in late April 2023 to individuals who filed their taxes prior to the April 18, 2023, deadline. Please note that individuals who received a lawful extension for filing their taxes will not receive a refund until they have filed their taxes.
What is the HB 162 Tax Refund?
HB 162 allows Georgia taxpayers to receive a refund of some or all of their Tax Year 2021 income taxes due. In 2023, the Georgia General Assembly passed and Governor Kemp signed legislation allowing for an additional refund of income taxes from tax year 2021 because the State of Georgia experienced a revenue surplus. The Governor and General Assembly took similar action in 2022 by providing a refund of Tax Year 2020 taxes to eligible Georgia filers.
What do I need to do to qualify?
You must file both your 2021 return and your 2022 return by the deadline for filing the 2022 return (including any extension granted by the Department of Revenue). Note: if an extension was filed for tax year 2022, you have until October 16, 2023, to file your 2022 return.
Will I receive my refund via paper check or via direct deposit?
You will receive your refund based on the refund instructions provided on your tax form. For HB 1302, over 75% of refunds were issued via direct deposit.
What is the maximum I can receive for this refund?
It depends on your Tax Year 2021 filing status. Single filers and married individuals who file separately receive a maximum refund of $250. Head of Household filers receive a maximum refund of $375. Married individuals who file joint returns receive a maximum refund of $500.
Example: A Single taxpayer filed a 2021 income tax return and owed $300. The taxpayer filed a timely 2022 return and would be eligible to receive a refund of 2021 taxes in the amount of $250. Although the taxpayer paid $300 in 2021 taxes, HB 162 only allowed a maximum refund of $250 for Single filers.
What are some common reasons I might not have received an HB 162 refund?
- You did not file both a 2021 and 2022 Georgia income tax return prior to the deadline for the 2022 return in calendar year 2023.
- You did not file by the due date or timely request an extension of October 16th, 2023.
- You filed using an ITIN on your 2021 or 2022 return.
- Your tax amount due for tax year 2021 was $0.
- You are a part-year or nonresident taxpayer and your prorated time resulted in a refund amount of less than $1.00.
- You were claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer’s income tax return for tax year 2021 and did not earn income for that year.
How do I determine what I might receive from this refund?
Please refer to your 2021 income tax return. If you filed a Form 500, the amount was based on your tax liability listed on line 16. If you filed using Form 500EZ, the amount was based on your tax liability listed on line 4. Tax liability is the amount of tax owed on the return before credit for any withholding, tax credits, or other tax payments. Remember, you will not receive more than the maximums listed above.
I did not receive my full refund. Why?
It depends. Your refund may have been offset due to debts owed to the State of Georgia, such as delinquent taxes or delinquent child support. You should receive notification from the agency that offset your debt. You also might not have received the full refund if your 2021 tax liability was less than $250, $375, or $500.
I am retired and did not receive a refund. Why?
Georgia law provides an income tax exclusion for retirees over 62. If you did not owe taxes to Georgia in Tax Year 2021 due to this exclusion, you would not have received a refund. Taxes paid to the federal government (IRS) do not meet eligibility requirements.
The exclusion provided by law is up to $35,000 in retirement income for those ages 62 to 64 and up to $65,000 in retirement income for Georgians 65 and over.
I did not receive a gas tax refund. Why?
The direct deposit transaction for Georgia filers often shows up as "GASTTAXRFD." This has led to confusion on the existence of a gas tax refund. There is not a refund of gas taxes for Georgia drivers. The direct deposit transaction stands for "Georgia (GA) State (ST) Tax (TAX) Refund (RFD)."
If my tax liability was less than these amounts in 2021, do I still get the maximum amount?
No, if you owed less than the maximum amounts listed above, you will only receive a refund for the amount of your actual tax liability.
Example: A Single taxpayer filed a 2021 income tax return with a tax liability of $200. The taxpayer filed a timely 2022 return and is eligible to receive a refund of 2021 taxes in the amount of $200. Although the maximum allowable refund is $250 for taxpayers who file Single, the taxpayer cannot receive a refund of more than the actual tax liability of $200.
Do you owe federal taxes on the HB 162 surplus tax refund?
The IRS made the following determination about the HB 1302 surplus tax refund from Tax Year 2020. The IRS has not released similar guidance for Tax Year 2021 refunds.
- Taxpayers who took the standard deduction on their federal tax forms will not have their refunds subject to federal taxation.
- Taxpayers who took the itemized deduction but did not receive a tax benefit will not have their refunds subject to federal taxation.
- Taxpayers who took the state and local tax deduction (SALT) on their federal return and received more than the refund they would have otherwise received with the standard deduction will have their refunds subject to federal taxation. If you itemized your 2022 deductions, include the special refund in your gross income to the extent you received a federal tax benefit from the 2022 deduction. The federal tax benefit received, if any, depends on your specific tax situation. Use the federal Instructions for Schedule 1 or consult your tax advisor to determine the amount you should include in your federal taxable income.
Read the IRS Statement on federal taxability.
Do you owe state taxes on your HB 162 surplus tax refund?
No. You will not pay any Georgia tax on the special refund because HB 162 prohibits it. If state income tax refunds, including the special refund, are included in your federal taxable income, subtract them on the line 12 adjustment on the Schedule 1 of Form 500.
What if I had a different filing status for tax year 2022 than I did for 2021?
The refund is based on the taxpayer’s 2021 tax return filing status. For example, if your filing status was Single in 2021 and Head of Household in 2022, you would receive a maximum refund of $250, not the maximum refund of $375 that is allowed for Head of Household filers.
My address has changed since I filed my 2022 tax return. What should I do?
If your address has changed since you filed your 2022 return, you may update your address through the Georgia Tax Center (https://gtc.dor.ga.gov/) or by calling the Department at 1-877-423-6711. This will ensure that mailed checks arrive at your current address.
Do part-year residents and taxable nonresidents qualify?
Yes, but the refunds will be prorated in the same manner as tax liabilities are prorated for such taxpayers. For such taxpayers, the proration ratio can be found on the 2021 Georgia Form 500, Schedule 3, Line 9.
I filed my return using an ITIN number rather than a Social Security Number. Do I qualify to receive this refund?
Maybe. Taxpayers who utilized an ITIN number on their 2021 will receive a letter from the Department requesting additional information to determine if they qualified. This letter will be sent to taxpayers filing as Single, Married Filing Separately, Heads of Household, and Married Filing Joint if the return is filed under an ITIN, including those filing as Married Filing Joint where only one individual of the joint return uses an ITIN number.
Are there any differences between the HB 1302 and HB 162 refunds?
The main differences are listed below.
- Individuals can utilize the Department’s forthcoming surplus refund tool to track both refunds.
- Individuals must file for Tax Year 2021 and Tax Year 2022 to receive the HB 162 refund. HB 1302 refunds went to those who filed for Tax Year 2020 and Tax Year 2021.
- Dependents with a tax liability can receive an HB 162 refund. They were ineligible for the HB 1302 refund.
- Example: A college student claimed on their parents’ return as a dependent, who also files a return as a single filer for their income, will receive the lesser of $250 or their Tax Year 2021 liability.
I already filed my 2022 return and received my 2022 regular refund. What do I need to do to claim the HB 162 Surplus Refund?
Nothing. The Department of Revenue will automatically credit your account and send the refund to your designated bank account or mail the check if you did not receive your most recent refund by direct deposit to a designated bank account.