Life Act Guidance

In light of the June 24, 2022, U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and the July 20, 2022, 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Sistersong v. Kemp, the Department will recognize any unborn child with a detectable human heartbeat, as defined in O.C.G.A. § 1-2-1, as eligible for the Georgia individual income tax dependent exemption. The 11th Circuit’s ruling made HB 481’s amendment to O.C.G.A § 48-7-26(a), adding an unborn child with a detectable heartbeat to the definition of dependent, effective as of the date of the court’s ruling, which was July 20, 2022. Read the Department's press release regarding the LIFE Act from August 1, 2022.

  • In the event of miscarriage or stillbirth, is claiming a deceased dependent on your tax return allowed?


  • How will you file for an exemption for a dependent without a social security number or name for the baby?

    A Social Security Number is not required. The only requirement is an unborn child with a heartbeat who has met six weeks gestation.

  • Can an unmarried couple, filing separately, each claim the unborn child as a dependent?

    The deduction provided by HB 481 is like other dependent deductions. Only one parent can claim the unborn child for the purposes of this deduction.

  • What are the implications of this law for parents having a pregnancy via surrogate or IVF/embryo freezing? Would the surrogate claim the baby as a dependent? Can parents claim all the viable eggs/embryos as dependents?

    There can only be one dependent exemption claimed in a single tax year per dependent child.  For Tax Year 2022 returns, the exemption could be claimed by a surrogate mother whose unborn child reached six weeks gestation on or after July 20, 2022, as long as the child was not born until 2023.  If the child was born in 2022, the dependent exemption for Tax Year 2022 could only be claimed by the person eligible to claim the child as a dependent for federal purposes for Tax Year 2022.

  • What does this mean for IVF/egg freezing/embryo freezing?

    For IVF, the embryo must be transplanted into the mother. The child must reach six weeks gestation. Egg freezing and embryo freezing do not qualify.

  • Can a woman pregnant with more than one child claim each child?


  • How many taxpayers can take advantage of this exemption?

    One taxpayer. If a couple is filing jointly, the exemption is taken on the joint return.

  • Is documentation required to prove a pregnancy or the loss of a pregnancy?

    Taxpayers do not need to attach documents to their tax returns to claim the tax deduction provided by HB 481. Provision of medical documentation is only necessary if audited by the Department. This deduction would not trigger an audit on its own. In accordance with the advice of medical professionals and physicians, the Department recommends that people maintain accurate and appropriate medical records for the health and well-being of themselves and their families.


DOR's Media Contact Austin Gibbons

Director of External Affairs and Communications