Georgia Starts Issuing Surplus Tax Refund Checks: All You Need To Know

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Georgia tax filers could get some extra money soon as the state has already started issuing the first round of surplus tax refund checks. This surplus tax refund is because of legislation (House Bill 162) that lawmakers overwhelmingly approved earlier this year, which gives an additional refund of income taxes from 2021 because of the state’s revenue surplus.

Surplus Tax Refund Checks: How Much To Expect

On Monday, Governor Brian P. Kemp and the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) announced that the department had issued the first round of surplus tax refund checks to tax filers.

Under the plan, eligible single filers get a refund of up to $250, heads of household with dependents will get up to $375, while married couples filing jointly could get up to $500. The refund amount will depend on the filers’ tax liability for tax year 2021.

The surplus tax refund checks are only being sent to residents who filed tax returns for both the 2021 and 2022 tax years. It must be noted that filers will not get a surplus refund of more than what they paid in state income taxes in 2021.

Tax filers aren’t required to take any extra action to get surplus tax refund checks. These checks will go automatically to taxpayers who filed 2021 and 2022 returns.

People who don’t owe any state income taxes, such as some retirees, won’t get any refund. However, those claimed as dependents who worked last year, such as students, could get a refund check if they filed taxes separately.

When And How Taxpayers Will Get Refund Checks

Tax filers will get the surplus tax refund checks either through direct deposit or a paper check depending on how they received their other tax returns. It must be noted that the refund amount will go to taxpayers and not tax preparers.

According to the DOR, it will take roughly the same time as last year to issue the refund to taxpayers. Taxpayers who filed their state income tax return by the April 18 deadline will get their refund by the end of June. Those who filed an extension to delay their return won’t get the surplus return until they file their return.

As of Monday, the state Department of Revenue has processed more than 1.1 million refunds totaling about $257 million.

Georgia witnessed a revenue surplus of $6.6 billion in its budget last year. The budget surplus was in addition to the state’s rainy day fund, which is filled to its legal limit of $5.2 billion. It is the second year in a row that state lawmakers have approved Governor Kemp’s request to issue surplus tax refund checks.  

“Georgia is once again in a position to issue surplus tax refunds thanks to years of responsible, conservative budgeting and because we chose to protect both lives and livelihoods during the pandemic,” Governor Kemp said in a press release.