Georgia filing requirements are the income tax guidelines for individuals and businesses who earn income in the state. In most cases, you'll need to file a tax return if you earned income or won the lottery in Georgia. The exception is for amounts lower than either $5,000 or 5 percent of your income, whichever is less.

Filing Requirements for Georgia Residents

Each state has its own specific tax requirements, so it's important to familiarize yourself with those if you're new to living in Georgia. Failure to pay taxes correctly could result in penalties from the office of revenue. The following individuals who live in Georgia must file a tax return:

  • Those who filed a federal tax return
  • Single head of household individuals or married couples filing separate returns with gross income of more than $9,750
  • Married couples filing a joint return with gross income of more than $19,500

To qualify as a Georgia resident for tax purposes, a person must have been in the state for at least 183 days in the last 12-month period, except for military personnel serving overseas. Qualifying days include time spent within or outside the state for study, business trips, vacations, or medical care. This rule does not apply to diplomats and their family members, staff members of international organizations and their family members, and those here only for medical care.

Resident status is established independently for each tax year. Certain individuals may be granted residency beyond the above criteria, such as high net worth individuals and foreign citizens as designated by the state's minister of finance. Income that Georgia residents earn overseas is tax-exempt. Grant funding, state pensions, scholarships, alimony, Olympic winnings, and property received in the course of a divorce are also tax-exempt, as are inherited property, gains on income and securities, and several other income categories.

Nonresident Filing Requirements

Individuals who do not live in Georgia may need to file a tax return in certain situations. However, if you paid tax to another state, you may receive credit for that tax from Georgia. You must file a Georgia state tax return and attach your return from the other state. The credit amount will not exceed the total amount of taxes you owe in Georgia. Credit is not available for income tax paid in other nations.

If you are in the military and serve or permanently live in Georgia, you need to file a Georgia income tax return. This does not apply if your income is tax-exempt, however.

Georgia Tax Rates

Current state income tax rates for single filing individuals are as follows:

  • First $750 of taxable income at 1 percent
  • $751 to $2,250 of taxable income at 2 percent
  • $2,251 to $3,750 of taxable income at 3 percent
  • $3,751 to $5,250 of taxable income at 4 percent
  • $5,251 to $7,000 of taxable income at 5 percent
  • $7,000+ taxed at 6 percent

The rates for the heads of households and joint-filing married couples are:

  • First $1,000 of taxable income at 1 percent
  • $1,001 to $3,000 at 2 percent
  • $3,001 to $5,000 at 3 percent
  • $5,001 to $7,000 at 4 percent
  • $7,000 to $10,000 at 5 percent
  • $10,000 and above taxed at 6 percent

Individuals who are permanently disabled and/or older than age 62 are exempt from state taxation on their first $35,000 in gross income. Retirement income is comprised of interest income, pension and annuity income, net rental property income, royalty income, and capital gains. State taxes are calculated based on the federal adjusted gross income amount. Dividends are taxed at a flat rate of 5 percent.

Georgia Employment Taxes

Employers must submit tax returns reporting salaries paid and taxes withheld for every month by the 15th day of the following month. If the 15th is a weekend, returns will be due the following Monday. If the employee requests, you must also send him or her a monthly statement that includes the name, tax ID number, income for that period, and withholding during that period.

Employees do not need to file a Georgia tax return for taxes withheld, but may do so to request a recalculation or refund.

If you need help with Georgia filing requirements, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.