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Tax Exemptions

Disabled Veterans Homestead Tax Exemptions

Disabled veterans may be entitled to a homestead tax exemption if they were discharged from the armed forces of the United States under honorable conditions and otherwise qualify. There are a variety of homestead tax exemptions available for qualified disabled veterans who are Georgia residents and who own their homes and use them as their primary residence. These exemptions extend to surviving spouses or minor children as long as they remain in the homestead or a subsequent homestead in the same county.  
 
As of April 3, 2012, the amount of the disabled veterans homestead tax exemption is $63,780. The specific amount may vary from year to year. The amount is computed based upon the greater of $32,500 or the maximum amount allowable under section 2102 of Title 38 of the United States Code. The amount allowable under federal law is $60,000 plus an index factor, which currently adjusts the total to $63,780.  
[O.C.G.A. § 48-5-48(b)]
 
For those who were not aware of the amount of the authorized exemption, it is possible to file a claim for a refund of taxes that have been overpaid. Any claim for a refund should be filed within three years after the date of payment. 
[O.C.G.A. § 48-5-380 (2012)]
 
The disabled veterans homestead tax exemptions include the following:  
 
A. 100% Service-Connected Disability – Wartime veterans who are receiving or entitled to receive benefits for a 100% permanent and total service-connected disability adjudicated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), may be entitled to a homestead exemption. Qualified veterans will need to obtain a verification letter from either the VA or Georgia Department of Veterans Service.  Applicants may take proof of their qualifying service, residency, and VA disability rating with them to a GDVS Veterans Field Service Office. A VA certification letter is required.   
[O.C.G.A. § 48-5-48(a) (1)]
 
B. Blindness and/or Loss of Use of Lower Extremities – Wartime or armed conflict veterans may be entitled to a homestead exemption if they are disabled due to the loss or loss of use of both lower extremities such as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair; due to blindness in both eyes, having only light perception, together with the loss or loss of use of one lower extremity;  or due to the loss or loss of use of one lower extremity together with residuals of organic disease or injury which so affect the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude locomotion without resort to a wheelchair. A VA rating is not required for qualification. Qualified veterans may obtain a verification letter from either the VA or Georgia Department of Veterans Service.
 
Applicants may take proof of their qualifying service, residency, and VA disability rating or letter from an authorized physician with them to a GDVS Veterans Field Service Office.  A Veterans Field Service Officer will issue a verification letter if they are eligible.  
[O.C.G.A. § 48-5-48(a) (2)]
 
C. Loss of Use of Lower Extremity & Upper Extremity – Wartime or armed conflict veterans may be entitled to a homestead exemption if they are a disabled due to the loss or loss of use of one lower extremity together with the loss or loss of use of one upper extremity which so affects the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude locomotion without the aid or braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair. Qualified veterans will need to obtain a letter from an authorized physician that verifies the qualifying aspects of their disabilities. A VA rating is not required for qualification. Applicants should take proof of their qualifying service, residency, and VA disability rating or letter from an authorized physician to their county’s tax commissioner’s office. For more information regarding this exemption, applicants should call their county tax commissioner’s office or the Georgia Department of Revenue.    
[O.C.G.A. § 48-5-48(a) (4)]
 
D. Georgia Constitutional Clause – Veterans may also be entitled to a homestead exemption if they are not entitled to benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs but qualify under Article VII, Section I, Paragraph IV of the Constitution of Georgia of 1976. 
[O.C.G.A. § 48-5-48(a) (3)]
 
E. Housing under Section 2101, Title 38 – Veterans becoming eligible for assistance in acquiring housing under Section 2101 of Title 38 of the United States Code may be entitled to a homestead exemption. Qualified veterans will need to obtain a verification letter from either the VA or Georgia Department of Veterans Service.  Applicants may take proof of their qualifying service, residency, and housing assistance verification to a GDVS Veterans Field Service Office.  A VA certification letter is required.   
[O.C.G.A. § 48-5-48(a) (5)]
 

Georgia Residents Homestead Tax Exemptions

Georgia residents may be entitled to a homestead tax exemption whether they are veterans or not. There are a variety of homestead tax exemptions available for all qualifying Georgia residents who own their homes and used them as their primary residence.  
 
These homestead tax exemptions include the following:  
 
A. Standard Homestead Exemption – A $2,000 deduction from the 40% assessed value of the homestead for all qualifying home owners. 
[O.C.G.A. § 48-5-44]
 
B. 10 Acre Exemption for 65 and Older –  An exemption from all state ad valorem taxes on the home and up to 10 acres of land surrounding the home for those 65 years old or older. 
[O.C.G.A. § 48-5-48-3]
 
C. $4,000 Exemption for 65 and Older – A $4,000 exemption from all state and county ad valorem taxes on the home if the income of the owner and spouse does not exceed $10,000 for the prior year. 
[O.C.G.A. § 48-5-47]
 
D. Educational Purposes Exemption for 62 and Older – An exemption not to exceed $10,000 from all state and county ad valorem taxes on the home if the income of the owner and spouse does not exceed $10,000 for the prior year. 
[O.C.G.A. § 48-5-52] 
 
E. Floating Inflation Proof Exemption for 62 and Older – A floating inflation-proof state and county homestead exemption, except for taxes to pay interest on and to retire bonded indebtedness, based on natural increases in the homestead’s value. If the home has increased by more than $10,000, the owner may benefit from this exemption. The income of the owner and spouse or any other person living there cannot exceed $30,000.  
[O.C.G.A. § 48-5-47-1]
 
For more information regarding these exemptions, call the Georgia Department of Revenue at 404-724-7000 or visit etax.dor.ga.gov/PTD/adm/taxguide/exempt/homestead.aspx.  
 

Other State Tax Exemptions

Abatement of State Income Taxes
Georgia law provides that service personnel who die as a result of wounds, disease, or injury incurred while serving in a combat zone as a member of the armed forces of the United States, are exempt from all Georgia income taxes for the taxable year of death, nor shall such taxes apply for any prior taxable year ending on or after the first day served in the combat zone.  
[O.C.G.A. § 48-7-37]
 
Ad Valorem Tax on Vehicles
Exempt are veterans who are verified by the VA to be 100 percent totally and permanently service-connected disabled and veterans who are receiving or who are entitled to receive statutory awards from VA for: (1) loss or permanent loss of use of one or both feet; (2) loss or permanent loss of use of one or both hands; (3) loss of sight in one or both eyes; or (4) permanent impairment of vision of both eyes to a prescribed degree. Exemption is granted on the vehicle the veteran owns and upon which the free Disabled Veteran (DV) Motor Vehicle license plate is attached.  
[O.C.G.A. § 40-2-69]
 
Business Certificate of Exemption  
Disabled veterans are exempt from payment of occupational taxes, administration fees, and regulatory fees imposed by local governments for peddling, conducting a business, or practicing a profession or semi profession upon meeting the following eligibility requirements: (1) be discharged under honorable conditions from the armed forces of the United States; (2) have 10 percent disability for certain wartime veterans or a 25 percent service-connected disability for peace time-only veterans; and (3) have an income that is not liable for state income taxes.  
[O.C.G.A. § 43-12-1 – § 43-12-4]
 
Sales Tax on Vehicles
A disabled veteran who receives a VA grant for the purchase and special adapting of a vehicle is exempt from paying the state sales tax on the vehicle (only on the original grant).   
[O.C.G.A. § 48-8-3]
 
State Income Tax  
The period of time military personnel served on active duty as members of the armed forces of the United States in combat activities during a period designated by the President plus the next 180 days thereafter are disregarded in determining whether any filing requirement has been performed within the time limit prescribed for filing. For individuals who are hospitalized as a result of an injury or confined as a prisoner-of-war, the period of service in the combat zone, plus the period of confinement and the next 180 days thereafter shall be disregarded in determining whether any filing requirement has been performed within the time limit.  
[O.C.G.A. § 40-7-36]