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May 2—ATLANTA — Governor Brian P. Kemp and the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) announced today that the first round of surplus tax refund checks have been issued to Georgia filers. These refunds are a result of House Bill 162, passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Kemp earlier this year. This legislation allows for an additional refund of income taxes from 2021, due to the state's revenue surplus.
"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," said Governor Brian Kemp. "While failed policies coming out of Washington, D.C. are pushing us closer to a recession and forcing hardworking Georgians to endure sky-high inflation, we on the state level are doing what we can to return money back where it belongs — in taxpayers' hands."
Just as with last year's House Bill 1302, filers must have paid and filed taxes for the prior two tax years to be eligible for the refund. Single filers and married individuals who file separately could receive a maximum refund of $250. Head of household filers could receive a maximum refund of $375. Married individuals who file joint returns could receive a maximum refund of $500. The refund amount will be based on an individual's tax liability for Tax Year 2021. Additionally, taxpayers claimed as a dependent who had a 2021 tax liability will be eligible for the refund.
"I am proud of the work by the Georgia General Assembly and Governor Kemp to ensure our state's budget is balanced and the rainy day fund is secure," said Lt. Governor Burt Jones. "This type of fiscal conservative approach enables the state to give more money back to our taxpayers. Georgia taxpayers deserve to have their money back in their pockets."
"With Governor Kemp's steadfast leadership, our General Assembly has remained focused on returning every available dollar to taxpayers," said Speaker Jon Burns. "At the same time, we have worked together to pass conservative budgets to meet the needs of a growing, thriving state. This is the sort of responsible stewardship that Georgians expect, and I am proud that we have delivered on this promise."
"Our Department successfully issued the majority of HB 1302 refunds by July of 2022, and we plan to build on that success this year," said State Revenue Commissioner Frank O'Connell. "We thank the Governor and the General Assembly for working with us through the process of passing and implementing these special refunds out of the state's revenue surplus."
Due to the number of taxpayers eligible for this refund, it will take roughly the same amount of time as last year for all eligible refunds to be processed by DOR. The Department anticipates all refunds for those who filed by the April 18 deadline to be issued within the next 8 weeks. HB 162 refunds will not be issued until 2022 tax returns have been processed. Individuals who received a filing extension will not receive their refunds until their returns have been filed.
The Department of Revenue will release Frequently Asked Questions and explainer videos to their website and social media platforms over the coming weeks. For more, individuals should stay tuned to https://dor.georgia.gov/georgia-surplus-tax-refund.