On April 27, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed into law legislation that makes a number of changes to the state’s tax laws, including sales and use taxes. The act, which becomes effective July 1, 2016, makes the following changes (among others):

  • Taxpayers required to pay certain state taxes electronically will now be required to file refund claims electronically through the Georgia Tax Center.
  • The Department of Revenue will now be required to notify affected local political subdivisions of any “refund claim of local significance,” defined as a sales and use tax refund claim that amounts to ten percent or more of the annual distribution to the locality.
  • The Department’s audit of refund claims of local significance may be subject to review by the state’s Department of Audits and Accounts.
  • Refund claims of local significance pending with the Department for two years will be transferred to the Georgia Tax Tribunal to determine the party at fault for the delay in processing the refund claim.
  • H.B. 960 amends Georgia’s statutory interest rate applicable to all state and local taxes. The rate for both tax assessments and refunds will become a floating rate set at the federal prime rate plus three percentage points (updated annually).
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