Why is your special Georgia tax refund less than you expected? We explain

ATLANTA — Some Georgians expecting to get a couple hundred extra bucks in their bank accounts due to the state revenue surplus are disappointed to find they received far less than they expected.

Gov. Kemp announced in March that most Georgians would receive up to $250 for single filers, $375 for heads of household or $500 for married couples filing jointly.

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The special refunds started rolling out last week, but some people are seeing far less than they’d hoped for in their bank accounts, despite the fact that they don’t owe any back taxes.

So what gives?

The Georgia Department of Revenue says that it all depends on how much you filed on your 2020 return and if you filed your 2021 return on time:

“A Single taxpayer filed a 2020 income tax return and owed $300. The taxpayer filed a timely 2021 return and would be eligible to receive a refund of 2020 taxes in the amount of $250. Although the taxpayer paid $300 in 2020 taxes, H.B. 1302 only allows a maximum refund of $250 for Single filers.”


In order to see how much you might get, you can look at your 2020 income return on state tax form 500. The amount you owed will be on line 16. If you filed using Form 500EZ, the amount will be based on what you owed on line 4. Make sure you look at your state returns rather than your federal returns.

If you owed less than the maximum amounts listed above, you will only receive a refund for the amount of your actual tax liability.

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Your tax liability is the amount you owe before credit for any withholding, tax credits or other payments, so if you got a state refund, you could still qualify.