Expert weighs in on Georgia's ability to claim unborn children as dependents on taxes

Pregnant women in Georgia can soon list their fetus as a dependent on their state tax returns.

"The new rules allow for an exemption on the state tax return for unborn children as soon as the heart beat is detected," said Karen Sedatole, an accounting professor at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University.

Sedatole points out that this is for state taxes, not federal and it starts for the 2022 tax year. 


She also said it is a $3000 dollar exemption per child.

"It's not a $3000 reduction in taxes, it's a $3000 reduction in the income that is being taxed. So it's about a few hundred dollars for each unborn child," said Sedatole.

Sedatole said there are a lot of details that still aren't clear. Many question what happens if the woman applies for an exemption and there's a miscarriage.

There are also questions about what type of documentation would a woman have to show if asked to prove she is pregnant.

"Would it be a home pregnancy test; a picture of a home pregnancy test? Might it have to be a test from a physician's office or an ultrasound? I certainly think some people will have privacy concerns," said Sedatole.

Another change, expectant mothers will also be able to claim child support as soon as there is a heartbeat.

"File for child support from the fathers. So, how will that take place? The mechanism is unclear at this point. There are all these questions of how this will play out," said Sedatole.

Sedatole said there's still time for the state to provide additional guidance to help answer some of these questions, but she said one thing is for certain, many people, especially tax preparers, will be watching closely.