Georgia parents can claim unborn children on 2022 state taxes
ATLANTA - This year's tax deadline is rapidly approaching and for the first time ever Georgia parents will be able to claim their unborn children on their state tax return.
"This is extraordinary and this is very different because the child does not have to be born," explained Usha Rackliffe, an associate accounting professor at Emory University's Goizueta Business School.
The tax break is one of the lesser-known portions of Georgia's new heartbeat abortion ban. The ban took effect on July 20, 2022, after court rulings by both the U.S. Supreme Court and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Under the new law, one parent can claim an unborn child on their taxes if the child had a detectable heartbeat between July 20 and Dec. 31, 2022. According to the Georgia Department of Revenue, or DOR, tax filers can claim the deduction even if the pregnancy later resulted in a miscarriage.
"You have to be careful," said Rackliffe. "Because if the state decides to audit your tax return or follow up with questions, you might have to prove that you were, in fact, expecting. So, that is one point and not just expecting, but with a detectable heartbeat."
She emphasized that this is a tax deduction and not a tax credit. A tax deduction means claiming the child will reduce the taxable income. A tax credit reduces the tax bill.
"What does that give you? How much money does that put in your pocket? So, if you said $3,000 times the 5.75%, which is the income tax rate in Georgia that would be around $170. So, that is what your tax bill would be reduced by," Rackliffe explained.
The Georgia DOR said they will not know how many Georgians take advantage of the new tax deduction until tax season concludes.
For more information about the new tax break, visit: https://dor.georgia.gov/life-act-guidance