Compared with other states, Georgia’s sales, income and property taxes are all relatively average. It’s one of the more tax-friendly states for older workers and retirees, offering tax breaks on retirement income and property, and not taxing Social Security benefits, estates or inheritances.
The big picture:
Income tax: 1 percent to 5.75 percent Georgia has six state income tax brackets, ranging from 1 percent to 5.75 percent, but most people are taxed at the highest rate. The state is moving to a flat tax rate of 5.49 percent in 2024.
Property tax: .92 percent of a home’s assessed value (average) Real estate taxes vary widely by county and municipality across Georgia, with an average tax rate of .92 percent of a home’s assessed value in 2021, according to the Tax Foundation.
Sales tax: 7.4 percent (average combined state and local) A sales tax rate of 4 percent is levied on the sale of goods and services, in addition to local tax rates of as much as 5 percent. The state’s average combined sales tax is 7.4 percent.
How is income taxed in Georgia?
Georgia’s six state income tax brackets are below. Single filers enter the top bracket when they surpass $7,000 in earnings; for married couples filing jointly, it’s $10,000. The state is moving to a flat 5.49 percent tax rate in 2024, planning to gradually lower it to 4.99 percent by 2029.
Source: Georgia Department of Revenue
Source: Georgia Department of Revenue
Note that not all of your income is taxed at the same rate. For example, if you’re a single filer and earned more than $7,000, the first $750 is taxed at 1 percent, the next $751 to $2,250 is taxed at 2 percent, and so on.
Watch the video below to learn how to identify your 2022 federal income tax brackets.
Are pensions or retirement income taxed in Georgia?
Yes, retirement income such as pensions, annuities and money drawn from IRAs and 401(k)s are taxed as regular income, but there are generous breaks for older adults.
The tax rates run from 1 percent to 5.75 percent, just like regular income.
AARP's Retirement Calculator can help you determine if you are saving enough to retire when — and how — you want.
What about investment income?
Capital gains from investments are treated as ordinary personal income and are taxed at the same rates.
Does Georgia tax Social Security benefits?
No. But you may pay federal taxes on a portion of your Social Security benefits, depending on your income. Up to 50 percent of your benefits will be taxed if you file an individual tax return and make $25,000 to $34,000 in total income — or if you file jointly and as a couple make $32,000 to $44,000 in total income. Up to 85 percent of your benefits will be taxed by the federal government if your total income is more than $34,000 individually or $44,000 as a couple.
AARP's Social Security Calculator can assist you in determining when to claim and how to maximize your Social Security benefits.
How is property taxed in Georgia?
Property tax in Georgia is a local tax that's based on the value of your home, which is assessed by the state. The average rate is .92 percent of the assessed value of your home, but taxes vary widely by county and municipality.
The state’s median property tax bill in 2020 ranged from $413 in Quitman County to $3,185 in Fulton County, according to the Tax Foundation. The Georgia Department of Revenue has more information about how your property is assessed and how to file an appeal. You can also find information about property taxes in your county.
What about sales and other taxes?
- Sales tax: There’s a 4 percent tax on many, but not all consumer goods and services. Most counties add on a local tax that can raise combined sales taxes as high as 9 percent. Georgia’s combined state and average local tax rate is 7.4 percent, the 19th highest in the country, according to the Tax Foundation. Find sales tax rate charts by county on the Georgia Department of Revenue’s website.
- Groceries, prescription drugs and motor vehicles are exempt from sales tax.
- Gas tax: Georgia consumers pay 31.2 cents a gallon in state excise tax on gasoline (35 cents for diesel), in addition to a prepaid tax that is set at the local level. Both are paid by the wholesaler but included in the price at the pump.
- Vehicle tax: Vehicles titled in Georgia and purchased on or after March 1, 2013, are subject to a one-time Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT), in place of sales tax. The tax is 6.6 percent of the vehicle’s fair market value, with some exceptions. Vehicles purchased before March 1, 2013, are subject to an annual Ad Valorem Tax. Find out the estimated tax on your vehicle by using the tax estimator tool on the Georgia Drives website.
- Personal property tax: Georgia localities collect taxes on personal property including boats, aircraft and some mobile homes, but only if the combined value is more than $7,500. Cars purchased after March 1, 2013, are exempt. Contact your county board of tax assessors for more information.
- Alcohol taxes: Georgia taxes beer at 4.5 cents per 12-ounce bottle or can, plus a uniform local beer tax of 5 cents per can. Wine is taxed 11 to 67 cents per liter, and liquor is taxed 50 cents to $1.40 per liter, depending on the percentage of alcohol and where the products are manufactured.
On liquor, there may also be a local tax of up to 22 cents per liter, sometimes called the “by the drink” tax. Excise taxes are paid by the wholesaler but may be included in the retail price. Alcohol is also subject to sales tax.
- Lottery: Georgia lottery winnings are subject to state and federal income tax. Georgia automatically withholds state income taxes of 5.75 percent and federal income taxes of 24 percent from lottery prizes of more than $5,000.
Will I or my heirs have to pay inheritance or estate tax?
No. Georgia does not have an estate or inheritance tax, so heirs don’t pay taxes on money or property they inherit.
Are there any tax breaks for older Georgia residents?
Yes. Georgia offers a tax exclusion on up to $35,000 of retirement income earned by people 62 to 64, or up to $65,000 earned by those 65 and older. (If you’re married, you and your spouse both may qualify, but each must qualify separately. If you’re a part-year resident, your retirement exclusion will be prorated.) There’s an additional $1,300 standard deduction for those who turn 65 before the end of the tax year.
Retirement income includes interest, dividends, net rentals, capital gains, royalties, pensions, annuities and the first $4,000 of earned income ($5,000 starting in 2024). Railroad retirement and Social Security are exempt from Georgia state income tax.
Homeowners 62 and older may qualify for additional homestead exemptions (above the standard $2,000) for taxes on their primary residence. Find more information about eligibility and how to apply on the Georgia Department of Revenue’s website.
Are military benefits taxed in Georgia?
Yes, but a 2022 law introduced some exemptions. Veterans 62 and younger are now exempt from paying taxes on up to $17,500 of their military retired pay. Those with at least $17,500 of earned income are eligible for up to $35,000 in exemptions. Veterans older than 62 qualify for the same tax exemptions as all older Georgia taxpayers.
Active-duty pay is taxed like normal income if you’re a legal resident of Georgia. If you’re in the National Guard or reserves and stationed in a combat zone, your income is exempt from state tax. If you’re a nonresident stationed in Georgia, you must pay taxes on any nonmilitary income you earn while in the state.
What is the deadline for filing Georgia taxes in 2023?
The deadline to file a Georgia state tax return is April 18, 2023, which is also the deadline for federal tax returns. For help estimating your annual income taxes, use AARP's Tax Calculator.
Details about filing for a six-month extension (until Oct. 16, 2023) are available at Georgia.gov. You must file on or before the April 18, 2023, deadline. Note that any taxes owed must be paid by the original deadline.
Register with the Georgia Tax Center to make payments, check the status of your refund and more online.
Also of Interest:
- States with Highest and Lowest Sales Tax Rates
- How to Get Free Help With Your Taxes
- Your 2023 Tax Brackets vs. 2022 Tax Brackets
Natalie Missakian is a contributing writer who covers federal and state policy. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Haven Register and daily newspapers in Ohio. Her work has also appeared in the AARP Bulletin and the Hartford Business Journal.