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Filing Disputes on Georgia Taxes

May 16, 2017

With tax season finally coming to an end, now is the time we wait for our returns or figure out how we’re going to pay back what we owe. But, what if the amount claimed that you owe is incorrect? Or, what if you forgot to include an income stream before submitting your taxes?

The Georgia Tax Tribunal was created in 2013 in order to foster consistency and transparency when it comes to state taxes. The Tax Tribunal is an unbiased venue that resolves disputes between taxpayers and the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR).

What Can I Dispute?

The Georgia Tax Tribunal generally reviews cases that involve the Georgia Department of Revenue. That means, the Tax Tribunal handles disputes dealing with individual, business, sales, withholding, and some other taxes. Final assessments and cases where individuals are seeking a refund from previously paid taxes can also be heard by Tribunal judges.

What Can I NOT Dispute?

There are a number of exceptions to what the Georgia Tax Tribunal will hear. Federal tax disputes and county property tax (ad valorem) are not handled by the Tribunal. Additionally, the Tribunal only reviews final tax disputes, not proposed disputes. All proposed tax disputes must follow the appropriate steps of dispute review with the Georgia Department of Revenue before filing with the Georgia Tax Tribunal.

Filing Your Petition

You can use the Petition Form or you can write your own petition as long as it follows certain guidelines. Each petition must be in writing and include a:

  • Summary of facts on why you are disputing the claim,
  • Copy of the DOR documents involved in the dispute,
  • Statement of Taxpayer Identification Number, and
  • $60 check made payable to the Georgia Tax Tribunal (unless filing your claim with the Small Claims Division)

Once you have gathered all the documents needed for your petition, mail everything to:

The Georgia Tax Tribunal
225 Peachtree Street, NE., Suite 400
Atlanta, Georgia 30303

You also need to send a copy of the petition and necessary documents to:

  • The State Revenue Commissioner,
  • The Office of the Attorney General (sent by certified mail), and
  • Any other respondents listed in the dispute.

Filing with the Small Claims Division

You might be able to file your dispute with the Tax Tribunal’s Small Claims Division, often saving time and money. To file with the Small Claims Division, your dispute can’t fall under any of the following categories:

  • Disputes against tax liability alleged by DOR or other respondents due to tax evasion or attempted tax evasion
  • Disputes against proposed or final assessments of public utility property, airline flight equipment, or railroad equipment cars
  • Disputes against the denial of a petition for an alternative allocation or apportionment method
  • Disputes challenging the validity of a DOR department rule

Your dispute also needs to fall within the following dollar limits before you can submit it with the Small Claims Division:

  • Income tax liability disputes that fall under $15,000, including penalties and principal but excluding interest
  • Tax liability disputes other than income tax that fall under $50,000, including principal and any penalties but excluding interest

The Georgia Tax Tribunal has more answers to all of your questions. If you think the outcome of this year’s tax season is wrong or if your past taxes were figured incorrectly, filing a claim with the Tax Tribunal might be the route for you.

About the Author

Chelsea Stephens is the Marketing Specialist for GeorgiaGov. A Georgia native herself, Chelsea ensures the content on Georgia.gov provides accurate information to all constituents of Georgia. She graduated with a degree in Marketing and has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

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