Tax breaks for seniors
By Roger Green
Your Green
Former Georgia Governor Perdue signed House Bill 1055 into law on May 12, 2010. This bill gradually increases the exclusion amount of retirement income* for state income tax purposes for retirees age 65 and older. *Note: Retirement income includes interest, dividend, rent and royalty income, capital gains, pensions, annuities, other unearned income, and up to $4,000 of earned income.
Under prior law, taxpayers who were at least 62 years old or disabled were allowed to exclude up to $35,000 of retirement income from their taxable income. Under the new law, the retirement income exclusion for taxpayers who are age 65 or older increases in tax years 2012 through 2016 as follows:
2012 - $65,000 exclusion
2013 - $100,000 exclusion
2014 - $150,000 exclusion
2015 - $200,000 exclusion
2016 – Unlimited exclusion
The retirement exclusion for taxpayers who are age 62-65 will remain at $35,000.
HB1055 also eliminates the state portion of homeowner’s property taxes. This tax reduction will also be phased in over five years beginning in 2012.
There are other senior tax breaks you may not be aware of – here is info taken from the Gwinnett Tax Commissioner website under “Senior Homestead Exemption Frequently Asked Questions”:
The Senior State Tax Exemption (SC) provides 100% exemption from taxes levied by the state of Georgia on your home and up to 10 acres of property. You must be 65 years old as of January 1 of the application year. This exemption is unique in that it is granted in additional to other exemptions you may qualify for.
If you live in Gwinnett: The Senior School Exemption (L5A) provides a 100% exemption from taxes levied by the Gwinnett County School Board or Education on your home and up to one acre of property. You must be 65 years old as of January 1 of the application year and must occupy your residence within the Gwinnett County School District. There are income requirements and you must provide documentation of your income for the year prior to the year for which application is being made. This is for those with income that does not exceed $25,000 after deductions.
The Regular School Exemption (S3) provides a partial exemption from school taxes. You must be 62 years old as of January 1 of the application year. There are income requirements and you must provide documentation of your income for the year prior to the year for which application is being made. This exemption is mainly for those who have retirement and social security income only. Any working income over $10,000 may disqualify you.
Only one person needs to be of age to qualify, but this person must be listed on the property deed as an owner to be eligible to apply. To qualify you must have a regular homestead exemption on file. The same form is used to apply for all Gwinnett County homestead exemptions and you may request a form by emailing tax@gwinnettcounty.com or by calling 770.822.8800.
Taxes and inflation are two things that eat away at your retirement assets. Tax reductions and exemptions help you to stretch your assets to last throughout today’s longer retirement periods. Contact our office for a complete and complimentary review of your retirement situation for more planning tips on making the most of your retirement assets.
Roger S. Green is a Registered Representative with securities and advisory services offered through Multi-Financial Securities Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC. His office is located at 3700 Crestwood Parkway, Suite 140, Duluth, GA 30096. Hear more “Your Green”, Saturdays at 3:00, on WNIV 970 AM or live at www.wniv.com. Visit Roger’s website at www.rogersgreen.com.




Copyright © 2011 Gwinnett Citizen • Lawrenceville, Georgia • All Rights Reserved