New Tax Breaks Just for Seniors

Get more money back this year with these helpful hints.

Courtesy of Dave Dugdale at learningdslrvideo.com

When former Governor Sonny Purdue signed House Bill 1055 (HB 1055) into law, he implemented a system that progressively raises the exclusion amount of retirement income for state income tax purposes for retirees 65 and up.  Before this new law, taxpayers who were 62 years and older or disabled were allowed to exclude up to $35,000 of retirement income from their taxable income.

Under HB1055, the retirement income exclusion for taxpayers 65 and 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.

Other tax breaks for seniors:

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 because it is given on top of other exemptions you possibly qualify for.

If you reside in Gwinnett, L5A , the Senior School Exemption, provides 100% exemption from taxes imposed by the Gwinnett County School Board of Education on your house and up to one acre of property. You must be 65 years old as of January 1 of the year the application is being submitted, and you must live within the Gwinnett County School District. There are income requirements, and you must submit documentation of your income for the year prior to the year for which application is being made. L5A only applies to those with an income that does not exceed $25,000 after deductions.

S3, The Regular School Exemption, offers a partial exemption from school taxes. You must be 62 years old as of January 1 of the year the application is being submitted. Again, there are income requirements and you must supply documentation of your income for the year before the year which you submit your application. This exemption is largely for those who solely have social security and retirement income. Any working income over $10,000 may disqualify you.

Only one person in the residence needs to be of age to qualify, but this person must be listed on the property deed as an owner to be qualified to apply for any exemptions. As well, to qualify, you must have a regular homestead exemption on file. The same form is used to apply for all Gwinnett County homestead exemptions.  You can ask for this form by emailing tax@gwinnettcounty.com or by calling 770.822.8800.

I hope this helps all you Gwinnett County seniors out there get ready for tax season. The deadline for the homestead applications is April 1, 2011. If you want to get more information on the exemptions above and other exemptions for seniors please visit this website.  Gwinnett County constantly works to better the quality of living for it’s residents. If you’re thinking about living in Gwinnett, there’s so much more our wonderful county has to offer. You can learn more about Gwinnett realestate at my website, http://www.searchgwinnettcountyrealestate.com/. The site is easy to use and has lots more information on property and Gwinnett County living.

(Data taken from article http://www.gwinnettcitizen.com/0311/roger_green.html and Gwinnett Tax Commissioner website under “Senior Homestead Exemption Frequently Asked Questions.” Photo courtesy of David Dogdale via learningdslrvideo.com)

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