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Georgia's New Title Ad Valorem Tax

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Beginning March 1, 2013, the new Title Ad Valorem Tax law will bring changes to the way vehicles are registered, titled and taxed in Georgia. The annual ad valorem tax, paid on a person’s birthday, will remain for people who owned their cars before 2012. But for everyone else, a new law will mean changes to the way vehicles are taxed. For some, it will mean big savings. For others, it will be a big expense.

  • Under the new law, the fee for all vehicles titled between March 1 and the end of 2013 will be 6.5 percent of the worth of the vehicle. The figure will rise to 6.75 percent for 2014, and 7 percent in 2015. It eventually could climb as high as 9 percent of the vehicle’s worth.
  • Those who bought cars between January 1, 2012, and February 28, 2013, will have the option to pay the ad valorem “birthday” tax for as long as they own the vehicle, or to opt into the new title tax. The opt-in period lasts from March 1, 2013 until February 28, 2014. Those who opt in will not get refunded for any ad valorem they already paid, but will get credit for paying sales tax if the car was not purchased in a private sale. Those paying the new Title Ad Valorem Tax will pay only the annual tag fee for the years following the purchase.
  • The old ad valorem tax system will continue to exist for vehicles titled in 2011 or earlier.
  • The dealership will pay the title ad valorem tax for people who lease cars. Dealerships could include the cost of that tax in their fees. Leased vehicles are now exempt from sales and use tax on the monthly lease payment.
  • People who move into Georgia with a car after March 1 will have to pay the new tax on any vehicles entering into the state when they register their cars in Georgia. New out-of-state residents will have to pay half the fee up front, and will have a year to pay the rest.
  • Vehicles passed between immediate family members — spouses, parents, children, siblings, grandparents or grandchildren — will pay a reduced fee of 0.5 percent of the car’s worth to title the vehicle, provided the full one-time title ad valorem tax already has been paid.
  • People who were exempt from paying the annual car tax, such as disabled veterans, are exempt from the new tax.
  • Vehicles that are older than 1985, and are not required to have titles, are only affected if the owner decides to get a title after March 1.
  • Vehicles that aren’t titled, such as boats and trailers, aren’t affected by the new law.

There could possibly be some changes in this legislative session, but this is the current law. The Department of Revenue is still in the process of creating policy and procedures, so there are still many unanswered questions. I will keep you posted with any changes and/or updates about this new law as information becomes available.


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