The Georgia Tax Tribunal is a specialized court which was established as an autonomous division within the Office of State Administrative Hearings. The Georgia Tax Tribunal conducts trials of contested cases involving the Georgia Department of Revenue.
How Do I File a Case in the Georgia Tax Tribunal?
A case in the Georgia Tax Tribunal is initiated by filing a Petition with the Tax Tribunal. The Petition must be in writing and must include a summary statement of facts and law upon which the Petitioner relies in seeking the requested relief.
There is no set form for a Petition. The Petition may be in any form prepared by the Petitioner which reasonably specifies the matter for consideration by the Georgia Tax Tribunal.
It is important for the Petition to include a copy of the Department of Revenue document or documents to which the Petitioner objects (such as an official assessment notice or tax execution). This will greatly assist both the Tax Tribunal and the Department of Revenue.
Finally, the taxpayer should include with the petition a Statement of Taxpayer Identification Number.
What Kind Of Cases Can Be Heard By The Georgia Tax Tribunal?
The Georgia Tax Tribunal generally has jurisdiction over appeals of tax matters involving the Georgia Department of Revenue. This includes the jurisdiction to review decisions of the Department of Revenue with respect to Georgia income tax (both corporate and individual), Georgia sales and use tax, withholding taxes and certain other taxes.
The Georgia Tax Tribunal may hear cases seeking review of final assessments and tax executions, as well as actions seeking refunds of taxes previously paid.
The Georgia Tax Tribunal does not address and cannot resolve matters involving federal income tax issues. Taxpayers who have issues regarding their federal income tax liability should not file with the Georgia Tax Tribunal. The Georgia Tax Tribunal addresses only Georgia tax issues.
Where Do I File My Petition?
It is important that taxpayers properly complete and submit their Petitions to:
The Georgia Tax Tribunal
225 Peachtree Street, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Taxpayers must also send copies of the Petition to the State Revenue Commissioner, the Office of the Attorney General, and any other respondents named in the Petition.
To send the Petition to the Georgia Department of Revenue
Mail a copy of the petition to:
Georgia Department of Revenue
P.O. Box 105665
Atlanta GA 30348-5665
To send to the Office of the Attorney General
Send a copy of the petition by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery to:
Georgia Department of Law
40 Capitol Square, S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30334-1300
What Else Do I Need To Send To The Tribunal To Start My Case?
To help ensure that your case is properly processed, please include with your Petition filed with the Georgia Tax Tribunal:
- A copy of any notice that the Georgia Department of Revenue issued to you or any other Georgia Department of Revenue document upon which your Petition is based.
- Unless you want your case conducted under the Small Claims Division case procedures, a check for the $60 filing fee made payable to the Georgia Tax Tribunal must be included.
What Is The Difference Between A Small Claims Division Case and a Regular Case?
You may file your petition as a Small Claims Division case if your dispute meets certain dollar limits described below.
Small claims cases are handled under simpler, less formal procedures than regular cases. However, the Tax Tribunal’s decision in a small claims case cannot be appealed to a higher court by either the Department of Revenue or by the taxpayer(s). In Small Claims Division cases, accountants or other tax return preparers chosen by a taxpayer can accompany and appear with the taxpayer in order to provide factual information regarding positions taken on the taxpayer’s tax return(s).
Other rules relating to Small Claims Division cases and the Tax Tribunal in general can be found at Rules & Standing Orders.
Assuming you meet the jurisdictional limits for a small claims case, you can choose to have your case conducted as either a small claims case or a regular tax case. You can do this by checking the appropriate box in paragraph 5 of the petition form, if you use the form specifying your election in your Petition, or by filing an Election. If you do not check the box on the form or do not otherwise elect to proceed as a Small Claims Division case, your case will proceed as a regular case in the Tax Tribunal.
The Tax Tribunal’s Small Claims Division will not have jurisdiction over:
- any proceeding contesting a tax liability (or associated penalties) alleged by the Department of Revenue or other respondent to be due to evasion or attempted evasion;
- petitions challenging proposed or final assessments of public utility property, airline flight equipment, or railroad equipment cars;
- petitions challenging the denial of a petition for an alternative allocation or apportionment method; or
- actions for declaratory judgment challenging the validity of a Revenue Department rule.
Dollar Limits: Dollar limits for a Small Claims Division case vary depending on the type of tax in dispute.
- If you are disputing an income tax liability that is less than $15,000 (including principal and any penalties but excluding interest) you may elect to proceed under the small claims case procedures.
- If you are disputing a liability for taxes other than income taxes, and the amount of that liability is less than $50,000 (including principal and any penalties but excluding interest), you may elect to proceed under the small claims case procedures.
Time Limits to Elect Small Claims Division Case Status:
If you have a case that meets the dollar threshold and other requirements for cases in the Small Claims Division, you may elect at any time within 90 days of filing your petition with the Tax Tribunal to have your case conducted under small claims case procedures. You cannot change your election after the 90-day period has ended.
Do I Need A Lawyer To Represent Me In A Tax Tribunal Case?
In regular tax cases, individuals may either represent themselves or be represented by an attorney. All other types of taxpayers (such as corporations) must have legal counsel.
Nonresident attorneys who are not active members of the State Bar of Georgia may move for permission to appear before the Tribunal as provided in the Tribunal’s rules of practice and procedure.
The same rules apply in Small Claims Division cases except that accountants or other tax return preparers chosen by a taxpayer can accompany and appear with the taxpayer in order to provide factual information regarding positions taken on the taxpayer’s tax return(s).