Georgians can now count ‘unborn children’ as their state tax, state tax office dependents Announce this week.
Residents filing 2022 tax returns with a fetus with a detectable heartbeat at six weeks of pregnancy can claim a $3,000 dependent personal tax credit, the department said Monday.
The announcement comes after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the removal of the federal Constitution’s abortion right, and subsequent Decided by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals That puts into effect a Georgia law that bans abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
Georgia House Bill 481 – Known as the Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act – signed into law in 2019 by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. It banned the procedure for six weeks before many women knew they were pregnant. A federal judge later ruled it unconstitutional and blocked it. However, after Roe v. Wade was overturned, a federal appeals court allowed it to go into effect.
Embryos are considered “natural persons” under the law with “sufficient legal recognition” and “should be included in certain population-based decisions”.
Following the ruling, the definition of a dependent in Georgia was revised to include an “unborn child” with a detectable heartbeat — effective as of the July 20 ruling by the federal appeals court, the tax office said.
The department said taxpayers must be prepared to provide “relevant medical records or other supporting documentation” to support the claimed dependent deduction. It doesn’t specify what those files are.
It’s unclear how tax filings will affect pregnancies that aren’t due, or how it might affect surrogacy and separated unwed parents. The guidance issued by the ATO did not address miscarriages, but said it would issue tax return instructions later this year.
Changes in Georgia underscore the heated debate over how to define “personality” in the wake of Roe v. Wade.
A federal judge recently blocked the “personality” clause in Arizona’s existing abortion ban, barring the state from using it to penalize abortions that would otherwise be legal under existing Arizona law.
In Texas, a pregnant woman who got a ticket for driving in a Texas HOV lane argued that her pregnancy meant she wasn’t alone in the car and actually had a passenger. Texas has pushed to restrict abortion and defines a fetus or unborn baby as a “person” in its criminal code.