Jun
06

Contributions to Rural Hospitals Generate Georgia Tax Credit

A new Georgia Tax Credit which was signed into law in 2016 by Governor Deal just received another boost during the 2017 Legislative Session. Rural hospitals in Georgia contribute $47.8 billion to the state’s economy each year, supplying 143,000 direct jobs and 344,000 indirect jobs. Nevertheless, the financial outlook for these organizations is bleak due to the rising costs of indigent care and decreasing reimbursements. Most find themselves operating at a significant deficit annually. In an effort to stem the financial distress, the Georgia General Assembly passed SB258 in March of 2016 to allow individuals and corporations to receive up to $60 million in Georgia tax credits for financial contributions made to certain eligible rural hospitals. While the initial version allowed for a 70% Georgia tax credit for each contribution, lawmakers went back to the drawing board in early 2017 and increased the Georgia tax credit to 90% of the contribution with certain limits.

Maximum Amount of Credit: Limits:
Individuals $5,000 or 90% of the contribution, whichever is less
Married Individuals $10,000 or 90% of the contribution, whichever is less
Corporations Lesser of 90% of the amount contributed or up to 75% of Georgia Income Tax Liability

Since Georgia lawmakers put a cap on the total amount of credits that can be generated annually, taxpayers must be pre-approved before making any contribution. Many hospitals have contracted with the Atlanta based Georgia HEART (Helping Ensure Access to Rural Treatment) to handle the administrative responsibilities of the program. Taxpayers can go to www.georgiaheart.org to begin the process to donate:

  1. Taxpayer completes Georgia HEART pre-approval application request.
  2. Georgia HEART electronically submits taxpayer application to the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR).
  3. DOR informs taxpayer and Georgia HEART of approval within 30 days, indicating the amount for which approval was granted.
  4. Georgia HEART emails taxpayer with detailed instructions regarding how and where to make their payment.
  5. Taxpayer sends a check to the Georgia HEART office (made payable to the approved hospital) by posted deadline, which is 60 days from date of DOR approval.
  6. Georgia HEART emails taxpayer a Letter of Confirmation, (Form IT-QEE-RHO1) and instructions on reporting the tax credit contribution to the DOR.
  7. Taxpayer has 30 days to electronically report the hospital contribution to the DOR through the Georgia Tax Center (“GTC”) website.
  8. The taxpayer claims the Georgia income tax credit when they file their 2017 state tax returns and, if they itemize on their federal return, they will take a federal tax deduction for their contribution.

If you are interested in more information regarding this tax credit which helps our rural community hospitals, please contact our office.

 

Written by: Tracy Sharkey, Managing Partner

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