TAX NEWS - August 2009

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Sales and Use Tax General FAQ - State of Georgia tax

Q. What is nexus?

A. Nexus means a business entity has established a direct or representational presence within a particular state or jurisdiction. This presence gives the state the right to require a company to pay or collect and remit certain taxes.


Q. Is there a statute of limitations on tax refunds?

A. Yes. Tax refunds are limited to 3 years from the date payment is made to the state.


Q. Are churches exempt from sales tax?

A. No, churches are not sales tax exempt.


Q. Can a credit union purchase tangible personal property exempt from sales and use tax?

A. Yes. Federal law exempts the purchase of tangible personal property made by a Federal credit union. A state credit union is likewise exempt.


Q. Is the sale of tangible personal property to a private college or university subject to Georgia sales and use tax?

A. Sales of tangible personal property and services to be used exclusively for educational purposes by those private colleges and universities in this state whose academic credits are accepted as equivalents by the University System of Georgia, and its educational units, are exempt from the tax. A Letter of Authorization is issued by the Department to qualified institutions.


Q. Is the sale of tangible property to a private school subject to sales and use tax?

A. The exemption is limited to the sale of tangible personal property and services used exclusively for educational purposes by a bona fide private elementary and secondary school. Application is made by letter. The letter must include the following information: name and address of school, date opened, number of grades equivalent to public school, number of classrooms, number of teachers regularly employed, average number of students, number of months opened each year, and a copy of the IRS letter of determination. Letters can be faxed to (404) 417-6651. DOR issues a Letter of Authorization in lieu of a sales and use tax account number.


Q. Are sales to a Georgia public school subject to sales and use tax?

A. No. The sale of tangible personal property and services to a Georgia public school is not subject to Georgia sales and use tax. Payment must be made directly to the seller with appropriated funds and a valid Form ST-5 must be executed at the time of sale.


Q. What is the timeframe for notification of estimated taxes?

A. Notification coincides with DOR's fiscal year - 7/1-6/30 - unless the company's fiscal year is available.


Q. How can I obtain the sales tax rate for a particular county?

A. Click here to view a list of sales tax rate by county.


Q. Is a foreign visitor (non-U.S. resident) exempt from sales and use tax on purchases of tangible personal property?

A. No. When possession and/or title occur in Georgia, sales tax is imposed on the purchase of tangible personal property regardless of the purchaser's country of residency.


Q. Can a foreign visitor (non-U.S. resident) apply for a refund of sales tax paid on purchases made while in Georgia?

A. No. When possession and/or title occur in Georgia, sales tax is imposed on the purchase of tangible personal property regardless of the purchaser's country of residency. However, if the tangible personal property is shipped by the retail dealer to the visitor's country of residence, the sale is exempt from Georgia sales tax.


Q. Are greens fees subject to sales tax?

A. Yes. A charge to play golf is considered a taxable amusement activity.
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