Each calendar year, until the annual cap on available education expense credits is reached:
- A married couple filing a joint return can redirect up to $2,500 of their income tax payments to GOAL.
- A married couple filing separate returns can redirect up to $1,250 (each) of their income tax payments to GOAL.
- A single individual can redirect up to $1,000 of his or her income tax payments to GOAL.
- NEW Opportunity for 2022: S corporation, LLC, or partnership that elects to pay tax at the entity level – up to 75% of Georgia income tax liability
- C corporation or Trust – up to 75% of annual Georgia income tax liability
You may apply for as little or as much as you want up to the limits listed above. Importantly, please note that if taxpayer is pre-approved by DOR for an amount greater than the amount taxpayer actually contributes, the "excess" of the amount pre-approved over the amount contributed is lost from the available tax credits for the year, and will not be made available to other taxpayers.
GOAL accepts checks, credit card payments, or stock donations.
How does a tax credit differ from a deduction?
A tax credit is significantly more beneficial than a deduction. A credit reduces your Georgia taxes dollar-for-dollar while a deduction reduces the taxable income upon which taxes are calculated.
Yes. If you pay your Georgia income taxes by having an amount withheld each pay period from your paycheck, by reducing the amount of Georgia income tax that is withheld from your paycheck each pay period, you can recoup your contribution to GOAL evenly over the remainder of the tax year. The portion by which you should reduce your withholdings is the amount of your contribution to GOAL divided by the remaining pay periods in the year. This results in greater take-home pay throughout the year, as opposed to a potential refund at tax filing time.
For example: If you are paid twice per month and contribute $1,200 to GOAL in mid-March 2022, and you adjust your Georgia income tax withholdings in time to take effect for your March 31st paycheck, as of March 31st, there are 19 pay periods remaining for the year. You may reduce your withholdings by $63.16 per pay period, which is $1,200 divided by the 19 remaining pay periods for 2022. The additional amount of "take home pay" will total $1,200 by the end of 2022.
For taxpayers who contribute to GOAL as individuals who are single, married filing separate, or married filing jointly, if your Georgia income tax liability is at least as much as your GOAL contribution, your refund will increase by the amount of your donation. If on the other hand, your state income tax liability is less than the amount of your contribution to GOAL, the amount of the unused credit can be carried forward for up to 5 years.