How to Calculate Georgia Car Tax

January 27, 2012

Calculating Georgia car tax isn't the most pleasant of tasks, but knowing what you'll pay before you purchase a car can take some of the shock away before you sign on the dotted line. The state has a retail sales tax of 4%, however this does not apply to motor vehicles purchased in the state. Instead of a Georgia state auto sales tax, an Ad Valorem tax is assessed and must be paid yearly. If a vehicle was purchased outside of the state of Georgia, the sales tax applies (see section on Sales Tax). When you buy a car in Georgia, you are responsible for paying the ad valorum tax at the time your car is registered to you. Vehicle registration must be renewed yearly, and ad valorem tax must be paid every year in order to renew your registration. Local county taxes apply in addition to the requisite ad valorem tax. The Georgia Department of Revenue has a Georgia car tax calculator tool in which consumers can select make, model, series (trim type), county and district, in order to find the tax amount to be paid to the state.

There are conditions under which the ad valorem tax is not required to be paid, as in the case of an owner who is a disabled veteran. Some active duty military personnel can qualify for exemption as well, and more information on this topic can be found on the state Department of Revenue's website. A downloadable publication, the Motor Vehicle Assessment Manual outlines the rules and regulations regarding both active duty military personnel and disabled veterans.

If you have additional questions about Georgia state tax on motor vehicles, email Taxpayer Services at the Georgia State Department of Revenue.

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