Applications open for second round of Timber Tax Credits

Senator Dean Burke (R – Bainbridge) encourages citizens in Senate District 11 and the surrounding area impacted by Hurricane Michael to apply for the second round of timber tax credits. A recent notice by the Department of Revenue (DOR) puts the available timber tax credit for this round of applications at $134,387,813.

“Our area is still feeling the effects of Hurricane Michael and our citizens should utilize any assistance by our state agencies or federal government on their road to recovery” said Sen. Burke. “The timber tax credit is one of the programs that has been set up for our framers, land owners and overall forestry industry and I want all of our citizens to take advantage of this assistance. My staff and I are available to provide any clarity or help so please do not hesitate to reach out.”

Some residents of Senate District 11 have utilized the program. Read their testimony below:

William R. (Bill) Burke, CPA – “The biggest misunderstandings about the GA Timber Tax Credit is that to qualify you have to replant the trees and that the credit is only useful if you owe Georgia income taxes.  The revised law states that you can also qualify for the credit by restoring the remaining timber to a state in which the timber is able to reach its full potential value.  Clear cutting and then reforestation is thus not required in all cases.  Also, the timber tax credit is fully refundable which means you can receive a full refund of the credit amount in lieu of applying the overpayment to future estimated taxes.”

Perry Clements III, Ga. Registered Forester with Rozier and Associates – “Timberland owners in southwest Georgia suffered catastrophic damage from Hurricane Michael on October 10th, 2018. The response from lawmakers and the Georgia legislators was swift and there was $200 million approved to support the timber losses incurred by the unprecedented storm in the way of a refundable tax credit. Many landowners have been approved for their portion of the credit but there is a large amount of funds not allocated due to many landowners not applying. The process is actually not complicated and we have seen through our own experience that these funds are designed to compensate for the losses incurred and for funding the reforestation of the damaged timber. We encourage landowners to seek this very important assistance so that together we can get the forests back in production.”

The timber tax credit is a result of two pieces of legislation passed during the 2018 Special Legislative Session and the 2019 Legislative Session. HB 4EX, which went into effect on November 17, 2018,  allowed timberland owners to apply for an income tax credit, capped at $200 million, if their trees were damaged by Hurricane Michael. Each land owner would have to replant trees in the areas where there was severe damage to receive the up to $400 per acre credit which was distributed through DOR. During the 2019 session, House Bill 446 was passed to provide an additional avenue for claiming the income tax credit on timberland damaged by the storm by allowing an individual to claim the credit upon ‘restoration’ or cleaning up of the land damaged by the hurricane. HB 446 went into effect on April 18, 2019.

Please visit the links below and review the information provided by the Georgia Forestry Commission:


DOR has released the following deadlines and information regarding this process:

  • Taxpayers can apply for the second round of preapprovals from July 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019.
  • Taxpayers that apply for the second round of preapprovals will be notified of the amount they were preapproved in January of 2020 (they will be notified by January 31, 2020).
  • As of October 1, 2019, DOR has received less than $3 million in applications for the second round.

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