Tax helpers unclear yet on how exactly unborn child tax exemption will work

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 4:45 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - When tax season rolls around next year, Georgia mothers can claim their unborn child on their taxes as an exemption.

But people who specialize in helping others fill out their taxes have some concerns. They say they’ve been given little guidance on how all this will work.

“We can’t give very many answers because we don’t know.”

It’s a $3,000 exemption, according to the Georgia Department of Revenue, because of the Heartbeat Law.

As long as you are pregnant with a detectable heartbeat after July 20, you’re eligible for the exemption because a court ruling allowed the Heartbeat Law to take effect on that date.

The Neighborhood Improvement Association provides free tax services. Director Debra Simmons was surprised at the announcement.

“We have to have social security cards, not a number, but actually get the number off the card. So, we’ve never anticipated this,” Simmons said.

An exemption is subtracted from your income being taxed.

Tax Attorney Jeffrey Williamson is concerned that people don’t understand you can only file for the exemption on your state taxes.

“You’re going to get a big divergence and certainly what you don’t want is clients doing their own returns thinking they can this on both federal and state taxes because they can’t,” Williamson said.

Simmons is concerned about women who file for the exemption but later miscarry.

“Nobody wants to lose their child but if they’ve lost a child, then they don’t want to worry about paying I think it’s $3,000 or whatever it is they’re going to give them back. They don’t want to worry about that so that’s my concern with what’s happening but I’m sure they’re going to do something where it’s not going to hurt the mother down the road,” Simmons said.

They’re both expecting more guidance next year around January or February during tax season.

In addition to claiming an unborn child as a dependent, the law says you can now also file for child support from the fetus’s father for medical and pregnancy related expenses.

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