Embryos can be listed as dependents on tax returns, Georgia rules | Georgia

Georgian taxpayers can now list embryos as dependents on their tax returns.

In a press release on Monday, Georgia’s revenue ministry said it would begin “recognizing any unborn child with a detectable human heartbeat… as eligible for [an] individual income tax exemption”.

The announcement follows the June 24 Supreme Court ruling that overturned the landmark Roe v Wade ruling that established the nationwide right to abortion nearly 50 years earlier. A lower federal appeals court also decided on July 20 to enact Georgia’s law banning most abortions in the state.

Officials added that taxpayers filing returns as of July 20 can claim a deduction of up to $3,000 for each fetus whose heartbeat could be detected. That “can occur as early as six weeks of pregnancy,” before most women even know they’re pregnant, the statement said.

Taxpayers must be ready to “provide relevant medical records or other supporting documentation…if requested by the” [revenue] department”.

Legal analysts and advocates for abortion rights greeted the announcement with dismay and skepticism.

Anthony Michael Kreis, a law professor and political scientist at Georgia State University, tweeted that some pregnancies discovered within six weeks of pregnancy “result in natural miscarriages,” which could allow Georgia’s treasury “to spend a lot of money for pregnancies that would never come to term.”

And given the high rate of pregnancies that result in natural miscarriages, the Treasury is going to be handing out a lot of money for pregnancies that would never come. (That may be good public health policy, although it may cost a lot more money than expected.)

— Anthony Michael Kreis (@AnthonyMKreis) August 1, 2022

Lauren Groh-Wargo, manager of Stacey Abrams’ campaign for Georgia governor, tweeted: “So what happens if you claim your fetus as a dependent and then miscarry later in the pregnancy, you are examined for both [possible] tax fraud and an illegal abortion?”

The Georgia IRS announcement came less than a month after a pregnant woman in Texas memorably argued to police that her unborn child should count as an extra passenger in receiving a traffic fine for driving alone in a high. -occupancy – or HOV – lane. The woman did not talk her way out of the ticket, but has said she plans to go to court to try out her argument there.

More than half of US states have banned or are expected to ban abortion after the Supreme Court reduces state-level regulation of abortion. Bans like those in Georgia have forced patients seeking abortions to travel hundreds of miles from home, sometimes putting them, their friends, their families and abortion rights organizations in legal jeopardy as some states criminalize helping people terminate pregnancies.

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