April 15, 2022 – You have to pay state taxes, but do you know what
your tax dollars are used for? It’s your money, and whether you’re
taxed $50 or $50,000, you should have a choice on how it’s used
or who it benefits. You do--when you participate in the Georgia HEART
(Helping Enhance Access to Rural Treatment) Hospital Tax Program.
Turner & Associates Insurance, along with Ameris Bank, Southeastern
Bank and more than 30 individuals and couples have already chosen to redirect
a portion of their 2022 tax dollars to the Southeast Georgia Health System
“Georgia is the only state in the nation which is afforded the opportunity
to financially support its rural hospitals--at no cost to the taxpayers,” said
Glenn Gann, R.N., MSN, vice president and administrator, Southeast Georgia Health System Camden
Campus. “Georgia taxpayers, both individuals and businesses, can
receive approval from the Department of Revenue to redirect their 2022
state taxes to a hospital enrolled in the
Georgia HEART program. The most important thing? Time is of the essence. An application for
approval is necessary now, when the credits are available. It’s
possible that the 2022 credits will run out by July 1 this year.”
Georgia’s rural hospitals have been facing a financial crisis for
years due to demographic, economic and industry challenges. The COVID-19
pandemic has imposed a whole new set of unique challenges on the state’s
rural hospitals. The Georgia HEART Hospital Program administers the Rural
Hospital Tax Credit, which was enacted by the Georgia General Assembly
in 2016 to increase rural hospital funding and to further the hospitals’
ability to care for the thousands of Georgians who live in the communities
Through HEART, Georgia taxpayers can make contributions in exchange for
a 100% state income tax credit, up to specified limits, to qualified rural
hospitals of their choice. “C” Corporations and Pass-Through
Entity business owners who participate may also qualify for an additional
federal business expense deduction. Essentially, individuals and business
have the unique opportunity to pay their state income taxes--an expenditure
they are required to make any way--through contributing to rural hospitals.
Turner & Associates Insurance, a local insurance agency that has been
serving the southeast Georgia region since 1950, recently took advantage
of the HEART program and graciously contributed $60,000 to the Southeast
Georgia Health System Camden Campus.
“We are pleased to support the Southeast Georgia Health System Camden
Campus and hope that other companies will join us,” said Robert
C. Turner, CPCU, president, Turner & Associates Insurance. “This
Georgia HEART program is a win-win for local businesses and is one of
the easiest, but potentially the most impactful, decisions one can make
as we work together to help our communities thrive in these challenging
In addition, Ameris Bank and Southeastern Bank have redirected $350,000
and $100,000, respectively, to the Health System’s Camden Campus.
“Having quality, local healthcare is a vital asset to our community.
Through our participation in the Georgia HEART program, we are essentially
redirecting tax dollars to remain in our community to support those healthcare
needs,” stated Southeastern Bank President Jay Torbert.
“We are very grateful for our community’s participation in
Georgia HEART. The support has been crucial in helping our hospital make
important and necessary improvements so that we can offer the best care
for our patients,” stated Scott Raynes, MBA, M.A., president and
CEO, Southeast Georgia Health System. “Contributions received during
the past three years have allowed us to add a new Wound Care Center, the
ROSA robotic knee replacement system and 3D mammography technology to
our Camden Campus.”
Currently, 55 rural hospitals are eligible to receive HEART contributions
from individuals and businesses across the state. As Gann noted, the decision
to participate in the program should be made early in 2022 while tax credits
are still available. Applications are submitted and approved by the Georgia
Department of Revenue on a first come, first serve basis. Tax credits
are limited to $60 million for 2022. The cap was reached in September
of 2021, and is anticipated to be gone even faster this year due to the
federal business expense deduction opportunity.
Follow these easy steps to sign up for the 100% tax credit:
Complete and submit your 2022 HEART Tax Credit Form at
GeorgiaHeart.org (takes 2 minutes).
- Georgia HEART will submit your tax credit pre-approval form on your behalf
to the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) in the order in which it is received.
- After you receive DOR approval, submit your contribution via check made
payable to Southeast Georgia Health System to Georgia HEART for deposit
to the hospital’s account by the deadline (six months following
DOR approval or December 31, 2022, whichever is soonest).
- Georgia HEART will report your contribution to the DOR on your behalf and
will send you a tax receipt.
- You may reduce your tax withholdings or estimated tax payments to reflect
the approved contribution.
- Claim the credit when you file your 2022 tax return.
Georgia taxpayers who are interested in participating in the HEART program
are encouraged to visit
georgiaheart.org to learn more and to submit an online 2022 HEART tax credit application.