Marjorie Taylor Greene and her husband received tax breaks on two Georgia homes, investigation says. Married couples are only allowed one, according to state law.

Marjorie Taylor Green at a new member orientation
Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., arrives at the Hyatt Regency for new member orientation in Washington on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020

  • Marjorie Taylor Greene and her husband are accused of having two active homestead exemptions.
  • Homestead exemptions offer tax breaks to homeowners, but only one per married couple is permitted.
  • If the couple is found to be violating Georgia state law, they could face a fine of $12,000.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green has been accused of breaking Georgia state law by illegally filing for tax exemptions on separate homes in two different counties, according to an investigation by Atlanta’s WSB-TV.

The investigation found that Greene and her husband have two active homestead exemptions, WSB-TV said.

Property tax homestead exemptions offer significant tax breaks to homeowners. Married couples are only allowed to file for one exemption, according to Georgia law.

But the Greenes are reportedly receiving tax breaks on a property in North Fulton County and another $610,000 home in Floyd County, WSB-TV’s investigative journalist Justin Gray said.

Greene told the reporter to “mind his own business” and dismissed the report as a “pathetic smear” in a statement, WSB-TV reported.

Read more: On the scene of a congressional cold war between Marjorie Taylor Greene and her Democratic neighbor

In the Greene’s Floyd County application, the controversial Republican’s husband left blank the line that asked about whether they had another active exemption on a property. Fulton County tax officials confirmed to WSB-TV that the couple was still getting a tax break on the North Fulton County home, the Atlanta station reported.

In a statement, the Fulton County Board of Assessors said: “The property owners filed for homestead exemption in Fulton County in May of 2019 and it became effective for the 2020 tax year. Per GA law, you can only have one homestead exemption. In this case, Fulton County will consult with Floyd County to confirm and determine in which county the exemption is not valid.”

The penalty for illegally filing a homestead exemption is double an annual tax bill, the local media outlet said. For the Greenes, WSB-TV reported, this could be nearly $12,000.

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Trump-era stimulus let corporations claim $14 billion in tax refunds, watchdog says

IRS office
  • Tax breaks included in the CARES Act let corporations receive $14 billion in refunds, the GAO said.
  • Roughly 1,200 firms received refunds worth more than $1 million, according to the Wednesday report.
  • The CARES Act won bipartisan support, but Democrats have since slammed the breaks as poorly targeted.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will dole out $14 billion in tax refunds to corporations thanks to controversial provisions included in last year’s CARES Act, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said Wednesday.

The $2.2 trillion stimulus package signed by President Donald Trump in the early stages of the pandemic included a swath of measures aimed at reducing tax burdens for struggling businesses. Tenets included carrybacks for business losses and refunds linked to the Alternative Minimum Tax.

The IRS has already received more than 41,000 cases from businesses looking to access refunds through either, or both, of the two tax breaks, according to a GAO report. Roughly $14 billion in related refunds were approved by the end of last year. Of that, about $11 billion has already been distributed.

Yet while the tax breaks included in the CARES Act were touted as ways to keep small businesses afloat, many of the companies filing for relief are winning massive refunds. Nearly 3,000 companies filing for refunds received between $100,000 and $999,000, according to the report. And roughly 1,200 firms got refunds worth more than $1 million.

Bloomberg first reported on the tax break.

US tax law allows businesses to use net operating losses from unprofitable years to cancel out future tax bills in a carryover process. The CARES Act widened this provision to allow operating losses to be carried back as far as five years, effectively letting companies hit by the pandemic dodge some tax burdens.

The CARES Act passed in March 2020 on a nearly unanimous basis, but Democrats have since criticized some of its tax breaks for issuing relief to wealthy companies and Americans. Some lawmakers have even called for the measures to be repealed.

Republicans, however, have pointed out that Democrats backed the bill’s passage and that similar policies have been used in past downturns.

The GAO’s report suggests the $14 billion in approved refunds are the tip of the iceberg for CARES-related tax breaks. IRS officials said in late January they received more than 12,000 more applications for carrybacks and credit refunds, but that they aren’t yet sure how many are related to the CARES Act. A backlog of revised tax returns could also add to the total amount refunded to corporations, the GAO said.

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