Harvest and Sale of Timber

Taxes on harvested timber are assessed at 100 percent of the fair market value of the timber, either quarterly or at the time of harvest or sale.

Since January 1, 1992, when House Bill 283 became effective, standing timber has been subject to taxation at the time it is harvested or sold. Softwood or hardwood harvests or sales, including saw timber, pulpwood, chip and saw logs, poles, posts, and fuel wood (except fuel wood for personal use), must be reported to the Tax Assessors' office by the owner or purchaser filling out form PT-283T, available from both the Tax Assessors' and the Tax Commissioner's offices.

There are three different types of timber sales or harvests as shown below. Each one has additional requirements for reporting than those listed.

Lump Sum Sale: Usually known as a boundary sale, the total price for the timber to be harvested is paid all at once, normally up front. Reporting and payment of taxes is done at the time of the sale, and timber must be harvested within three years of the sale.

Unit Price Sale: The timber is harvested in stages and the seller receives payments at the end of each stage. Reporting and payment of taxes must be done within 45 days of the end of the calendar quarter.

Owner Harvest: An owner harvest takes place when an owner of real property harvests standing timber from his/her own lands, either personally or by contract. Fuel wood harvested for the owner's own personal use is exempted. As with Unit Price Sales, reporting and payment of taxes must be done within 45 days of the end of the calendar quarter.

Reporting is done to both the Tax Commissioner's and the Tax Assessors' offices, although only one multi-part form is used. The Tax Assessors' office is responsible for making sure Fair Market Value was used, while the Tax Commissioner collects the taxes due. Both offices may be contacted for more information.

Reports of timber sale or harvest are confidential and are exempt from the Georgia Open Records Act.

Fees are set by Georgia law and include the following:

Calculated using 100 percent of the fair market value of timber times the applicable millage rate. The "applicable millage rate" is the millage rate in force at the time of the harvest or sale.

Penalty: 50 percent of the tax due, unless the report or disclosure is filed within 12 months after the due date, in which case the penalty is 1 percent for each month or part of a month that the disclosure is late.