Taxpayers can now claim an individual income tax dependent exemption of $3,000 on their Georgia returns for an embryo "with a detectable human heartbeat." Guidance from the department of revenue says cardiac activity "may occur as early as six weeks' gestation" in cells that later become the heart, WAGA reports. The agency said it may require medical documentation from taxpayers, per the Guardian, in a statement released Monday. It's some of the first specific direction from the state on the impact of its personhood provision, which assigns full constitutional rights to any embryo or fetus with a detectable heartbeat, per Axios. The department said its decision flows from the US Supreme Court's ruling in June that rejected Roe v. Wade.
Some Georgians had questions, especially about what could happen in the event of a miscarriage. The state could be out a lot of money for pregnancies that don't come to term, a Georgia State University law professor tweeted. He received a number of replies in the vein of this one: "What happens if a fetus in tax year 1 is not claimed as a dependent child in year 2? Can the state investigate for either tax fraud or illegal abortion? How does the pregnant person prove they had a natural miscarriage?" Opponents of the personhood measure have argued it would open a major gray area in the law. Federal tax returns will not be affected. (Read more anti-abortion laws stories.)