Looking for a leg up in the competitive Atlanta market, a group organizing Southern National Bank in Marietta, Ga., is turning to the tax code.

Southern National, which is scheduled to open this fall, said it hopes to avoid corporate taxes by filing as an S corporation. Though this is a popular tactic for existing community banks-more than 600 have converted in the last 16 months-only 12 of the 180 banks chartered in 1997 were S corporations.

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