SC Department of Revenue
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
FAQ 2012

 

DISCLAIMER

This information is revised as of December 3, 2012, unless otherwise indicated. Be aware that some laws have been amended in past years that could result in different answers and that new legislation may result in different answers in the future. These questions and answers address general situations and should be used only as a guide. Since your particular facts and circumstances may result in a different answer, you should not rely on this information as a substitute for obtaining professional advice and researching tax law.

 

FAQ Topics: To view a list of the most frequently asked questions and answers, select a topic below.

 


FILING REQUIREMENTS

 

Q.  Am I a resident or a nonresident?

 

A.  The following definitions will help you decide.  You are a South Carolina resident, even if you live outside South Carolina, when:

 

            1)  Your intention is to maintain South Carolina as your permanent home, AND

            2)  South Carolina is the center of your financial, social and family life; AND

            3)  When you are away, South Carolina is the place to which you intend to return.

 

You are a nonresident if your permanent home is outside South Carolina all year and none of the above applies.

 

(Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


Q.  What are the filing requirements for a part-year resident?

 

A.  An individual who is a SC resident for only a portion of the tax year may choose the filing method below that is the most beneficial:

a. Compute SC tax as a SC resident for the entire year; File form SC1040 - "SC Individual Income Tax Return" and claim a credit for income tax paid to another state (form SC1040TC); or

b. Compute SC tax as a nonresident individual, except for the time you were a resident. South Carolina taxable income includes all items of income, gain, loss, or deductions that a resident would be taxed. File form SC1040 - "SC Individual Income Tax Return" and Schedule NR".

See Code Section 12-6-1710,  12-6-1720

(Last revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  What are the filing requirements for a nonresident working in SC?



A.  A nonresident individual must file if the gross income taxable to SC is more than the federal personal exemption amount. A nonresident individual files a form SC1040 - "SC Individual Income Tax Return" and Schedule NR - "Nonresident Schedule."

See Code Sections 12-6-172012-6-2220

(Last revised 12/31/03) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  What is a composite return?

 

A.  A composite return is a single return filed by a partnership, S-corporation, or Limited Liability Company (LLC) taxed as a partnership or S-corporation on behalf of two or more nonresident individuals, trusts or estates who are partners, shareholders of the S-corporation or members of the LLC. A composite return allows S-corporations or partnerships to compute and report the SC income and tax attributable to electing nonresident shareholders or partners on a single tax return. A composite return is filed using an SC1040 SC Individual Income Tax Return. The heading states the name, address, and FEIN of the partnership, S-corporation or LLC. There is no need to use "Composite Return for" or "Shareholders/Partners of" in the name. Mark the box for filing a composite return. Mark "Single" filing status.

NOTE: Corporate partners and members may not participate in composite returns.

 (Last Revised 12/4/07) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  How is a composite return completed?

 

A.  A partnership, S-corporation, or LLC taxed as a partnership or S-corporation must compute the tax separately on each participant's share of income and add the tax together to arrive at the total tax due.

The methods available depend on whether the partner, shareholder or member has filed an I-338 Composite Return Affidavit with the department through the partnership, S-Corporation or LLC. An I-338 affidavit states that the partner, shareholder or member has no other income taxable to South Carolina.

If a partner, shareholder or member completes an I-338 affidavit, the composite return can either prorate the standard deduction or itemized deductions and personal exemptions for each participant or not include them.

If a partner, shareholder or member does not provide an I-338 affidavit, the composite return must not include any personal deductions or exemptions, and must tax active trade or business income at the active trade or business income rate (See the Form I-335, Active Trade or Business Income Reduced Rate Computation for the current rate) and all other income at 7%.

The composite return must be signed by an authorized partner, an authorized officer of the S-corporation, or an authorized member of the LLC. Attach a schedule showing the separate computations. Total the separate tax amounts and enter on the "tax" line of SC1040, page 1.

Nonresident fiduciaries and individuals who are shareholders or partners may participate in the filing. All participating must have the same tax year.

Please refer to form I-348, Composite Filing Instructions.

See S.C. Code Section 12-6-5030

(Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  What are the filing requirements for a nonresident who has an investment in rental property in SC?

 

A.  A nonresident individual having SC rental property as an investment in SC should file a form SC1040 - "SC Individual Income Tax Return" and Schedule NR - "Nonresident Schedule." Rents received from the rental of real estate, less all related expenses, are allocated to SC providing the property is not used in or connected with the taxpayer's trade or business.

See Code Section 12-6-2220.

(Last revised 12/31/03) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  What tax return should a SC college student file who has income from a job in SC?

 

A.  A student attending college in SC and working in South Carolina should file a tax return to report income earned in South Carolina and claim a refund for additional tax that may have been withheld. A South Carolina resident will file a form SC1040. A nonresident will file a form SC1040 and Schedule NR.

(Last revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  What are the filing requirements for a South Carolina resident working in another state?

 

A.  As a resident of South Carolina, you are taxed on all your income regardless of where it is earned. In order to avoid double taxation, South Carolina would allow a tax credit for the taxes that you had to pay to the other state on the wages earned in that state. For South Carolina purposes, you would file the SC1040 with the SC1040TC. A copy of the other state's return and federal return must be attached to the filing of the South Carolina return.

Code Sections 12-6-2220(6),   12-6-3400

(Last revised 12/11/07) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  What is the filing requirement if one taxpayer is a resident of South Carolina and one is not?

 

A.  If one taxpayer is a resident of SC and one is not, you would file form SC1040 with the accompanying Schedule NR. The Schedule NR only taxes the income earned while a resident of South Carolina or income earned from South Carolina sources. If you file married filing jointly for federal purposes, you would also file married filing jointly for South Carolina purposes. Column A of the Schedule NR would be the income directly from your federal return and Column B of the Schedule NR would only be the income earned while a resident of South Carolina or income earned from South Carolina sources.

Code Section 12-6-4910

(Last revised 12/11/07) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  What is the filing requirement for a South Carolina resident who is in the military?

 

A.  South Carolina Resident: If you enter the armed forces when you are a South Carolina resident, you do not lose your South Carolina residency status, even if you are absent from the state on military orders. You are subject to the same residency requirements as any other South Carolina resident and are required to file a South Carolina income tax return.

You would file the same filing status for South Carolina purposes as you filed for federal purposes.

(Last Revised 12/11/07) (Reviewed 12/3/12)

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TAX FORMS AND RATES

Q.  What methods can be used to file an individual income tax return?

 

A.  You have a choice of filing a traditional paper tax return or a paperless tax return by using an electronic filing method. The electronic methods available are:

a. Fed/State On-line Filing. This method requires use of commercial tax preparation software on your computer. Taxpayers may file both their federal and South Carolina returns together OR separately. Software developers will typically require that the federal return be completed initially in State Only filing situations.

Certain online filing providers will offer qualified South Carolina taxpayers the ability to file both their federal and South Carolina returns for FREE. Please visit our FREE File web page to see if you qualify to have your federal and South Carolina returns filed electronically for FREE.

b. Fed/State Electronic Filing. This method requires use of an electronic return originator (a tax preparer certified to electronically file). Taxpayers may file both their federal and South Carolina returns together OR separately. Software developers will typically require that the federal return be completed initially in State Only filing situations.

c. SCnetFile – Extensions ONLY
This method of filing a South Carolina extension requires use of the Internet. If there is a balance due with the extension, the payment can be made by EFW (Electronic Funds Withdrawal) or by credit card (Visa or MasterCard).

Select a type of electronic option above for more information about filing a paperless tax return.

(Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  Where are South Carolina income tax forms available?

 

A.  South Carolina income tax forms can be obtained from the following sources:

a. The Department's website; www.sctax.org >Quick Links>Forms and Instructions>Individual Income Tax

b. The Department's Forms Request Line. Call 803-898-5320 (in Columbia) or 1-800-768-3676 (toll-free within South Carolina); or

c. The Department's Taxpayer Service Centers located throughout the state.  Service Center Locations

(Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  What are the tax rates?

 

A.  South Carolina imposes an income tax on individuals at graduated rates ranging from 0% to a maximum rate of 7%. Income tax brackets are adjusted annually for inflation.

(Last Revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


Q.  Where is the South Carolina income tax table?

 

A.  There is a copy of the tax tables in the Individual Income Tax Packet. The income tax tables are also available on our website for each tax year.

(Last revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  What is active trade or business income and how is it taxed?

 

A.  You may elect to have qualifying active trade or business income from a pass-through entity taxed at a flat rate instead of the graduated tax rate for individual income.  Active trade or business income is all pass-through income from sole proprietorships, partnerships, S corporations, or Limited Liability Companies not taxed as C corporations, but does not include passive investment income or expenses related to it,

capital gains or losses, guaranteed payments for personal services, or amounts reasonably related to personal services. Use Form I-335 to claim this election.

See the I-335, Active Trade or Business Income Reduced Rate Computation for the current rate.

Instead of determining the actual amount of income reasonably related to personal services, you may elect to claim a "safe harbor" if your total South Carolina taxable income from pass-through entities for which you perform personal services is $100,000 or less, excluding capital gains and losses. Using the "safe harbor" option reduces active trade or business income by one-half.

See Code Section 12-6-545, SC Revenue Ruling 08-2

(Last revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)

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INCOME

Q.  What interest income is taxable in South Carolina?

 

A.  Interest received from the following sources is taxable to South Carolina:

a. Repurchase Agreements - The interest received by a "buyer" in a repurchase agreement transaction of a federal obligation.

b. Federal Tax Refunds - Interest paid on federal tax refunds.

c. Federal and State Credit Unions - Interest from deposits with federal and state credit unions.

d. Federal Home Loan Mortgage Association (Freddie Mac) - Interest from obligations issued by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Association.

e. Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) - Interest from obligations issued by the Federal National Mortgage Association.

f. Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) - Interest from obligations issued by the Government National Mortgage Association.

g. Inter-American Development Bank - Interest on obligations issued by the Inter-American Development Bank.

h. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development - Interest on obligations issued by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

i. Municipal obligations of states other than South Carolina - Interest from obligations issued by other states and municipalities.

j. World Bank - Interest from obligations issued by the World Bank.

For additional information, see SC Revenue Ruling 91-15.

(Last Revised 12/4/07) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  Does converting an IRA to a Roth IRA have South Carolina income tax consequences?

 

A.  In general, taxpayers may convert an IRA to a Roth IRA. For federal purposes, the amount is reported on federal Form 8606 (Nondeductible IRAs) and included in gross income. Since South Carolina adopts federal taxable income as the starting point for South Carolina income tax purposes and there is no provision to make South Carolina adjustments for IRA conversions, the conversion amount is also taxable for South Carolina purposes. South Carolina does allow an annual deduction of up to $3,000 until age 65 for taxable retirement income received from qualified retirement plans that is not subject to a penalty for premature distributions. (See the "Information for Seniors/Retirees" Section below for more information on the retirement deduction.)

See Code Section 12-6-1170 and Internal Revenue Code Section 408A

(Last revised 12/31/03) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


Q.  Does a like-kind exchange for federal purposes also qualify as a like-kind exchange for South Carolina purposes?

 

A.  Yes. South Carolina recognizes Internal Revenue Code Section 1031. No SC adjustment is necessary.

(Last Revised 12/4/07) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


Q.  Does South Carolina recognize the Federal Military Spouses Residency Relief Act?

 

A.  Yes, for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2009. See SC Revenue Ruling #10-5.

(Last Revised 4/20/10) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


Q.  Is disability income taxable to South Carolina?

 

A.  Pension income received while a resident of South Carolina is taxable to South Carolina. However, we do allow a total and permanent disability retirement income deduction. If disability retirement income is taxed on your federal return and you are totally and permanently disabled, you may be able to deduct this income from your South Carolina taxable income.

You must be totally and permanently disabled, unable to be gainfully employed in any capacity receiving income from a disability retirement plan, and eligible for the homestead exemption under Section 12-37-250 to qualify. You do not qualify if you are receiving disability income from one job while able to perform another job. You must attach a copy of the physician's statement establishing that you are permanently and totally disabled.

NOTE: The deduction is limited to payments received from retirement plans and paid out because of the disability. Payments from disability plans which are not retirement plans are not eligible for the deduction. Third party sick pay reported on a W-2 does not qualify for the total and permanent disability retirement deduction.  Qualifying for Social Security Disability does not necessarily qualify one for the total and permanent disability deduction on the state return.

See Code Sections 12-6-1140(4),     12-37-250

(Last revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


Q.  Is income received from the National Guard or armed forces reserve pay for the annual training period and weekend drill taxable in South Carolina?

 

A.  No. South Carolina does not tax compensation received for the customary annual training period up to 15 days for guard members or 14 days plus travel time for reserve members, weekend drills, and inactive duty training.

See Code Section 12-6-1120(7)    SC Revenue Ruling #09-16

(Last revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)

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1099G/INT

Q.  What do I do with the Form 1099 G/INT I received from the Department of Revenue?

 

A.  A 1099 G/INT is a statement (not a bill, a check or an additional refund) showing the amount of refund, credit or interest issued to you in a calendar year. This amount includes any portion that was refunded, applied to any outstanding debt, transferred to estimated tax, sent to any of the contribution check-off funds, or used to pay use tax. If you itemized State income taxes paid as a deduction on Schedule A of your federal individual income tax return, you must claim the total on your federal Form 1040 for the IRS. If you claimed the standard deduction on your federal individual income tax return, you do not need to report this amount as income.

Although South Carolina does not tax any state income tax refund included in federal gross income, interest received from the Department is subject to tax in South Carolina.

You will need to keep this form with your tax records for information purposes only. This is not a bill, a check or an additional refund. This does not mean that you owe the state any additional tax. Any amounts shown as refunds have already been issued to you. Retain form 1099 G/INT with your tax records.

See Code Section 12-6-1120(2).

(Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


Q.  What is a 1099 G/INT?

 

A.  A 1099 G/INT is a statement showing the amount of refund, credit, or interest issued to you in the calendar year filing from your individual income tax returns.

(Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


Q.  What do I do with this form?

 

A.  If the refund was for a tax you paid and you deducted state and local income taxes on your federal Schedule A, use the State and Local Income Tax Refund Worksheet in the federal 1040 Instructions to determine if any of your refund is taxable.  Enter the taxable amount on line 10 of the federal form 1040.  Then, for South Carolina purposes, subtract the total amount out on line f of the SC1040.

(Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


Q.  I received a 1099 G/INT but do not itemize on my federal return, what do I do with this information/form?

 

A.  You do not need to report this amount as income if, in the year you paid the tax, you either (a) claimed the standard deduction, or (b) elected to deduct state and local general sales taxes instead of state and local income taxes.  You will need to keep this form with your tax records for information purposes only.

(Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  My preparer advised me I needed a 1099 G/INT, why did I not receive a 1099 G/INT?

A.  A review of your records indicates that you were not identified as an Individual for whom the South Carolina Department of Revenue was required to issue a 1099 G/INT. 

(Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  Why did I receive a 1099 G/INT for an overpayment that I already reported on a prior year's federal return?

A.  Contact the IRS or your tax professional for guidance

(Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  When will my 1099 G/INT be available?

A.  South Carolina Department of Revenue is required to provide the form by the end of January.

(Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


Q.  Where do I report the interest shown on the 1099 G/INT?

A.  This amount is considered taxable income and should be reported on your federal and state income tax return.

(Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  I received a refund from my original return and then filed an amended return and paid additional tax, do I need a corrected 1099 G/INT?

A.  No, Report the amount shown on the 1099 G/INT on the state tax refund line on the front of your federal return.  Any money paid on an amended return would need to be reported on the Federal Schedule A under state and local taxes paid in the year paid.

(Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  What if I filed tax returns for multiple years in one calendar year and received refunds for more than one return, will my 1099 G/INT reflect this?

A.  Yes, you will receive one 1099 G/INT that reflects each refund and interest amount by tax year.

(Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


Q.  Why does my 1099 G/INT reflect a different amount from the refund I received?

A.  The 1099 G/INT reflects the full overpayment for the year which may include a portion of the overpayment that was applied to any of the following:

·         Any outstanding debt (a notice, I-266 or I-267, would have been sent to you concerning this offset)

·         Any amounts transferred to estimated tax, as requested on your return

·         Any amounts sent to any of the contribution check –off funds, as requested on your return,

·         Any amounts applied to Use Tax, as requested on your return.

 (Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)

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DEDUCTIONS and MODIFICATIONS

Q.  How is the 44% deduction for net long term capital gains calculated?

A.  Individuals are allowed a deduction from South Carolina taxable income equal to 44% of the net capital gain recognized in South Carolina. "Net capital gain" means the excess of the net long term capital gain from the sale or exchange of a capital asset held for more than one year over the net short term capital loss of capital assets held for one year or less.  South Carolina capital gains holding period is the same as the federal holding period (generally more than one year).

To compute the deduction, follow these steps:

Step 1: Determine if there is a net gain on all SC assets held more than one year. If there is a net loss on all SC assets held more than one year, stop here - there is no deduction.

Step 2: Determine if there is a net gain or a net loss on all SC assets held one year or less. If the computation results in a net gain on SC assets held for one year or less, it is disregarded in the remaining steps for computing the deduction.

Step 3: Reduce the net capital gain amount on all SC assets held more than 1 year determined in Step 1 by the net capital loss amount on all SC assets held one year or less determined in Step 2.

Step 4: Multiply the net capital gain result in Step 3 by 44%. This result is the amount of your SC deduction.

(Last Revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  How is the capital gain holding period determined for a mutual fund?

A.  Individuals are allowed a 44% deduction for recognized net capital gains that have a holding period of more than one year. The holding period for investments in a mutual fund is the time the mutual fund held the investment; it is not how long the individual taxpayer held his or her shares in the mutual fund. Information should be provided by the mutual fund provided.

(Last revised 12/31/03) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  What interest income is not taxable in South Carolina?

A.  The following interest is not subject to tax in South Carolina:

a. interest on obligations of South Carolina,

b. interest on obligations of any of South Carolina's political subdivisions, and

c. interest on obligation of the United States.

Interest from the following list of securities is exempt from South Carolina income tax. This list should not be considered as an exhaustive listing of all exempt securities.

a. Bonds Issued by South Carolina or its Political Subdivisions - Interest from obligations issued by the State of South Carolina or any of its political subdivisions which are exempt from federal income tax.

b. Banks for Cooperatives - Interest from notes, debentures, and other obligations issued by Banks for Cooperatives. (12 USC 2134.)

c. Commodity Credit Corporation - Interest derived from bonds, notes, debentures, and other similar obligations issued by Commodity Credit Corporation. (15 USC 713a-5.)

d. Farm Credit Financial Assistance Corporation - Interest derived from notes, bonds, debentures and other obligations issued by the Farm Credit Financial Assistance Corporation. (12 USC 2278b-10; 12 USC 2023.)

e. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation - Interest derived from notes, debentures, bonds or other such obligations issued by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. (12 USC 1825.)

f. Federal Farm Credit Banks - Interest from consolidated system-wide notes, bonds, debentures, and other obligations issued jointly and severally under 12 USC 2153 by Banks of the Federal Farm Credit System. (12 USC 2055; 12 USC 2079; 12 USC 2098; and 12 USC 2134.)

g. Federal Financing Bank - Interest derived from obligations issued by the Federal Financing Bank. (12 USC 2290.)

h. Federal Home Loan Banks - Interest derived from notes, debentures, bonds, and other obligations issued by Federal Home Loan Banks and from consolidated Federal Home Loan bonds and debentures (12 USC 1433). Interest earned on deposits at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta or its successors by savings and loan associations which meet the qualified thrift lender test set forth in the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989. (SC Code 12-13-30.)

i. Federal Intermediate Credit Banks - Interest from notes, bonds, debentures, and other obligations issued by Federal Intermediate Credit Banks (12 USC 2079.)

j. Federal Land Banks and Federal Land Bank Association - Interest from notes, bonds, debentures, and other obligations issued by Federal Land Banks and Federal Land Bank Associations. (12 USC 2055.)

k. Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation - Interest derived from notes, bonds, debentures, and other such obligations issued by Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation. (12 USC 1725(e).)

l. General Insurance Fund:

(1) Interest on debentures issued under the War Housing Insurance Law by the General Insurance Fund (12 USC 1739(d).)

(2) Interest on debentures issued by the General Insurance Fund to acquire rental housing (12 USC 1747g(g).)

(3) Interest on Armed Services Housing Mortgage Insurance Debentures issued by the General Insurance Fund (12 USC 1748b(f).)

m. GSA Public Building Trust Participation Certificates - Interest on Series A through I, inclusive. (12 USC 3124(a).)

n. Guam - Interest on bonds issued by the Government of Guam. (48 USC 1423(a).)

o. Participation Certificates in the Federal Assets Financing Trust - Interest from Series A through D Participation Certificates, due in 1987 and 1988, and income from Participation Certificates in the Federal Assets Liquidation Trust, Series B, due in 1987, issued by the Federal National Mortgage Association as trustee (the Government National Mortgage Association is the current trustee) under (12 USC 1717(c)); (31 USC 3124(a).)

p. Production Credit Association - Interest from notes, debentures, and other obligations issued by Production Credit Association. (12 USC 2098.)

q. Puerto Rico - Interest derived from bonds issued by the Government of Puerto Rico. (48 USC 745.)

r. Resolution Trust Corporation - Interest from obligations issued by the Resolution Trust Corporation. (12 USC 1441a(g).)

s. Student Loan Marketing Association - Interest derived from obligations issued by the Student Loan Marketing Association (20 USC 1087-2(l))

t. Tennessee Valley Authority - Interest from bonds issued by the Tennessee Valley Authority. (16 USC 831n-4(d).)

u. United States Postal Service - Interest from obligations issued by the United States Postal Service. (39 USC 2005(d)(4).)

v. United States Treasury Bonds, Bills, Certificates and Savings Bonds - Interest from Treasury Bonds, Treasury Bills, certificates and savings bonds. (31 USC 3124(a).)

w. Virgin Islands - Interest from bonds issued by the Government of the Virgin Islands. (48 USC 1574(b)(ii)(A).)

See SC Revenue Ruling #91-15 for more information.

(Last revised 12/31/03) (Reviewed12/3/12)


 

Q.  What are the deductions for contributions to 529 plans?

A.  South Carolina provides deductions for contributions to the South Carolina Tuition Prepayment Program and to the South Carolina College Investment Program ("Future Scholar"). South Carolina does not provide a deduction for contributions to IRC Section 529 plans in general.

Any amount which either or both plans allow you to contribute is deductible for the year in which the contribution was made. A contribution to the South Carolina College Investment Program ("Future Scholar") can be made up until April 15 and claimed for either the current year or the previous year.

For more information about the South Carolina Tuition Prepayment Program, please see the information available at the www.sctpp.sc.gov. For more information about the South Carolina College Investment Program ("Future Scholar"), please see the information available at www.futurescholar.com .

Code Section 12-6-1140(11), 59-2-80(D), 59-4-100

(Last Revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  What 529 amounts are subject to recapture? 

 

A.  South Carolina Code § 59-2-80(C) provides:  "The earnings portion of any withdrawals from an account that are not qualified withdrawals shall be included in the gross income of the resident recipient of the withdrawal for purposes of South Carolina income taxes in the year of the withdrawal. Withdrawals of the principal amount of contributions that are not qualified withdrawals must be recaptured into South Carolina income subject to tax to the extent the contributions were previously deducted from South Carolina taxable income."

 

Code Section 59-2-80(C)

 

(Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)

 


 

Q.  What is a qualified withdrawal? 

 

A.  South Carolina Code § 59-2-30(12) defines "qualified withdrawal":  " 'Qualified withdrawal' means a withdrawal by an account owner or beneficiary for qualified higher education expenses or as otherwise permitted under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, without a penalty required by the section."

 

Code Section 59-2-30(12)

 

(Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)

 


Q.  Does South Carolina allow a tax credit for adopting a child?

A.  South Carolina provides individual taxpayers with a deduction (not a credit) for adopting a special needs child.  The deduction is $2,000 for each adopted special needs child who is under 18 at the time of adoption.  A letter from the SC Department of Social Services must be attached to the tax return certifying the child as a "special needs child".

Code Section 12-6-1140(7)

(Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)

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TAX CREDITS

Q.  Where can I find a complete listing of all the available income tax credits?

A.  A complete listing of the available income tax credits can be found in the South Carolina Tax Incentives for Economic Development publication. This publication can be found on our website www.sctax.org .

(Last revised 3/4/11) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


Q.  What is "earned income" for computing the two wage earner credit?

A.  SC provides married individuals filing a joint return a credit equal to .007 of the lesser of: (1) the SC qualified earned income of the spouse with the lower qualified earned income for the year or (2) $30,000.

In general, "earned income" means wages, salaries, or professional fees, and other amounts received as compensation for personal services actually rendered. It does not include income, such as, an amount received from a retirement plan or an annuity, individual retirement account or annuity, deferred compensation, or any amount your spouse paid you, interest, dividends, Social Security benefits, or any non-taxable income.

See Code Section 12-6-3330 and the instructions to the individual income tax form for detailed instructions.

(Last revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  Does South Carolina allow a credit for taxes paid to another country?

A.  South Carolina allows a credit against taxes paid to another state on income that is taxed in South Carolina and another state. Since the credit is not specifically limited to a tax paid to a state of the United States, the credit is allowed for taxes paid to political entities equivalent to a state which are located outside the borders of the United States. An example of tax paid to a political entity equivalent to a state is a Canadian province. A tax paid to another country, such as Italy, would be equivalent to a tax paid to the United States, not a state, and would not be allowed the credit. Puerto Rico is not considered a state for the purposes of this credit.

See Code Section 12-6-3400

(Last Revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  What is the tuition tax credit?

A.  South Carolina Code Section 12-6-3385 provides a refundable individual income tax credit for tuition paid to an institution of higher learning. The credit for each taxable year is equal to 25% of the tuition paid, not to exceed $850 for a student attending a 4-year institution or $350 for a student attending a 2-year institution.

The credit may be claimed by the student paying the tuition or by an individual paying the tuition who is eligible to claim the student as a dependent on his federal income tax return, whoever actually paid the tuition. It may be claimed for no more than 4 consecutive years after the student enrolls in an eligible institution.

See SC Revenue Ruling 09-3 for more information about the tuition tax credit. Caution: The requirements and provisions differ from those governing the federal tuition tax credits.

See Code Section 12-6-3385, SC Revenue Ruling 09-3

(Last revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  Who is eligible for the tuition tax credit?

A.  To qualify for the tuition tax credit, an individual enrolled in an institution of higher learning must meet all of the following requirements:

1. have graduated from high school during or after May 1997;

2. within 12 months before enrolling in the institution of higher learning:

a. graduated from a South Carolina high school,

b. completed a South Carolina high school home school program, or

c. graduated from a preparatory high school outside of South Carolina while a dependent of a parent or guardian who is a legal resident of South Carolina and has custody of the student;

3. be eligible for in-state tuition;

4. be admitted, enrolled, and classified as a degree-seeking undergraduate or be enrolled in a certificate or diploma program of at least 1 year and be in good standing at the institution (whether or not a student is in good standing is determined by the qualifying institution); and,

5. have completed at least 30 credit hours at the end of the taxable year for which the credit is claimed, or its equivalent as determined by the Commission on Higher Education. (A student is considered to have "completed" a course regardless of the grade achieved, however, a student receiving an incomplete or withdrawing from a course is not considered to have "completed" a course for purposes of the 30 credit hour requirement.); and

6. have not received a LIFE or Palmetto Fellows Scholarship.

NOTE: There is not a minimum Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) requirement or grade point average requirement to qualify for the tuition credit, however, the student must be in good standing at the institution to claim the tax credit.

See Form I-319, SC Code Section 12-6-3385 , SC Revenue Ruling 09-3

(Last revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  How many credit hours must a student complete to qualify for the tuition tax credit?

A.  A student must have completed at least 30 credit hours, or its equivalent as determined by the Commission on Higher Education, at the end of the taxable year for which the credit is claimed. The Commission on Higher Education has determined a student must meet the following credit hour requirements:

1. Students attending a full year at a traditional semester school can meet the 30 credit hour requirement in any combination of hours completed during the winter, interim, spring, summer, and fall terms in the current tax year.

2. Students attending one regular semester (fall or spring semester) at a traditional semester school must complete 15 credit hours in the one regular semester attended in order to be eligible for the tax credit. The Commission on Higher Education determined that summer school hours do not count in meeting this 15 hour per regular semester requirement.

3. Students attending a full year at a nontraditional semester school (Converse, Erskine, and Wofford) can meet the 30 credit hour requirement in any combination of hours completed during the winter, interim, spring, summer, and fall terms in the current tax year.

4. Students attending one regular semester (fall or spring semester) at Converse or Wofford must complete 12 credit hours in the semester attended in order to qualify for the credit. Students attending one regular semester (fall or spring semester) at Erskine must complete 13 credit hours in the semester attended in order to qualify for the credit.

See Code Section 12-6-3385, SC Revenue Ruling 09-3.

(Last Revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)

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TAX PAYMENTS

Q.  What are the estimated tax payment requirements?

A.  In general, a penalty is due on quarterly underpayments of your year-end individual income tax, but you owe no penalty if: (A) your tax liability for the year, after credits for withholding and estimated tax, is less than $100, or (B) you paid at least (1) 90% of the tax shown on the current SC income tax return, or (2) 100% of the tax shown on the previous year's SC income tax return (110% if your Adjusted Gross Income is $150,000 or more).

Estimated tax payments are made by filing Form SC1040ES. The due dates of estimated taxes are:

First Quarter: April 15th

Second Quarter: June 15th

Third Quarter: September 15th

Fourth Quarter: January 15th of the following tax year.

See Code Sections 12-6-3910, 12-54-55.

(Last Revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  Does SC have payment plans or installment agreements if the full tax amount cannot be paid by April 15th?

A.  Yes. The Department of Revenue encourages individuals to file their income tax returns on time and pay as much as possible when filing returns since penalties and interest will be assessed on unpaid balances. Please include your Social Security Number on your payment. If you cannot pay in full, the Department of Revenue recommends you try to borrow money from banks or other private lenders first. If you need an installment arrangement, you should request a Form FS-102 Installment Agreement Request after you receive a Proposed Notice of Adjustment or Assessment. (Form FS-102 is also available through our website.) It will instruct you on applying for an Installment Agreement. Your request will be reviewed for approval/denial purposes. For specific guidelines, see the FS-102 or call 803-898-5611.

(Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  Can a tax liability be paid with a credit card?

A.  Taxpayers who file electronically may make payment of current tax liability by accessing DOR EPay at www.sctax.org to submit a Payment Voucher for Individual Income Tax (SC1040V). The SC Department of Revenue also accepts payment of Notice of Adjustments for Individual Income Tax by credit card. If you have received a document C-133, you also may go to DOR EPay and submit payment by credit card. When paying a balance due on a document C-133, choose the option of paying a delinquent tax bill.  You will be required to enter the 10 digit bill number which is shown on the C-133 you received.  Currently, the SC Department of Revenue accepts VISA and MasterCard.

(Last Revised 1/9/08) ( Last Reviewed 12/3/12)

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AMENDED RETURNS

Q.  How can a tax return be amended if a correction needs to be made after the return has been filed?

A.  To correct an error on a previously filed income tax return, file a form SC1040X "Amended Individual Income Tax" return. Use the most recent version of the amended return available. Be sure to include a detailed explanation of the changes made as well as copies of the amended federal 1040X and all supporting federal or state schedules or documentation.  When amending a return, do not use an original form to report the corrected figures as it will cause a delay in processing. 

(Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


Q.  When is an amended return necessary?

A.  An amended return is necessary if you overstated or understated your income, deductions, payments, or tax credits, or changed your filing status. You should also file an amended return if you were audited by the IRS (unless the IRS audit had no impact on your state return). By filing an amended return you are correcting your tax records.  Your amended return may result in either a refund or additional tax.  You must pay any additional tax with the amended return.

(Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


Q.  How long do I have to file an SC1040X amended return?

A.  If you filed your original return by the original due date or by an extended due date, if applicable, you must file any claim for refund within either:

  • three years for the date of filing or
  • three years from the original due date or
  • two years from the date of payment

If you filed your original return after the original due date and any extended due date, if applicable, you must file any claim for refund within either:

  • three years from the original due date or
  • two years from the date of payment

(Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


Q.  What information should I include with the SC1040X amended return?

A.  Furnish all information requested.  When items are in question refer to the instructions for preparing form SC1040, SC1040TC, or I-319 when applicable.  Be sure to include a copy of your Federal 1040X if you were also required to amend your federal return. 

(Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)

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WITHHOLDING, W-2'S AND 1099's

Q.  What should I do if I have not received my W-2?

A.  You should receive a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, from each of your employers. Employers have until January 31 to send you a Form W-2 earnings statement.

If you haven't received your W-2 contact your employer to inquire if and when the W-2 was mailed. If it was mailed, it may have been returned to the employer because of an incorrect or incomplete address. After contacting the employer, allow a reasonable amount of time for them to resend or to issue the W-2.

You still must file your tax return or request an extension to file, even if you do not receive your Form W-2. If you have not received your Form W-2 by the due date, and have already attempted to contact your employer, you may use Form SC4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Attach Form SC4852 to the return, estimating income and withholding taxes as accurately as possible.  There may be a delay in any refund due while the information is verified. 

On occasion, you may receive your missing W-2 after you filed your return using Form SC4852, and the information may be different from what you reported on your return. If this happens, you must amend your return by filing a Form SC1040X, Amended South Carolina Individual Income Tax Return.

 (Last revised 4/25/11) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  Does South Carolina issue a W-2 Summary Transcript?

 

A.  South Carolina does not issue W-2 Summary Transcripts.  If you are unable to obtain a W-2, please see Form SC4852 for more information. 

 

(Last revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)

 


 

Q.  How does a nonresident shareholder or partner who had amounts withheld by the S-corporation or partnership claim a credit for the amount withheld?

A.  The S-corporation or partnership must provide each nonresident shareholder or partner for whom tax was withheld a federal form 1099-MISC marked "SC ONLY"on the top of the form. The information on the form should include the shareholder's or partner's name, address, social security number, and amount of tax withheld. A copy of form 1099-MISC must be attached to the nonresident shareholder's or partner's South Carolina income tax return as verification for claiming the credit for the withholding taxes paid. A Schedule K-1 is not acceptable in lieu of the form 1099-MISC.

See Code Section 12-8-590SC Revenue Procedure 92-5.

(Last revised 12/31/03) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  What are the withholding requirements for a nonresident who sold real estate in

South Carolina during the tax year?

A.  South Carolina Code §12-8-580 requires withholding on purchases of real property, or real and associated tangible personal property, from a nonresident seller. The buyer or whoever withholds on the buyer's behalf is liable for withholding and remitting the money to the Department on Form I-290, "Nonresident Real Estate Withholding." The withholding payment is due on or before the 15th day of the month following the month in which the sale took place.

The amount of withholding can be computed as follows:

1. The buyer is required to withhold 7% (5% if the seller is a corporation) of the gain recognized by the nonresident seller. The amount of gain recognized by the seller is reported on SC Form I-295, "Seller's Affidavit."

2. If the seller fails to provide the buyer with the required affidavit stating the amount of gain, the buyer is required to withhold 7% (5% for corporations) of the amount realized. If a withholding payment is based on the amount realized, the seller may file for a refund of any over-withheld amount by filing Form I-290X with the Department and stating the amount of the gain required to be recognized.

3. If the amount required to be withheld exceeds the net proceeds payable to the seller, the buyer will meet his obligation if he remits the entire net proceeds.

The nonresident seller is required to file a South Carolina income tax return for the year of the sale and report the gain or loss on the sale. On the income tax return, the seller will apply the amount withheld against any income tax due and any excess will be refunded.

See Code Section 12-8-580 and SC Revenue Advisory Bulletin 02-6 for a detailed question and answer summary.

(Last Revised 4/9/07) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  What are the filing requirements for form 1099?

A.  Form 1099 should not be submitted to the South Carolina Department of Revenue unless there is South Carolina withholding. If there is South Carolina withholding on form 1099, it should be attached to South Carolina form WH1612, Transmittal form for W2s, 1099s, and Magnetic Media, and submitted by the last day of February.

(Last Revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)

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REFUNDS

Q.  What are the individual income tax payment options for refunds?

 

A.  Beginning with the 2012 individual income tax return, all taxpayers who file a paper, paper with 2D barcode or an electronic return now have three ways to receive their individual income tax refund.  You can choose direct deposit to have the funds deposited directly into your bank account, or you can choose to have a prepaid debit card issued by Bank of America, or a paper check mailed to you. Mark your choice on line 30a of the SC1040.  See the SC1040 Instructions for more information.

 (Last Revised 12/3/12) (Reviewed 12/3/12)



Q.  Where is my refund check mailed if I moved after filing my return?

A.  The Department mails a refund check to the address shown on your tax return. Some post offices forward mail for the Department if you filed a change of address with the post office; others do not. If your refund check is returned to the Department by the post office and you notify us of your new mailing address, we will send the check to your new address.

Please file Form SC8822 (Change of Address) to notify the Department of your new mailing address or call the Department at 803-898-5709.

(Last Revised 4/9/07) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  Can I check on the status of my current year tax refund?

A.  For current year tax returns, you should allow up to 8 weeks to process a paper return and 12 days for an electronic/non-paper method. If you have not received your refund after 8 weeks from filing a paper return, you can check your refund status at our website. You may call the Department at 803-898-5300 or 803-898-5709 to check the status. Amended returns and back year filings may take additional time to process. Please note that any errors found while processing your return may result in additional delays.

Check the status of your current year refund online now.

(Last Revised 4/9/07) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  When can a claim for refund be accepted?

A.  In general, a claim for refund must be filed within 3 years of the time the timely return was filed (including extensions), 3 years from the original due date or 2 years from the date of payment, whichever is latest. If no return is required to be filed, a claim for refund must be filed within 2 years from the date of payment. The date of payment of withholding and estimated payments is deemed to be on the due date of the return, without regard to any extension of time.

An example best explains the time limitation period. A taxpayer's individual income tax return for 2005 is due April 17, 2006. The taxpayer had $500 of SC income tax withheld from wages. The taxpayer timely files an extension of time to file until October 16, 2006. On October 2, 2006, the taxpayer files a timely tax return showing and paying an additional tax liability of $200. On October 1, 2009, the taxpayer files a claim for refund of $700.

Is the taxpayer entitled to a refund? Yes. The claim for refund was timely filed within 3 years of filing the timely original return, including the extension of time. As a result, the taxpayer is entitled to a refund of $700, the $500 withheld plus the $200 paid with the extension request.

See Code Section 12-54-85, SC Revenue Ruling 97-14, Revenue Procedural Bulletin 00-3

(Last Revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)

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INFORMATION FOR RETIREES AND SENIORS

Q.  Do some taxpayers age 65 and older not have to file a SC income tax return?

A.  Yes, certain taxpayers age 65 and older may not have to file a SC income tax return. An individual is not required to file a South Carolina income tax return who has (1) a single, surviving spouse, head of household federal filing status, or a married, filing separately filing status when the spouse does not itemize deductions and (2) gross income is less than the sum of the federal exemption amount, the applicable standard deduction amount, and any age 65 and older deduction for which the taxpayer qualifies.

Further, an individual is not required to file a South Carolina income tax return who has (1) a federal joint filing status and (2) combined gross income of less than the sum of (a) twice the federal exemption amount, (b) the standard deduction if the individual and spouse had the same household at the close of the tax year, and (c) any age 65 and older deduction for which the taxpayer qualifies.

See Code Section 12-6-4910.

(Last revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  Is social security taxed by the federal government also taxed in South Carolina?

A.  No. Social Security benefits and railroad retirement taxed for federal purposes are not subject to tax in South Carolina.

See Code Section 12-6-1120(4).

(Last revised 12/4/07) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  Is retirement income received from employment outside of SC taxable?

A.  Retirement income received by a resident individual is taxable in South Carolina. The residency of a taxpayer when the taxpayer receives the retirement income, not the place of employment where the retirement income was earned, determines the taxability of retirement income. South Carolina does not tax the retirement income of nonresident individuals.

See Code Section 12-6-1130. Also, see Code Section 12-6-3500 that provides for a credit over the qualifying taxpayer's lifetime for other state income taxes paid on the employee's contributions.

(Last revised 12/31/03) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  Is there a deduction for retirement income subject to tax in South Carolina?

A.  Yes. A taxpayer receiving retirement income may deduct up to $3,000 of qualifying retirement income annually until reaching age 65, and deduct up to $10,000 of such retirement income annually at age 65 and thereafter. For this purpose, "retirement income" means the total of all otherwise taxable income not subject to a penalty for premature distribution from qualified retirement plans (which includes those plans defined in Internal Revenue Code Sections 401, 403, 408, 457) and public employee retirement plans of the federal, state, and local governments, including military retirement.

Further, if both spouses receive retirement income, each spouse is entitled to a retirement income deduction. In addition, a surviving spouse is allowed a deduction for income received from his or her retirement plan, if any, and a second, separate deduction for retirement income that is attributable to the deceased spouse, if any. The deduction for retirement income received as a surviving spouse is based on the age the deceased spouse would have been had he or she lived.

See Code Section 12-6-1170(A).

(Last Revised 12/31/03) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  What is the income tax deduction available to all taxpayers age 65 and older?

A.  An income tax deduction of up to $15,000 is allowed against any South Carolina taxable income of a resident individual who is 65 or older by the end of the tax year. The following requirements apply to this deduction:

a. Amounts deducted as retirement income (see above discussion) reduce this $15,000 deduction.

b. Amounts deducted as a surviving spouse (see above discussion) do not reduce this $15,000 deduction.

c. Taxpayer's filing a joint return are allowed a deduction of up to $15,000 when only one spouse is 65 or older and up to $30,000 when both spouses are 65 or older by the end of the tax year.

Note:  For taxpayers age 65 and older, the total of the retirement deduction and age 65 and older deduction cannot exceed $15,000.00 per taxpayer.  (Ex. If a taxpayer claims the $10,000 retirement deduction, he or she would only be eligible for $5,000.00 as the age 65 and older deduction.)

See Code Section 12-6-1170(B).

(Last revised 12/31/03) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  Is all military retirement pay taxable to South Carolina?

A.  South Carolina does not tax retirement benefits received from the United States or any state for service in a state National Guard or a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States. South Carolina does tax military retirement pay based upon service in any other military component (such as active duty), however, South Carolina allows a deduction for up to $10,000 of taxable retirement income. See the discussion above on the retirement income deduction.

An example best illustrates how to determine the amount of military retirement pay that is excluded from South Carolina taxable income. Assume your military retirement pay is from service on active duty and also service in the National Guard. You must determine what portion of the total retirement pay is to be excluded from your South Carolina taxable income. This is a 2 step process.

Step 1: Determine the percentage of your total military service that you served in the National Guard or Reserves based on the following formula:

Reserve time + National Guard time = % Exclusion Total military time

Step 2: Determine the amount of your military retirement income that is not subject to tax:

% Exclusion x Total military retirement income = Military Retirement pay not subject to tax in SC taxed on your federal return

See Code Sections 12-6-1120(7) and 12-6-1170(A), SC Revenue Ruling 09-16

(Last revised 12/31/03) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  I am considering moving to South Carolina. Is pension income taxable?

A.  Pension income received while a resident of South Carolina is taxable to South Carolina. However, South Carolina allows a retirement deduction and an age 65 and over deduction.

Please refer to our publication, "Moving to South Carolina, a Tax Guide for New Residents." This publication is located on our website under DOR Services, Publications, and addresses the different taxes administered by South Carolina as well as the deductions allowed which includes the retirement deduction and the age 65 and over deduction.

Code Section 12-6-1170

(Last Revised 12/11/07) (Reviewed 12/3/12)

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EXTENSION OF TIME TO FILE

Q.  How is an extension of time to file an individual income tax return requested?

A.  Use Form SC4868 to request an extension of time to file a SC individual income tax return. File this request on or before April 15th, or before the original due date of a fiscal year return. This extension will allow you an additional six months to file your return. If no income tax is anticipated to be due and you have been granted a federal extension of time to file a federal income tax return, the department will accept a copy of the federal extension. In this case, you do not need to send SC a copy of the federal form by the due date of the tax return. File your extension and pay your balance due on-line at www.sctax.org or file a paper form SC4868. Mail the original with payment if any. Keep two copies: one copy should be attached to the back of your return when it is filed, and the other should be retained for your records. The extension of time to file your SC tax return granted by this request does not extend the time for payment of taxBe sure to check the appropriate box when filing your SC1040 to indicate that you have filed a state or federal extension. 

See Code Section 12-6-4980.

(Last Revised 12/4/07) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


Q.  How is an extension of time to file a composite tax return requested?

A.  A composite return allows S-corporations or partnerships to compute and report the South Carolina income and tax attributable to their nonresident shareholders or partners on a single tax return. A form SC1040, "South Carolina Individual Income Tax Return" is used to file a composite return on behalf of fiduciary and individual shareholders and partners. The return is filed using the S-corporation's or partnership's name, address, and federal identification number. The composite return is due on or before the fifteenth day of the fourth month following the shareholder's or partner's taxable year end, generally April 15th. The composite return may be extended by filing form SC4868, "Request for Extension of Time to File South Carolina Tax Return." Any tax estimated to be due must be paid with the timely filed extension. A composite return cannot be extended by filing Form SC1120T or federal Form 7004.  Likewise, the extension of the composite return does not extend the South Carolina S-corporation (SC1120S) or partnership (SC1065) tax return.

See also SC Revenue Procedure 92-5.

(Last revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)

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PENALTIES

Q.  Am I penalized if I do not file my return or pay my taxes by the due date?

A.  Yes. Civil penalties are imposed for failing to file an income tax return. A failure to file penalty is imposed for failing to file a tax return on or before its due date, determined with regard to any extension of time for filing. The penalty is 5% of the tax amount if the failure is for not more than one month, with an additional 5% for each additional month or fraction of the month during which the failure continues, not to exceed 25% in the aggregate.

Also, a failure to pay penalty is imposed for failing to pay the amount shown as tax on any return on or before its due date, determined with regard to any extension of time for paying. The penalty is 1/2% of the amount of tax if the failure is for not more than one month, with an additional 1/2% for each additional month or fraction of the month during which the failure continues, not to exceed 25% in the aggregate.

Other penalties may apply. See Code Section 12-54-43.

Online Penalty & Interest Calculator

(Last revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)

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ADMINISTRATIVE QUESTIONS

Q.  Where should income tax returns be mailed?

A.  Tax returns are mailed to particular post office boxes based upon the type of tax form filed and whether a refund or payment is anticipated. The addresses are:

Mail Form SC1040 - With a refund or no tax payment due to:

SC 1040 Processing Center
PO Box 101100
Columbia, SC 29211-0100

Mail All Returns having a tax payment due to:

Taxable Processing Center
PO Box 101105
Columbia, SC 29211-0105

(Last revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  When is an income tax return or estimated payment due, if the due date is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday?

A.  If the due date of an individual income tax return or estimated payment is a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, then the filing will be considered timely if it is made on the next business day. The Department considers the return timely filed if it is placed in the US mail in a properly addressed envelope with adequate postage and it has a legible postmark falling within the prescribed filing time.

See SC Revenue Procedural Bulletin 00-2.

(Last Revised 3/31/07) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  What is my county code number?

A.  It is useful to the Department if you enter the code number of the county in which you are a resident. There is also a code number to enter if you reside outside South Carolina (No. 99) or the United States (No. 88). These codes are in the instructions to the income tax form or can be found on the Department's website.

Go to the list of County Codes.

(Last revised 12/31/03) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  How do I get copies of my income tax return filed in past years with the Department?

A.  Please file Form SC4506 (Request for Copy of Tax Form) to the Department's Photocopy Section, or call us at 803-896-1164. There is a $5.00 fee (plus applicable sales tax) for each tax return copy requested.

(Last Revised 4/2/2007) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


 

Q.  Does SC have "Innocent Spouse," "Separation of Liability," and "Equitable Relief" provisions like the Internal Revenue Service?

A.  South Carolina has adopted the joint return relief provisions in Internal Revenue Code Section 6015. This means that in some cases, a spouse may be relieved of responsibility for paying tax, interest, and penalties on a joint return.

Innocent Spouse Relief. You must meet all the following conditions to qualify for innocent spouse relief:

a. You filed a joint return which has an understatement of tax attributable to erroneous items of your spouse.

b. You establish that at the time you signed the joint return you did not know, and had no reason to know, that there was an understatement of tax.

c. Taking into account all the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understatement of tax.

Relief by Separation of Liability. Under this type of relief, you divide the understatement of tax, interest, and penalties on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse). The understatement of tax allocated to you is generally the amount for which you are responsible. This relief can be requested whether or not the taxpayer requests innocent spouse relief. You may qualify for relief by separation of liability if:

a. You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom the taxpayer filed the joint return (this includes a widow), or

b. You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return within the last 12 months.

Equitable Relief. You may qualify for equitable relief if you meet all of the following conditions:

a. Taking into account all the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understatement or underpayment of tax.

b. You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief.

c. You are not eligible for separation of liability.

How to Request Relief. To request relief, a taxpayer should send a letter to the Department providing the taxpayer's name, address, phone number, tax years involved, and complete statement of the facts.

See SC Code Section 12-6-50(14) and Internal Revenue Code Section 6015.

(Last revised 12/31/03) (Reviewed 12/3/12)

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RESOURCES

Q.  Where is a copy of the South Carolina Code of Laws?

A.  The South Carolina Tax Code is available on the Internet.  Taxation is Title 12 and Income Tax is Title 12 Chapter 6.

SC Code of Laws*

* The SC Code of Laws is updated annually in January.

(Last revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


Q.  Where can I find a listing of Department Advisory Opinions?

A.  A Calendar year index as well as an Alphabetical Index is available through our website under Law and Policy, Dept. Advisory Opinions.

(Last revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)


Q.  Where can I find a listing of contact numbers of frequently dialed numbers?

A.  This listing is available through our website under About DOR, Contact Information. 

(Last revised 11/16/09) (Reviewed 12/3/12)

 

 

 

 



 
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