SC Department of Revenue
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Frequently Asked Questions

 

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

Getting a Withholding File Number

Making a Withholding Payment

Payment Due Dates

Overpayments/Refunds

Filing Withholding Returns

Answering Telefile Questions

Receiving Notices—What do they mean?

Submitting W-2's and/or 1099's 

Obtaining W-4 Information

Determining When to Withhold

Answering Questions Involving Other State Agencies
 

Getting a Withholding File Number

How do I obtain a South Carolina Withholding File Number?

You can apply for a SC Withholding File Number using either of two (2) ways:

 1) From the homepage of our website www.sctax.org, select SCBOS (South Carolina Business One Stop) and follow through the questions in order to complete the registration process.   When you finish answering the questions, you will be given a confirmation number. The SC reference number is your withholding file number. *Note: It may take up to 24 hours to receive the reference number. You will receive a withholding packet in approximately 2 weeks.

 2) You may download a copy of the SCDOR-111 (Tax Registration Application) from our website.  Complete the form and mail it to the address listed on the form.  In approximately 3 weeks you will receive a letter informing you of the SC Withholding File Number that has been assigned to you along with a packet of withholding information.

Should the ownership of the business change, such as conversion from a partnership to a corporation, a new withholding file number must be obtained.  If you are required to get a new federal identification number, you are also required to get a new SC Withholding File Number.
 
Your SC Withholding File Number will start with a 25 and is a 9 digit number.

You should reference this number on all returns, correspondence and when any phone calls are made to the department.

I have questions about the online application process or the SCDOR-111 Tax Registration Application.  Whom should I contact?

All questions regarding the SCDOR-111 application process should be forwarded to the Registration area at (803) 896-1350.  If you have questions regarding the online application process, contact the SCBOS HelpDesk at (803) 898-5690.

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Making a Withholding Payment

What is the withholding tax rate for South Carolina?

The tax rate for South Carolina is a graduated rate from 2 to 7 percent.  It is built into the tax tables.

I need to make a payment today.  What is the easiest/fastest way to get the payment to you?

Withholding payments can be made electronically by using DOR ePay, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or by mailing in a payment with a WH1601 payment coupon.

Am I mandated to make my payments by an electronic method?

Yes, if: Withholding agents who withhold $15,000 or more in SC state tax per quarter are required to pay taxes with immediately available funds.
 
Yes, if: Making 24 or more withholding payments in a year you must pay electronically per SC Code of Law Section 12-8-1520(D) which states that a withholding agent making 24 or more payments in a year must make their payments electronically.

I need to make a payment for a previous quarter.  May I take the payment to the bank?  May I make the payment electronically?

No, you may not take withholding payments to the bank.  You may not make late payments electronically. Late payments must be mailed directly to SCDOR in order to ensure that they are posted to the correct quarter.

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Payment Due Dates


When am I required to make my South Carolina withholding payments?  When are my payments due?

Resident Withholding agents:  State tax payments are due the same time that federal payments are due, regardless of the state amount due.   You must follow the federal guidelines.
 
Nonresident Withholding agents:  State tax payments are due on a quarterly basis if the total SC tax withholding amount is less than $500.00 per quarter.  If due quarterly, the remittance is due by the last day of the month following the end of the quarter.

State tax payments are due on a monthly basis if the SC tax withholding amount is $500.00 or more in a quarter.  If due monthly, the remittance is due by the 15th of the following month.

If the pay period ends on March 30th and paychecks for this pay period are issued on April 4th, in which quarter should the withholding payment be included?

The date of the employee's paycheck determines the quarter in which the withholding is included. Taxes are withheld when the wages are paid (date of the paycheck), not when the wages are earned (the pay period).  Therefore, the taxes would be included in the 2nd quarter withholdings since the paycheck was dated April 4th.

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Overpayments/Refunds


If I overpaid in a quarter, will I be given a credit for this amount in the next quarter?

No.  You should request a refund of the overpayment on the quarterly return.  An overpayment will be refunded to you.  No credits are allowed.

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Filing Withholding Returns


What are the due dates for my withholding returns?

The withholding quarterly returns are due by the last day of the month following the end of the quarter, with the exception of the fourth quarter which is due on the last day of February of the following tax year.

 FORM                     QUARTER                                                       DUE DATE

 WH-1605                1st (Jan-Feb-Mar)                                            due by Apr 30th
 WH-1605                 2nd (Apr-May-Jun)                                           due by Jul 31st
 WH-1605                 3rd (Jul-Aug-Sep)                                            due by Oct 31st
 WH-1606                 4th (Oct-Nov-Dec)/ Annual (Jan-Dec)            last day of February

The withholding 4th quarter/annual return is due by the last day of February of the following tax year.


If I have no withholding during a quarter, am I required to file a quarterly return WH-1605?

Yes.  If the withholding account is open, quarterly returns must be filed each quarter. If a return is not filed, you will receive a Failure to File notice.  You may file the return either by mailing the return to SCDOR or by filing electronically using eWithholding or Telefile.

*NOTE:  Please do not fax copies of your return to us for processing.  The returns are scanned into our system and the quality of faxed copies are often not very good. 

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Answering Telefile Questions

How do I qualify to file my withholding tax return using Telefile?

You qualify to file your withholding tax return by Telefile if no payment is due with the return or you are due a refund.

When can I Telefile my withholding tax return?

A withholding tax return may be filed anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, using a touchtone or cellular phone.

Do I have to apply to use the Telefile system?

There is no application to complete in order to use the Telefile system.  However, first time users are required to register and select a "PIN" number during the initial call. 

Is there a fee charged in order to Telefile my withholding tax return?

No.  There is no charge.

What number do I call to Telefile my withholding tax return?

Call (803) 898-5918 to Telefile a withholding return.

Who do I contact for assistance when trying to Telefile my withholding return?

If you have a problem when calling to Telefile your return, contact the Telefile Helpdesk during regular business hours at (803) 896-1715 for assistance.

May I submit my quarterly returns by Telefile?

Yes, you may Telefile the WH-1605 or WH-1606 return as long as zero taxes are due with the return or a refund is due for the quarter.  If you Telefile the quarterly return do not submit a paper copy of the return. If you file the 4th quarter using the Telefile system you must still mail in your W-2s and/or 1099s with the form WH-1612 W-2/Magnetic Media Transmittal Document. You can also upload your W-2s by logging onto the SCBOS W-2 Portal. The SCBOS W2 Portal is a free online filing service that will allow for quick and easy filing of wage and tax statements.

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Receiving Notices – What Do They Mean

I received a notice for failure to file a quarterly reconciliation, but I did not have any employees and/or had zero withholding for the period mentioned.   Why did I receive this notice?

If the withholding account is open, the withholding agent is required to file a quarterly return.  If a quarterly return is not filed, a failure to file notice will be mailed.  If you are not going to have employees in the near future, the account should be closed as of the date of your last payroll.

I have never had any employees.  Why am I getting notices saying that I failed to file returns?


If a withholding application was submitted in error, then it is recommended that the withholding account be closed. In order to close the account, you should download a copy of form C-278 (Account Closing Form).  Complete and mail to the address on the top of the form in order to close your account. 


I have received a Proposed Assessment (C-293) or an Assessment (C-133) stating that I owe taxes for a past period.  May I pay the taxes by ePAY or by EFT?

As long as the notice has a receivable or bill number, you may pay the amount owed by using DORePAY on our website.  Simply click on the DORePAY icon from our homepage.  Then click on "Delinquent Tax Bill" as the type of payment that you are trying to make.  Follow the steps through the program.  You will be given the option to pay by electronic funds withdrawal (bank draft) or by credit card. You may also write a check, attach it to a copy of the notice and mail it to the SC Department of Revenue at the address on the notice. 

You may not pay any past due notices by EFT.

I have received a Notice of Assessment for Failure to File a return for Withholding taxes, but I sent in the return on time.    Why did I receive this notice and what do I do?

A return may have been sent, but for some reason SCDOR did not receive it.
You should review your copy of the return and verify that it is for the same quarter as the Notice.  You can file your return and make payments using eWithholding. You can file using Telefile if you have a zero balance due or if you are expecting a refund for that period.

If a payment is due, send the payment along with a copy of the return to SCDOR or file the return and payment amount due using eWithholding.  Filing the return electronically or by paper will satisfy the notice.

I have received a Notice of Assessment for Failure to File a return for Withholding taxes.  Do I owe this amount?  I thought that I paid the taxes for this quarter.

You may not owe this amount.  First, verify for which quarter the Notice was sent.  Also check your records to verify that you made all payments for the quarter.  The Notice was sent for Failure to File a withholding return.  It does not mean that SCDOR did not receive your payments.  It just means that SCDOR did not receive your return.  You may electronically file using eWithholding or mail a paper return to the address on the form. If no balance is due or a refund is due, you may also file using Telefile.   Once the return is received (by either method), the notice will be satisfied.

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Submitting W-2s and/or 1099s 


Can South Carolina accept wage and tax information (W-2) via electronic filing?

Yes, a new web based solution for submitting 2011 Forms W-2 to the South Carolina Department of Revenue is now available.

Are we required to file electronically or magnetically with SC Department of Revenue?

If you are required to file Forms W-2 electronically with the Social Security Administration, then you are required to file Forms W-2 electronically or magnetically with the Department of Revenue.

How should Forms W-2 be submitted to the Department of Revenue for the 2010 Tax Year and prior years?

Withholding agents that file 250 or more Forms W-2 must file these wage and tax information via magnetic media. The Department of Revenue will accept paper forms if less than 250 Forms W-2 are filed.

How do I submit my W-2s and/or 1099s if I have electronically filed my 4th Quarter/ Annual Reconciliation (WH-1606)?

If filing your WH-1606 Fourth Quarter/Annual Reconciliation electronically using the eWithholding System, a new, web based solution for submitting Forms W-2 to the South Carolina Department of Revenue will be operational for tax years 2011 and after. You will not be required to submit the Form WH-1612 to DOR if you use this new web based solution to electronically file your W-2s. For additional information on the new web based electronic filing method, go to www.scbos.sc.gov .  Filing by magnetic media is still an available option for Forms W-2 and/or Forms 1099. Filing by magnetic media is the only option available for filing 250 or more 1099s.  You will be required to submit the Form WH-1612 if you are filing by magnetic media.

Do I need to send a copy of the 1099's to South Carolina Department of Revenue?

Send copies of 1099s to SCDOR only if South Carolina withholding has been withheld.  If there is no SC withholding, you do not need to send us a copy of the form.

When preparing the W-2s I left off or used the wrong SC Withholding number. What do I do?

An incorrect SC Withholding File number will cause problems for taxpayers trying to file their individual income tax returns.

You must provide your employees with corrected W-2 information.  You should prepare W-2Cs for each employee.  If this is not possible, you may prepare a letter on company letterhead stating the wrong information and the corrected information.  A copy of this letter must be given to each employee with instructions that they must furnish a copy of the letter with their W-2 when they file their individual income tax return.  You should also send a copy of this letter to SCDOR. 

My employer will not furnish me with a copy of my W-2.  How do I file my individual income tax return?

You may still file your individual income tax return using a Substitute W-2 form.  This is form SC4852 and can be downloaded from our website.

How do I get information about filing electronically or magnetically with the Department of Revenue?

Additional information is available on the RS-1 Manual or you can log onto www.scbos.sc.gov.

Would paper Form W-2 still be required to be filed with the Department of Revenue if Forms W-2 have already been filed electronically or magnetically?

No, only one form of filing is required.  

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Obtaining W-4 Information


Where do I get a copy of the South Carolina W-4 form?
Where do I get a copy of the South Carolina payroll exemption form?

South Carolina does not have its own W-4 form.  We accept the Federal W-4.  If an employee wants to claim a different number of exemptions for South Carolina, they simply fill out another Federal W-4 form, write "for South Carolina purposes only" across the form, and show the number of exemptions that they want to claim. 

Important:  Per South Carolina Code of Law Section 12-8-1010(A) (2) Employees may not claim more exemptions for SC than they claim for Federal, but they may claim less.

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Determining When to Withhold


South Carolina Code of Laws

I have an employee that lives in another state but works in South Carolina.  Which state taxes do I withhold?

Wages are taxed in the state in which they are earned.  If the employee is working in South Carolina, regardless of where he is a resident, the income earned in South Carolina is taxed by South Carolina.

I have an employee that lives in South Carolina but works in another state.   Which state taxes do I withhold?

Again, the answer is that wages are taxed in the state in which they are earned unless the employee is working in a state that does not withhold state income tax.  If the employee is a South Carolina resident and is working in a state that does not have state income tax, you should withhold South Carolina tax.  Florida, Texas, and Tennessee are examples of states that have no state income tax.  If a South Carolina resident is working in one of these states, then SC taxes would be withheld.  This is covered in the South Carolina Code of Law Section 12-8-520(C).


I have an employee who is a military spouse working in South Carolina. Their state of residency is in another state. Which state do I withhold and remit the taxes to?

2009 Federal Military Spouses Residency Relief Act
Under certain conditions and effective for Tax Year 2009, the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (PL 111-97) amended the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to allow a military servicemember’s spouse to retain a tax domicile in a state other than the state in which the spouse is living and to prevent a state where the servicemember’s nonresident spouse is performing personal services from taxing those personal services.

In order for the Act to apply, each of these conditions must be satisfied:


 1) The state where the servicemember and spouse are living is not the domicile of the spouse or  the servicemember;
 2) The spouse resides in the state solely in order to live with the servicemember;
 3) The servicemember is present in the state as a result of military orders; and
 4) The spouse and the servicemember both have the same domicile.

A qualifying spouse may claim an exemption from withholding by completing SC W-4. See SC Revenue Ruling #10-5 for more information.

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Answering Questions Involving Other Agencies


I need to know the unemployment rates.
I need to get some information about SUI.
I sent in this information on the Form UCE.

These questions are all about unemployment and you will need to contact the SC Department of Employment and Workforce 1-803-737-2400.

I need information concerning Contingency Assessments.  (This information is usually requested by some Quick Books software.)

You will need to contact the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce at 1-803-737-2400.

I have been told that there is a law that I report all new hires.  To whom do I report this?

New hires are reported to the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) at 1-803-898-9235.

What is the number of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)?

For Federal assistance the IRS has a Business & Specialty Tax Line at 1-800-829-4933.

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