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South Carolina Grants Department of Revenue Authorization to Enact a Tax Amnesty

On and effective June 8, 2015, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill that amends the code of laws of South Carolina by adding section 12-4-397.  Adding this new section allows the South Carolina Department of Revenue to designate a 3-month amnesty period.  Should the Department of Revenue decide to commence an amnesty program, it must notify the General Assembly of the amnesty period at least 60 days prior to the commencement of the period.

Some of the key points to note are:

  • The DOR shall waive the penalties and interest or a portion at its discretion;
  • The DOR shall not initiate criminal investigation or refer the taxpayer to the Office of the Attorney General;
  • The taxpayer voluntarily files all delinquent tax returns and pays in full all taxes due;
  • The taxpayer voluntarily files an amended tax return to correct an incorrect or insufficient original return and pays all taxes due;
  • The taxpayer voluntarily pays, in full, all previously assessed tax liabilities due within an extended amnesty period which begins at the close of the amnesty period and continues to a time designated by the DOR;
  • The DOR may set up installment agreements as long as all the taxes are paid within the period and the agreement must be made before the close of the amnesty period;
  • No amnesty will be granted if the taxpayer is the subject of a state tax-related criminal investigation; and
  • The department must be reimbursed 5% of the total amounts collected through amnesty for administrative costs.

Although this bill does not initiate an amnesty program, it could be a sign that the South Carolina Department of Revenue does intend to commence an amnesty program sometime in the near future.

To view the bill, please click here.

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