South Carolina Authorizes Amnesty Program

South Carolina has enacted a bill authorizing the Department of Revenue (DOR) to create a tax amnesty period during which penalties and interest, or a portion of them, will be waived for taxpayers that voluntarily file and pay all taxes owed. Amnesty will be granted to taxpayers who:

  • request an amnesty form and voluntarily file all delinquent tax returns and pay in full all taxes due;
  • voluntarily file an amended tax return to correct an incorrect or insufficient original return and pay all taxes due; or
  • voluntarily pay in full all previously assessed tax liabilities due within an extended amnesty period as determined by the department. The department may set up installment agreements so long as all taxes are paid within this period.

A taxpayer who has an appeal pending with respect to an assessment will be able to participate in the amnesty program if the taxpayer pays all taxes owed. A taxpayer who is the subject of a state tax-related criminal investigation or criminal prosecution will not be eligible to participate in the program. If the DOR establishes an amnesty period, it must notify the South Carolina General Assembly of the amnesty period at least 60 days before the start of the amnesty period. An administrative fee of 5% must be reimbursed to the department on the total amount collected under amnesty. Any overdue tax debt, as defined in Section 12-55-30, remaining unpaid may have imposed on it at the department’s discretion an additional ten percent collection assistance fee. This collection assistance fee initially may be imposed on any overdue tax debt at the close of the extended amnesty period as prescribed by the department. This additional collection assistance fee only may be imposed for a period of one year after the close of the extended amnesty period. (S.B. 526, Laws 2015, effective June 8, 2015)

Posted on June 23, 2015