The South Carolina Department of Revenue has released an 18-page advisory opinion to update the Department of Revenue’s internal appeals process for tax matters. The primary change is to revise the appeals process to include a new Appeals Section established by the Department.

The following Public Draft has been submitted for public comment and is available to view or download: https://dor.sc.gov/resources-site/lawandpolicy/Advisory%20Opinions/PD-Appeals.pdf

The comment close date is Dec. 3, and any conference if requested by comment close date will be held on Dec. 12, 10 a.m., in Room MPC05.

This Revenue Procedure contains the Department’s process for handling disputed tax matters within its jurisdiction. This includes disputes involving taxes (including property tax matters administered by the Department), penalties, denials and revocations of licenses, and other matters administered by the Department other than regulatory license and violation matters.

Additionally, significant changes were made to “The South Carolina Revenue Procedures Act” (Chapter 60, Title 12) by Act No. 265 of 2018. Changes to Chapter 60 addressed in this Revenue Procedure include:

  1. The Department has one year from when a taxpayer files a written protest to issue a department determination. The Administrative Law Court may extend the one-year period by up to six months at the request of the Department. The Department must notify the taxpayer of the right to request a contested case hearing before the Administrative Law Court if the Department does not issue a department determination timely.
  2. For property tax matters administered by the DOR, it requires the Department to:
    • notify each affected county if a protest is filed with the Department, unless the protest concerns a denial of an exemption involving an individual
    • send a department determination to the taxpayer and any affected county and notify them of the right to appeal
    • notify the taxpayer and any affected county of the right to request a contested case hearing before the Administrative Law Court if the Department does not issue a department determination timely
    • notify each affected county when a taxpayer files a claim for refund
    • issue a decision on a claim for refund within six months of receipt of the claim

Property tax matters administered by the Department include those property taxes the Department assesses, such as manufacturing, utilities, and business personal property as well as those that the Department both assesses and bills, such as carlines and airlines. It also includes decisions involving property tax exemptions administered by the Department.

These procedures are designed to ensure public confidence in the integrity and fairness of the Department, and to comply with both the letter and the spirit of the South Carolina Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights (Chapter 58, Title 12) and the South Carolina Revenue Procedures Act (Chapter 60, Title 12) and to resolve disputes when possible without the expense of a formal hearing or court appearance.

To submit comments or request a conference, email policy@dor.sc.gov.

You can track the progress of this draft and other drafts and advisory opinions at https://dor.sc.gov/policy/index/new-draft-advisory-opinions.