In This Edition: SCDOR unveils a South Carolina W-4 for 2020 state allowances … Columbia, Charleston forecast among 2020’s ‘Affordable Alternatives’ to America’s high-priced big cities … Reach study projects that this letter from the IRS might have saved 700 lives … Retired CFO in Charleston charged with failure to pay $268,000 in withholding taxes.

SCDOR Unveils a South Carolina W-4 for 2020 State Allowances

The South Carolina Department of Revenue has created a state W-4 for use beginning in 2020. This new state form is necessary because the 2020 federal W-4 removed allowances. The SC W-4 includes allowances and matches the state’s latest Withholding Tax Tables. This marks the first time South Carolina has made a general-use W-4. Prior to 2020, the SC W-4 was a form for nonresident military spouses claiming to be exempt from South Carolina withholding. This exemption is included as a checkbox on the new SC W-4. Learn more details on the new SC W-4 in the SCDOR’s Withholding FAQs. (SCDOR)

Columbia, Charleston Forecast Among 2020’s ‘Affordable Alternatives’ to America’s High-Priced Big Cities

Columbia placed fifth and Charleston was ranked ninth in a “top markets to watch in 2020” study on the website for the National Association of Realtors that found hot real estate markets are where Americans can enjoy a high quality of life while stretching their paycheck. “The cities that we expect to do best in 2020 are not necessarily big, fancy, coastal cities, but secondary markets where the job market is still pretty good but housing is affordable,” said Realtor.com’s chief economist. Columbia was praised for having “ultra-affordable homes” that are a draw for people moving in from out of state and driving “South Carolina’s runaway growth” in the state capital. And while downtown Charleston’s tourism drives affordable housing toward the suburbs, there is plenty of demand from retirees and transplants who work in the military and aerospace sectors, South Carolina Port Authority or Volvo, as well as tech industry millennials looking for good schools. Boise, Idaho topped the list. (Realtor.com)

Reach Study Projects that This Letter from the IRS Might Have Saved 700 Lives

In 2016, the Obama administration wanted the IRS to mail letters to the 4.5 million Americans who paid tax fines because they did not have health coverage in hopes the letters would raise awareness of Affordable Care Act coverage options. When the budget did not allow that, 3.9 million letters were sent and about 600,000 uninsured taxpayers were arbitrarily left out. This bureaucratic decision inadvertently led to a randomized controlled trial, and now three Treasury Department economists have published a working paper that shows for every 1,648 taxpayer who received a letter, there was one fewer premature mortality than for those who did not get a letter. The researchers estimate the plain-looking envelopes might have prolonged 700 lives. (The New York Times)

Retired CFO in Charleston Charged with Failure to Pay $268,000 In Withholding Taxes

South Carolina Department of Revenue agents arrested a retired businessman and charged him with five counts of failure to collect, account for or pay Withholding Tax. Brian John Schleifer, 64, of Charleston, was the CFO for National Dental Systems LLC, D/B/A DentalSmart, and the Special Controller for Dental Holdings, PC, responsible for making state Withholding Tax payments for his businesses. According to arrest warrants, Schleifer willfully and knowingly from 2013 through 2016 failed to pay the SCDOR at least $268,769 of the taxes withheld from over $6.7 million of employees’ wages. Schleifer was being held at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center pending a bond hearing. If convicted, Schleifer faces fines up to $10,000 and/or up to five years in prison per charge. (SCDOR)