When the Senate passed bill S.545 during special session on Tuesday, Sept. 22, it represented three wins for the SCACPA Advocacy Team over this incredibly difficult year. The bill covers concerns by SCACPA and its members for:

  • Federal Tax Conformity
  • PPP Deductibility
  • Uniformity for the PT-100 Business Personal Property form

[UPDATE: Gov. Henry McMaster signed this bill into law on Monday, Sept. 28.]

SCACPA Board Chair Ken Newhouse, CPA, thanks all our regulatory partners for making this possible by working together to overcome significant obstacles.

“Conformity was very uncertain this year due to all the changes with COVID and the budget,”
Newhouse said. “The state had to conform in a way that made the outcome revenue-neutral, so it was very challenging.”

S.545 (sponsored by Sen. Thomas Alexander) requires all South Carolina counties to use the DOR’s approved PT-100 form for filing business personal property assessments. SCACPA Advocacy has pushed for more than four years for this to happen. SCACPA applauds Sen. Alexander’s effort to make the PT-100 form issue happen and his extraordinary effort to get Conformity across the finish line.

“That’s a big win in moving toward uniform filing,” Newhouse said. “Now that there will be one form to file their PT-100s with the state or the county, it simplifies the process for all businesses.

“By not having to hunt down a bunch of forms, it saves businesses and accountants time,” Newhouse said. “Knowing what form to use and what needs to be filled out for business property tax returns will ease burdens and improve compliance.”

[In The News: “SC Businesses to No Longer Face ‘Wild, Wild West’ in Paying Local Licensing Fees to Operate” (Post and Courier, Sept. 30)]

Further, to the extent the federal government allows the deduction of expenses associated with forgiven Paycheck Protection Program loans, these expenses will be allowed as a deduction for South Carolina income tax purposes. Rep. Laurie Funderburk sponsored the PPP portion of the bill and should be commended for her foresight.

“For businesses, PPP money flowed through to cover their payrolls at the same time they were continuing to pay overhead without any revenue streams,” Newhouse said. “We’ve now helped alleviate the pain that small businesses were feeling from the impact of shutdowns.

“It was rewarding that we were effective in passing all three things before the end of the session,” Newhouse said.

The success of these campaigns means that SCACPA Advocacy can turn its sights toward fighting to solve further issues for South Carolina CPAs when the legislature reconvenes in January for the start of its next two-year cycle.

“We will continue to champion single filing with the Department of Revenue for business property tax returns,” Newhouse cited as a top priority.