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    Unemployment Insurance Tax Program

    The Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) is responsible for the collection, accounting and auditing functions of South Carolina's Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax program. Whether you are starting a new business or are an existing employer, our goal is to help you find the resources and information that you need to succeed. This page contains the general information you need to know about UI taxes in South Carolina. 

    For-Profit Businesses

        Determine If You Need to Establish an Unemployment Tax Account

    Liable employers are required to establish an unemployment tax account with DEW.

    Your business is liable for quarterly UI tax contributions if it meets any one of the following criteria.

    • Pays $1,500 or more in wages in any calendar quarter or has at least one employee during any 20 weeks in a calendar year.
    • Acquires all or part of a business that was an employer subject to UI taxes at the time of the acquisition.
    • Is liable under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) and has employees in South Carolina.
    • Elects to become a liable employer.
    • Pays cash wages of $1,000 or more in any calendar quarter for domestic services.
    • Pays $20,000 or more to individuals employed in agricultural labor during any calendar quarter. 
    • Employs 10 or more individuals in agricultural labor for a day in any 20 weeks in a calendar year.

    Exceptions

    In particular situations employers may not be liable for UI taxes for certain individuals. For a complete list of covered and exempt services, please refer to the South Carolina Code of Laws, sections 41-27-210, 41-27-220, 41-27-230, 41-27-235, 41-27-260.

    Below are just two examples of situations where employers may not be liable for UI taxes.

    • Independent Contractors
      Businesses that employ independent contractors are not liable for UI tax contributions on those individuals. The department decides whether a worker’s employment status is that of an employee or an independent contractor.  Although a contract between parties is considered, the fact that it states the relationship as an independent contractor does not bind the department in its determination.

    • Multi-state workers
      When an employee works in South Carolina and another state, the department applies the following test to determine employment reportable to DEW. The tests are applied in the following order. 

      1. Localization
        An employee’s services are in employment and "localized" in a state if he performs all services in the state or performs a majority of his services in that state with incidental services performed outside it.
      2. Base of Operations
        If test one does not apply in any state, an employee’s services are in employment in a state if he performs some of his services and his base of operations is in that state as well. Base of operations is defined as a place of more or less permanent nature where the employee starts work and where he customarily returns to perform his contracted work.
      3. Place of Direction and Control
        If tests one and two do not apply in any state, an employee’s services are in employment in a state if some of his services are performed there and his employer exercises general direction and control over him from that same state.
      4. Residence of Employee
        If tests one, two and three do not apply in any state, an employee’s services are in employment in a state where he performs some of his services, and he lives there as well.

    For specific questions related to your business, call the Employer Status Section at 803.737.3075. 

    Voluntary Election

    An employer not liable for UI taxes can elect to become liable. Complete the Election to Become an Employer Form (UCE-154) and submit it to the address below. 

    South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce
    Employer Status Unit
    P.O. Box 995
    Columbia, SC 29202

     

     

    Non-Profit | Government Entities

        Determine If You Need to Establish an Unemployment Tax Account

    Liable employers are required to establish an unemployment tax account with DEW.

    Your organization is liable for South Carolina UI tax contributions if it meets any one of the following criteria.

    • A non-profit organization, exempt under IRS Code 501-C-3, that employs four or more individuals for any 20 weeks within the current or preceding calendar year.
    • A state government agency.
    • A local government entity that employs at least one individual; regardless of the number of weeks the individual is employed or how much he is paid.
    • A business that elects to become a liable employer.

    Voluntary Election

    An employer not liable for UI taxes can elect to become liable. Complete the Election to Become an Employer Form (UCE-154) and submit it to the address below.

    South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce
    Employer Status Unit
    P.O. Box 995
    Columbia, SC 29202

     

        Non-Profits

    All liable employers are responsible for preserving employee records and submitting quarterly wage reports. For more information, visit the Responsibilities of Liable Employers section below.

    However, certain organizations in South Carolina do not pay quarterly UI taxes. Instead these entities reimburse DEW for the total dollar value of UI benefits paid to their former employees. These entities are known as reimbursable employers.

    Non-profits can choose to become reimbursable employers by completing and mailing the Election to Become Reimbursable Form (UCE-155) along with an IRS Code 501-C-3 Exempt Letter to the address below. Without this documentation, the organization is considered an employer liable for paying quarterly UI taxes.

    South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce
    Employer Status Unit
    P.O. Box 995
    Columbia, SC 29202

    For more information on paying taxes as a reimbursable employer, read the Responsibilities of Reimbursable Employers section below.

    Bonding Requirements for Certain Non-Profits

    Non-profit organizations that have chosen to be reimbursable employers and do not possess title to real property and improvements valued over $2 million shall post a surety bond, money deposit, or other securities with DEW. This ensures the non-profit entity will have sufficient funds to pay the benefit charges owed on their account.

    A non-profit organization shall be required to take one of the following actions before being approved as a reimbursable employer.

    • Post a money deposit
    • Furnish an indemnity bond with a surety company authorized to do business with the State of South Carolina
    • Furnish U.S. Government bonds, obligations of the U.S. Government or obligations fully guaranteed both as to principal and interest by the U.S. Government; obligations of the Federal Intermediate Credit banks, Federal Home Loan banks, Federal National Mortgage Associations and banks for cooperatives and Federal Land banks, obligations of the State of South Carolina or any of its political subdivisions.

    The amount of the surety bond, money deposit securities, or other security shall be computed on the total wages paid by a non-profit organization or group of organizations multiplied by the tax rate assigned to tax class 20.

    Total wages paid is defined as the wages paid for the four completed calendar quarters immediately preceding:

    • The date the non-profit chose to become a reimbursable employer.
    • The renewal date in the case of a bond.
    • The biennial anniversary of the date the non-profit chose to become reimbursable, in the case of a money deposit.

    Whichever date is most recent and applicable.

    If the non-profit organization did not pay wages in each of the four calendar quarters, DEW will determine the amount of the surety bond, cash deposit, securities, or other security required.

    Bonds deposited must be in force no less than two calendar years and will be renewed with DEW’s approval at the appropriate time. Renewals will occur every two years as long as the non-profit continues to make its required payments.

    DEW can require adjustments in a previously filed bond. If the bond is to be increased, the organization must file an adjusted bond within 30 days of the date the required adjustment notice was mailed. Failure by any bond-covered organization to pay the full payments when due will render the surety liable on the bond.

    DEW will keep any money deposit in an escrow account until the organization terminates its status as a reimbursable employer. At that time, DEW will return the money to the organization, less any required deductions.

    The department can deduct funds to satisfy any unpaid payments as well as applicable interest and penalties described in South Carolina law. DEW will require the organization within 15 days following any deduction to deposit enough money to return the organization’s funding to its prior level.

    The department can, at any time, review the deposit’s adequacy. If it determines an adjustment is necessary, DEW will require the organization to deposit additional funds within 15 days of written notice or return to the organization a portion of the deposit it no longer considers necessary.

    If any non-profit organization fails to file a bond or make a deposit or fails to file an increased amount or make a previously made deposit whole, DEW can terminate the organization’s election to become a reimbursable employer. This termination will continue for no less than two calendar years beginning with the quarter in which such termination becomes effective.

     

        Government Entities

    All liable employers are responsible for preserving employee records and submitting quarterly wage reports. For more information, visit the Responsibilities of Liable Employers section below.

    However, certain organizations in South Carolina do not pay quarterly UI taxes. Instead these entities reimburse DEW for the total dollar value of UI benefits paid to their former employees. These entities are known as reimbursable employers.

    State government agencies are required to be reimbursable employers.

    Local government entities that are liable for UI taxes can choose to become reimbursable employers by completing and mailing the Election to Become Reimbursable Form (UCE-155) to the address below. Without this documentation, the organization is considered an employer liable for paying quarterly UI taxes.

    South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce
    Employer Status Unit
    P.O. Box 995
    Columbia, SC 29202

    For more information on paying taxes as a reimbursable employer, read the Responsibilities of Reimbursable Employers section below.

     

        Responsibilities of Reimbursable Employers

    The South Carolina Code of Law states that reimbursable employers can choose to pay the department using one of two methods.

    Option One:

    At the end of each calendar quarter, the department will bill reimbursable employers for the amount due.

    Non-profit organizations must reimburse an amount equal to regular unemployment benefits paid plus 50 percent the amount of extended benefits paid to their former employees.

    State and local governments must reimburse 100 percent of regular and extended benefits paid to their former employees.

    Payment must be made no later than 30 days after the department mails the bill to the organization’s last known address.

    All bills are final unless appealed within 15 days of the date listed on the document. If appealed, the department will conduct a hearing using facts to affirm, modify, or reverse its original ruling. All payments are due and payable until a decision is made, either modifying or reversing the amount due.

    Appeals may be submitted by mail or fax using the information listed below.

    Address:
    South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce
    Appeal Tribunal
    P.O. Box 995
    Columbia, SC 29202

    Fax: 803.737.0287

    For more information on the appeals process in general, visit Appeals Information for Claimants and Employers or contact the Appellate Division at 803.737.2520.

    Option Two:

    The organization may pay two percent of its quarterly taxable payroll to the department within 30 days after the end of the each quarter.

    The department will apply those funds to any outstanding balance owed. At the end of each calendar year, the department will determine whether total payments for the year are less or more than what is owed.

    Each organization, whose total payments for the year are less than the amount due, is liable for the unpaid balance.

    If total payments exceed the amount owed for the year, all or a part of the excess funds may be refunded or kept as credit toward future payments.

     

     

    Responsibilities of Liable Employers

        Establish an Unemployment Tax Account

    Your business may apply for an UI tax account number online or by mail.

    Register online through the South Carolina Business One Stop (SCBOS) by creating an employer account. Based on the information you supply, DEW determines if you are liable for UI tax contributions. If liable, you will receive your employer account number and tax liability information by mail.

    During the registration process on SCBOS, you will be asked to establish a Personal Identification Number (PIN) which is necessary to perform future online transactions such as:

    • Filing Quarterly Contribution and Wage Reports
    • Amending previously filed Contribution and Wage Reports
    • Changing account information

    If are not able to register online, you may access a paper copy of the Employer Status Report Registration Form (UCE-151). This form must be printed and submitted by mail to the below address.

    South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce
    Employer Status Unit
    P.O. Box 995
    Columbia, SC 29202

    Additional Resources

    Interactive Voice Response System
    Once you have established an employer account with DEW, you can use our Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system to access specific account information. The system is available from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily at 1.866.831.1726.

    Through the IVR system employers can:

    1. File a report indicating you employed zero individuals in the most recently completed calendar quarter.
    2. Request 940 Certifications
      Each employer that pays its state UI taxes on time is allowed to claim a credit against its federal UI taxes. Each year, DEW certifies the tax rate, amount of taxable wages, and amount of tax paid by each employer in the prior calendar year to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) through 940 Certifications. Employers that need a copy of the 940 Certification can make that request through the IVR.

      The Employer Accounts System only permits one 940 Certification request per day. If you need additional 940 Certifications, call back the following day.

    3. Get your tax rate for the most recently completed calendar quarter

    To use the IVR system you will need a touch-tone telephone, your DEW employer account number and PIN.

    Forgot your PIN? Reset it online or contact the UI Tax Department for assistance at 803.737.3080. View the Employer Guide to Resetting DEW PIN Online for step-by-step instructions.

     

        Preserving Employee Records

    Each employer must preserve the following records for five years.

    For each pay period:

    • Beginning and ending dates
    • Largest number of workers employed each calendar week of the period

    For each individual employed during the period:

    • Name and Social Security number
    • Total hours worked each week, if less than full time
    • Wages paid (special payments included)
    • Reasonable cash value paid in any medium other than cash
    • Date hired, rehired, or returned to work after temporary layoff and the date and reasons job was lost

    These records may be used by the department to verify eligibility for UI benefits or for potential future audits of your business.

     

        Submitting Quarterly Wage Reports

    Employers must file a Quarterly Contribution and Wage Report (UCE-120/101) each quarter.

    The following are examples of wages that should be included in your report:

    • All payments made for personal service, including bonuses and commissions paid to all workers of all ranks, including corporate officers.
    • The cash value of all payments in any medium other than cash.
    • All tips.
    • Reasonable compensation for services provided, including K-1 distributions.
    • Monies paid for time lost due to sickness or accident, unless paid out of benefit funds or other special accounts.
    • Expense allowances, which are not regularly and reasonably segregated.
    • Dismissal wages, which do not represent the worker’s interest in a pension fund.
    • All monies paid before any deductions for such items as lodging, union dues, employee payments to pension or benefit funds, Social Security tax, and premiums on group insurance.

    For questions about whether specific types of payments are considered wages, contact the Wage Records Section at 803.737.0330.

    DEW does not mail Quarterly Contribution and Wage Reports. We offer two convenient methods for employers to file online through either the SCBOS or the South Carolina Automated Tax System.

    DEW encourages all single account filers to use SCBOS. Filing with SCBOS will also allow you to pay your taxes electronically. Please call 803.898.5690 or contact the SCBOS Help Desk if you need assistance navigating through the SCBOS system.

    We realize that online filing is not a realistic expectation for every employer. If you have less than 100 employees, and are unable to file and pay online, you may submit paper forms and payments to DEW. You must request a pre-printed quarterly contribution and wage report for each quarter that you do not file online.

    Instructions for completing your Quarterly Contribution and Wage Report can be found here.

    If you need to correct information on a submitted report, use the Statement to Correct Information Form (UCE-120-C). Adjustments can only be made for the most recent 16 quarters.

    It is important to leave sufficient time at the end of the quarter to request the paper copy and have it returned by the appropriate due date. Due dates for each quarter are listed below.

    Quarter Due by:
    January - March April 30
    April - June July 31
    July - September October 31
    October - December January 31

    To request a form, call the UI Tax Department at 803.737.3080 or email uitax@dew.sc.gov.

    Please mail paper quarterly reports and payments to the below address.

    South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce
    Contribution Section
    P.O. Box 7103
    Columbia, SC 29202

     

        Paying Taxes

    Taxes are owed based on the amount of wages paid to your employees in a quarter, as reported on your quarterly wage report.

    If you are a non-profit organization or government entity that has chosen to become reimbursable, visit the Responsibilities of Reimbursable Employers section for more information on how to pay your taxes.

    All quarterly payments must be made by the respective due dates listed below.

    Quarter Due by:
    January - March April 30
    April - June July 31
    July - September October 31
    October - December January 31

    You may submit an electronic payment when you file your quarterly report online at SCBOS. Taxes are calculated automatically when you file electronically. Detailed instructions on electronic payments can be found within the SCBOS system. Please call 803.898.5690 or contact the SCBOS Help Desk if you need assistance navigating through the SCBOS filing program.

    If you choose to report quarterly wages using DEW’s paper form, you are responsible for calculating taxes owed as well as submitting payment by mail.

    Please mail paper quarterly reports and payments to the below address.

    South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce
    Contribution Section
    P.O. Box 7103
    Columbia, SC 29202

     

     

    Tax Rates

    When employers become liable for UI taxes, they are classified as new employers and are assigned a new employer rate. Tax rates are re-determined each calendar year based on the employer’s history as of the preceding June. An employer’s exact rate depends on its experience with the UI system and current economic conditions.

    UI taxes are only charged on the first $12,000 of wages earned by an individual (Note: This amount will increase to $14,000 January 1, 2015). This is what is referred to as taxable wages. Once you have paid taxes on the first $12,000 of an individual’s wages, you do not owe any additional taxes for the remainder of the calendar year. Wages earned after $12,000 are defined as excess wages.

        New Employers

    Newly liable employers who do not acquire the experience of a previously liable employer begin with a predetermined tax rate set by South Carolina law. The tax rate for new employers is the tax rate applicable for tax rate class 12 for a given year. For the specific tax rate, please see the contribution table in effect for the current year.

    Once an employer has accomplished 12 months of liability, they will have their tax rate computed on the date of the next rate computation based on their own history.

     

        Experience-Rated Employers

    Employers who have accomplished 12 months of liability are considered experience-rated employers and have their tax rates set based on their benefit ratio.

    The benefit ratio is defined as the total benefits charged against an employer’s account during the applicable period divided by the employer’s taxable payroll during that same period. A higher benefit ratio indicates a greater usage of the UI system and thus results in a higher tax class and tax rate.

    Each employer’s benefit ratio is listed on the annual Notice of Contribution Rate Form which is typically mailed at the end of each year. Employers can use that benefit ratio to find their applicable tax rate for the year using the contribution table.

     

        Current Tax Rates

    Determining Tax Rate Schedules

    Under South Carolina law, tax rate schedules adjust automatically each year based on a formula that considers the:

    • Projected benefit costs for the year (“base rate”)
    • Amount of outstanding loans from the federal government (“base rate”)
    • Interest owed to the federal government (“interest surcharge”)

    Tax rates are set each year to fund these components. Each employer is also responsible for a Departmental Administrative Contingency Assessment (DACA) surcharge of 0.06 percent which is added to the base rate and interest surcharge:

    Total Tax Rate = Base Rate + Interest Surcharge + DACA

    South Carolina laws governing the tax rate assignment do not have an appeal process. If you disagree with any of the historical information contained in your Notice of Contribution Rate you may submit a written request for a review within 30 days from the date on the notice. You must submit your request, along with any documentation of errors, using the information below.

    Address:
    South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce
    Experience Rate Section
    P.O. Box 995
    Columbia, SC 29202

    Email: rateinfo@dew.sc.gov

    Fax: 803-737-2862

     

        2014 Contribution Table

    The tax rates applicable for wages paid between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014 are shown in the table below. A Notice of Contribution Rate is distributed to each employer during the fourth quarter of 2013. Individual rates are based on an employer’s computed benefit ratio. The tax rate class assignment in the notice should be used for the full calendar year.

    1 0.000000 0.000005 0.00 0.089 0.0890
    2 0.000006 0.001169 0.64 0.092 0.7320
    3 0.001170 0.001978 0.71 0.096 0.8060
    4 0.001979 0.002725 0.79 0.100 0.8900
    5 0.002726 0.003735 0.88 0.105 0.9850
    6 0.003736 0.004654 0.98 0.110 1.0900
    7 0.004655 0.005422 1.09 0.116 1.2060
    8 0.005423 0.006347 1.21 0.122 1.3320
    9 0.006348 0.007066 1.34 0.129 1.4690
    10 0.007067 0.008232 1.49 0.137 1.6270
    11 0.008233 0.009767 1.66 0.146 1.8060
    12 0.009768 0.011427 1.84 0.156 1.9960
    13 0.011428 0.013325 3.52 0.244 3.7640
    14 0.013326 0.015630 3.91 0.264 4.1740
    15 0.015631 0.018632 4.34 0.287 4.6270
    16 0.018633 0.023455 4.83 0.312 5.1420
    17 0.023456 0.029894 5.36 0.340 5.7000
    18 0.029895 0.039541 5.96 0.371 6.3310
    19 0.039542 0.059014 6.62 0.406 7.0260
    20 0.059015 999.999999 7.36 0.445 7.8050


        2013 Contribution Table

    The tax rates applicable for wages paid between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013 are shown in the table.

    1 0.000000 0.000001 0.00 0.095 0.0950
    2 0.000002 0.001974 0.64 0.099 0.7390
    3 0.001975 0.003536 0.71 0.103 0.8130
    4 0.003537 0.004663 0.79 0.108 0.8980
    5 0.004664 0.005844 0.88 0.113 0.9930
    6 0.005845 0.007204 0.98 0.119 1.0990
    7 0.007205 0.008307 1.08 0.126 1.2060
    8 0.008308 0.009568 1.20 0.133 1.3330
    9 0.009569 0.011401 1.34 0.141 1.4810
    10 0.011402 0.013071 1.49 0.150 1.6400
    11 0.013072 0.015295 1.65 0.160 1.8100
    12 0.015296 0.017819 1.84 0.171 2.0110
    13 0.017820 0.020744 3.51 0.273 3.7830
    14 0.020745 0.024920 3.90 0.297 4.1970
    15 0.024921 0.029429 4.34 0.323 4.6630
    16 0.029430 0.036190 4.82 0.352 5.1720
    17 0.036191 0.043311 5.35 0.384 5.7340
    18 0.043312 0.054182 5.95 0.420 6.3700
    19 0.054183 0.075548 6.61 0.460 7.0700
    20 0.075549 999.999999 7.35 0.505 7.8550


        Previous Tax Rates

    2012 Revised Contribution Table

    In the fiscal year 2012-13 budget, the SC General Assembly appropriated $77 million to the Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) to make repayments on outstanding loans. Funds received from the General Assembly reduce the unemployment insurance tax rates for businesses.

    In late September 2012, businesses received a revised tax rate notice that showed the new tax rate that businesses should use when paying third and fourth quarter taxes in October 2012 and January 2013.

    Since first and second quarter taxes were paid at the higher rate, businesses received credits on any overpayments. The revised rate notice showed any applicable credit that the business received.

    Due to federal regulations, refunds are not available for first and second quarter taxes. Because these taxes were paid accurately under the law that was in effect at the time they were paid, only credits can be issued for overpayments. Credits can be used against any future unemployment tax liability and do not expire.

    The 2012 revised rate table is listed below.

    1 0.000000 0.000013 0.00 0.098 0.0980
    2 0.000014 0.002175 0.61 0.102 0.7120
    3 0.002176 0.003907 0.68 0.107 0.7870
    4 0.003908 0.005084 0.76 0.112 0.8720
    5 0.005085 0.005928 0.84 0.118 0.9580
    6 0.005929 0.007516 0.94 0.125 1.0650
    7 0.007517 0.008601 1.04 0.132 1.1720
    8 0.008602 0.010330 1.16 0.140 1.3000
    9 0.010331 0.012091 1.28 0.149 1.4290
    10 0.012092 0.013907 1.43 0.159 1.5890
    11 0.013908 0.016098 1.58 0.170 1.7500
    12 0.016099 0.019060 1.76 0.182 1.9420
    13 0.019061 0.022324 3.37 0.292 3.6620
    14 0.022325 0.026485 3.74 0.318 4.0580
    15 0.026486 0.032421 4.16 0.347 4.5070
    16 0.032422 0.039447 4.62 0.379 4.9990
    17 0.039448 0.049122 5.14 0.414 5.5540
    18 0.049123 0.060059 5.71 0.453 6.1630
    19 0.060060 0.084817 6.34 0.497 6.8370
    20 0.084818 999.999999 7.04 0.546 7.5860


    Original 2012 Contribution Table

    The tax rates applicable for wages paid between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012 are shown in the table below.

    1 0.000000 0.000013 0.00 0.098 0.0980
    2 0.000014 0.002175 0.71 0.102 0.8120
    3 0.002176 0.003907 0.79 0.107 0.8970
    4 0.003908 0.005084 0.88 0.112 0.9920
    5 0.005085 0.005928 0.97 0.118 1.0880
    6 0.005929 0.007516 1.08 0.125 1.2050
    7 0.007517 0.008601 1.20 0.132 1.3320
    8 0.008602 0.010330 1.33 0.140 1.4700
    9 0.010331 0.012091 1.48 0.149 1.6290
    10 0.012092 0.013907 1.65 0.159 1.8090
    11 0.013908 0.016098 1.83 0.170 2.0000
    12 0.016099 0.019060 2.03 0.182 2.2120
    13 0.019061 0.022324 3.89 0.292 4.1820
    14 0.022325 0.026485 4.33 0.318 4.6480
    15 0.026486 0.032421 4.81 0.347 5.1570
    16 0.032422 0.039447 5.34 0.379 5.7190
    17 0.039448 0.049122 5.93 0.414 6.3440
    18 0.049123 0.060059 6.59 0.453 7.0430
    19 0.060060 0.084817 7.32 0.497 7.8170
    20 0.084818 999.999999 8.14 0.546 8.6860


    2011 Contribution Table

    The tax rates applicable for wages paid between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011 are shown in the table below.

    1 0.00% 0.043% 0.06% 0.1030% $10.30 0 0.000001
    2 0.71% 0.048% 0.06% 0.8180% $81.80 0.000002 0.002158
    3 0.79% 0.053% 0.06% 0.9030% $90.30 0.002159 0.003671
    4 0.88% 0.059% 0.06% 0.9990% $99.90 0.003672 0.004738
    5 0.98% 0.066% 0.06% 1.1060% $110.60 0.004739 0.005738
    6 1.09% 0.073% 0.06% 1.2230% $122.30 0.005739 0.007117
    7 1.21% 0.081% 0.06% 1.3510% $135.10 0.007118 0.008299
    8 1.34% 0.090% 0.06% 1.4900% $149.00 0.0083 0.010035
    9 1.49% 0.100% 0.06% 1.6500% $165.00 0.010036 0.012092
    10 1.66% 0.111% 0.06% 1.8310% $183.10 0.012093 0.013992
    11 1.84% 0.123% 0.06% 2.0230% $202.30 0.013993 0.01601
    12 2.04% 0.137% 0.06% 2.2370% $223.70 0.016011 0.018711
    13 3.91% 0.263% 0.06% 4.2330% $423.30 0.018712 0.022235
    14 4.35% 0.292% 0.06% 4.7020% $470.20 0.022236 0.026332
    15 4.83% 0.324% 0.06% 5.2140% $521.40 0.026333 0.032546
    16 5.37% 0.360% 0.06% 5.7900% $579.00 0.032547 0.039836
    17 5.96% 0.400% 0.06% 6.4200% $642.00 0.039837 0.050293
    18 6.62% 0.445% 0.06% 7.1250% $712.50 0.050294 0.065183
    19 7.36% 0.494% 0.06% 7.9140% $791.40 0.065184 0.088588
    20 8.18% 0.549% 0.06% 8.7890% $878.90 0.088589 1000


    2004 - 2010 Contribution Table

    These tax rates were in effect for wages paid between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2010.

    Employer’s Reserve Ratio Base Rate
    +9% or More 0.54% 0.64% 0.74% 0.84% 0.94% 1.04% 1.14% 1.24%
    +8% but <9% 0.89% 0.99% 1.09% 1.19% 1.29% 1.39% 1.49% 1.59%
    +7% but <8% 1.24% 1.34% 1.44% 1.54% 1.64% 1.74% 1.84% 1.94%
    +6% but <7% 1.59% 1.69% 1.79% 1.89% 1.99% 2.09% 2.19% 2.29%
    +5% but <6% 1.94% 2.04% 2.14% 2.24% 2.34% 2.44% 2.54% 2.64%
    +4% but <5% 2.29% 2.39% 2.49% 2.59% 2.69% 2.79% 2.89% 2.99%
    <+4% but >-5% 2.64% 2.74% 2.84% 2.94% 3.04% 3.14% 3.24% 3.34%
    -5% but <-10% 2.99% 3.09% 3.19% 3.29% 3.39% 3.49% 3.59% 3.69%
    -10% but <-15% 3.34% 3.44% 3.54% 3.64% 3.74% 3.84% 3.94% 4.04%
    -15% but <-20% 3.69% 3.79% 3.89% 3.99% 4.09% 4.19% 4.29% 4.39%
    -20% but <-25% 4.04% 4.14% 4.24% 4.34% 4.44% 4.54% 4.64% 4.74%
    -25% but <-30% 4.39% 4.49% 4.59% 4.69% 4.79% 4.89% 4.99% 5.09%
    -30% but <-35% 4.74% 4.84% 4.94% 5.04% 5.14% 5.24% 5.34% 5.44%
    -35% but <-40% 5.09% 5.19% 5.29% 5.39% 5.49% 5.59% 5.69% 5.79%
    -40% or More 5.40% 5.50% 5.60% 5.70% 5.80% 5.90% 6.00% 6.10%

     

        Variables that May Affect Your Account
    • Late Payments and Reports

    If you fail to submit contribution or wage reports by the due dates below, you’ll receive a Notice of Delinquency.

    Quarter Due by:
    January - March April 30
    April - June July 31
    July - September October 31
    October - December January 31

    If you then fail to file a report within 15 days of receiving the Notice of Delinquency, DEW will assess a 10 percent penalty of the contributions due; no less than $25 and no more than $1,000 in addition to contributions due.

    Any employer that has failed to file a report at the time of the next tax rate calculation will receive a delinquent tax rate assignment of tax class 20 for the next year.

    Any employer that has failed to pay contributions owed and has an outstanding tax lien from DEW will receive a delinquent tax rate assignment of tax class 20 for the next year or until the outstanding debt is paid.

     

    • Interest on Delinquent Contributions

    DEW charges one percent interest per month on delinquent contributions. Contributions that accrued prior to the establishment of an employer’s liability bear 0.5 percent interest per month to the date we established liability. Then late contributions bear one percent interest per month thereafter until contributions are paid.

     

    • Acquiring Another Business

    Any person or legal entity acquiring an employer’s business that continues operating the acquired business has a tax rate determined by current and previous employment experience.

     

    • Acquiring Part of Another Business

    The successor to a distinct, severable, identifiable, and segregable part of a business can inherit the predecessor’s portion of the employment benefit experience record attributable solely to the business portion acquired; provided both the predecessor and successor agree to such action.

    In case of total or partial succession by purchase, merger, consolidation, devise, inheritance, or other means, the employer must notify the department within 30 days following the quarter’s end during which the succession occurred so that proper steps can be taken to adjust his status as a liable employer.

     

    • Timely and Adequate Response to Claims

    Starting Oct. 21, 2013, if you do not respond to DEW’s request for information on an unemployment claim in a timely and adequate manner causing an overpayment, your business may be subject to higher Unemployment Insurance (UI) taxes and increased benefit charges.

    Because of federal and state law changes, DEW will no longer remove benefit charges from an employer’s account that:

    1. Has failed to respond or has not provided adequate response to a claim, and an overpayment occurred as a result; and
    2. The employer has established a pattern of failing to respond in a timely and adequate manner.

     

    What is a pattern of not responding in a timely and adequate manner?

    In South Carolina, a pattern is defined as failing to respond three or more times to the Department’s requests (or to 3 percent or more of all requests for larger businesses).

    DEW will monitor employer responses between Oct. 21 and Dec. 31, 2013 to determine whether a business demonstrates a pattern for the 2014 year. Responses will be monitored from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2014 to establish the employer’s categorization for 2015.

     

    What is a timely and adequate response?

    You must respond to DEW within 10 calendar days of receiving the notification.

    If a former employee was terminated, the information you provide to DEW should include:

    • Names and titles of individuals involved;
    • Description of the final incident that led to the termination including the date and time;
    • List of all warnings given to the employee within the last year including dates; and
    • Statement of how the employee’s actions impacted the company’s operation.

    Statements should be factually objective statements rather than subjective. Below is an example:

    Response: The employee had excessive absences or tardies.

    Better Response: The employee arrived late or departed early on five different occasions in the 10 day period leading to his discharge (provide dates).

    More information including definitions and examples of good responses can be found and printed here.

     

    What is the easiest way to respond to a request for more information?

    Employers can respond to separation information requests through the South Carolina Business One Stop (SCBOS) scbos.sc.gov. This is the quickest and easiest way to get information to DEW. SCBOS accounts are free, and the site can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    Electronic responses may also be submitted through the State Information Data Exchange Service (SIDES) at this site.

     

    What is an example of the situation where a business could be charged higher taxes for not responding?

    John Smith was fired for absenteeism by ABC Company, and he files for unemployment. ABC Company does not respond to DEW’s request for separation information, and John Smith is determined to be eligible for benefits based on his statement that he was laid off through no fault of his own.

    ABC Company appeals the determination, and at the appeal hearing it is determined that John Smith should have been disqualified from receiving benefits. All of the previously paid benefits are now considered overpaid and must be recouped by DEW. Typically those benefit payments would not be counted against the account of ABC Company when tax rates are next calculated because they have been “relieved” from their account. However, if ABC Company has a pattern of failing to respond, and these failures are resulting in overpayments, the benefits “overpaid” to John Smith would remain on the account of ABC Company in the next determination of its tax rate.

     

        Extensions and Refunds

    Extensions

    If you cannot pay your taxes on time, send a written request for an extension to the below address before the payment is due.

    South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce
    Delinquency Unit
    P.O. Box 995
    Columbia, SC 29202

    DEW may, if you show good cause, grant an extension for making payment. However, the extension will bear interest at one percent per month.

    For questions contact the Delinquency Unit at 803.737.3085

    Refunds

    If you paid contributions or interest in error, you can file an application for adjustment or refund. We’ll make corrections, without interest, by means of a Statement of Account Notice. When preparing your next contribution report, you can deduct the credit due, as shown on the notice for quarterly contributions due. If the amount paid in error is too large to be adjusted in a reasonable time you can request a refund.

    To request a refund, mail or fax a letter containing your account number and applicable information using the information below.

    Address:
    South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce
    Contributions Unit
    P.O. Box 995
    Columbia, SC 29202

    Fax: 803.737.2659

    You must submit an application for reimbursement within four years from the date the erroneous payment became due.

     

        SUTA Dumping

    State Unemployment Tax Act (SUTA) Dumping is a term for an activity that some employers use to avoid high UI tax rates. SUTA Dumping compromises UI tax systems by eliminating the incentive for employers to keep stable employment and unfairly shifts costs to other employers. In order to maintain the integrity of their tax systems and unemployment funds, federal law requires that states enact legislation to deter UI tax rate manipulation schemes, to ensure they are detected early, and to immediately correct the problem when found.

    SUTA Dumping Schemes

    Listed below are a few of the tax avoidance schemes used by businesses which are disallowed under the SUTA Dumping law. Employing units should be aware that these practices constitute SUTA Dumping and that there are serious ramifications for disguising the true unemployment experience of a business for the purpose of lowering unemployment taxes.

    • Purchases Shell Transaction – A business with a large payroll and a high UI rate purchases a corporate shell with a low UI rate and transfers its payroll to the purchased entity.

    • Affiliated Shell Transaction – A new corporation is registered, and a small payroll is reported each year until a low or minimum UI rate is achieved. Once the low rate is achieved, large payroll amounts from another related corporation are transferred into this account.

    • New Employer Rate – An employer with a high UI rate files a registration form requesting a new employer account number, which has a lower rate. Then the payroll is transferred to the new account.

    • Reporting under a Client’s Employer Account Number – An employee leasing company or professional employer organization with a high UI rate shifts its payroll to the account number of one of its clients with a lower UI rate.

    • High Plus High Equals Low – A high UI rate account with a large payroll is transferred into another high UI rate account with a small payroll at the beginning of the year. Since the calculation of the average base payroll is on a calendar year basis, only the small payroll is considered. However, the taxes from the large payroll are added to the reserve account balance as of June 30, resulting in a very low UI rate being established for the next year.

    • Payroll Parking – Two unrelated businesses negotiate (for a fee) to have all or part of the higher UI rate employer’s payroll ‘parked’ in the other’s account and reported at the lower UI rate.

    • Partial Reserve Account Acquisition – A newly registered business applies for a partial reserve account balance of another company. When the small reserve balance is acquired, a correspondingly small average base payroll is also acquired. A related entity then shifts hundreds of millions of payroll into the small account. Because the average base payroll is tallied on a calendar year basis and reserve accounts accumulate quarterly, the result is to flood the reserve balance in relation to the small average base payroll. A minimum rate is attained in the succeeding year.

    • Buffering Potential Negative Reserve Account Changes – A company that hires temporary workers forms a new entity and obtains a separate account number. The temporary workers are paid through this account. When they are laid off and file UI claims, the newly formed company goes out of business and the negative reserve account charges get distributed to other businesses in the state. This typically occurs when a labor action is contemplated and temporary workers are hired knowing they will be laid off after the labor action. Another variation on this scheme is when a company is planning to downsize. Employees to be laid off are transferred to a subsidiary account. This buffers the reserve account of the initial company from UI charges.

    What are the penalties for SUTA Dumping?

    Penalties are imposed when individuals knowingly violate or attempt to violate or knowingly advise another person to violate the provisions of the state law. “Knowingly” is defined as having actual knowledge of or acting with deliberate ignorance or reckless disregard for the requirements or prohibition involved. “Violates or attempts to violate” includes, but is not limited to, intent to evade, misrepresentation, or willful nondisclosure. Under South Carolina Code §41-31-125 (D), those in violation must be assessed a penalty in an amount equal to the greater of $1,000 or 10 percent of the tax determined by the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) to be due for each report that is submitted in violation of this section. A tax advisor who is determined to be in violation of this code can be assessed a penalty up to $10,000 dollars.

    Why is it important to focus on SUTA Dumping?

    Under the experience rating system, employers pay unemployment taxes at rates proportionate with claims activities by their employees. Employers with high unemployment activity pay higher unemployment tax rates, and employers with lower activity pay less. Employers who engage in SUTA Dumping or other tax manipulation schemes to avoid paying their fair share unfairly shift their costs to other employers. SUTA Dumping is harmful because it:

    • Compromises the integrity of the UI system
    • Adversely affects tax rates for all employers
    • Costs the UI Trust Fund millions of dollars each year

    How to Report SUTA Dumping

    If you think someone is committing fraud or engaging in SUTA dumping, please report it to us immediately. All allegations of fraud are taken seriously. Please provide as much information as you can, including:

    • Employer name, address, and telephone number
    • Employer account number
    • What they are doing
    • When they started doing it
    • Your name, address, and telephone number (optional)

    To Report Fraud

    • Call: 1.800.868.1488

     

    Field Service

        Field Audits

    To ensure all businesses are properly reporting and paying UI taxes, DEW conducts systematic examination and verification of an employer’s books and records through field audits. DEW conducts both random and targeted audits.

    Objectives of a Field Audit

    The purpose of an audit includes:

    • Determining taxable wages the employer paid and the contributions, interest, and penalties DEW law requires on these wages.
    • Reconciling wages reported with amounts discovered.
    • Determining the employer’s financial ability to meet UI tax obligations.

    During a Field Audit, DEW staff members may need access to any of the following records:

    • Payroll information, i.e. time cards, time sheets, earning statements, payroll summaries, etc.
    • Books of original entry or general books with payroll information, i.e. payroll ledgers, check registers, cash disbursement journals, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, etc.
    • State and federal tax reports on payroll, i.e. employers Quarterly Contribution and Wage Report (UCE-101/120); Federal Forms: 940, Annual Report of FUTA; 941, Social Security Report; etc.

     

        Field Deputies

    Field deputies are available to help employers understand UI legal requirements and are also responsible for the following activities:

    • Establishing tax liability
    • Enforcing compliance
    • Changing employer accounts
    • Securing delinquent tax and wage reports
    • Issuing subpoenas
    • Deposing claimants and employers
    • Preparing cases for prosecution
    • Prosecuting non-compliant employers
    • Auditing employer accounts
    • Auditing financial records
    • Collecting delinquent taxes
    • Helping other states collect funds
    • Coordinating IRS and S.C. Department of Revenue activities

     

        Contact Information

    UI Tax Field Service

    You may contact a tax field deputy in your area. Deputies are here to answer questions and help you navigate the tax process successfully.

    Aiken Satellite Office
    Aiken, Edgefield and McCormick Counties
    803.641.7634

    Beaufort Satellite Office
    Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper counties
    843.522.3542

    Charleston District Office
    Allendale, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, and Orangeburg counties
    843.953.8499

    Columbia District Office
    Calhoun, Greenwood, Lexington, Newberry, Richland, and Saluda counties
    803.737.0262

    Greenville District Office
    Greenville, Laurens, and Pickens counties
    864.517.3753

    Hartsville District Office
    Chesterfield, Clarendon, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Kershaw, Lee, Marlboro, Marion, Sumter, and Williamsburg counties
    843.857.9309

    Horry District Office
    Georgetown and Horry counties
    843.234.7747

    Liberty Satellite Office
    Abbeville, Anderson and Oconee counties
    864.965.9105

    Rock Hill District Office
    Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster, Union and York Counties
    803.323.0087

    Spartanburg Satellite Office
    Spartanburg and Cherokee counties and Greer
    864.585.2569

     

     

    Administrative Tax Appeal

    Visit the Administrative Tax Appeal section.


     
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