South Carolina: Sales Tax Handbook
How to appeal a sales tax audit or penalty in South Carolina
In South Carolina, the Department of Revenue will frequently audit business sales tax returns and may issue penalties or punishments for tardy filing, incorrect reporting, willful omissions, or other violations. Penalties can range from fines to revocation of your sales tax permit depending on the infraction.
If you disagree with a penalty or ruling made by the South Carolina Department of Revenue, you have several options you can pursue in appealing their decision. This page contains basic guidelines for appealing to the Department of Revenue, to an administrative appeal body, and through the courts.
Sales Tax Statute of Limitations in South Carolina
In sales tax law, the "statute of limitations" is the maximum amount of time state authorities have to investigate and begin potential audit or prosecution related to a a filed South Carolina sales tax return in the event of underpayment, incorrect reportings, etc. The Department of Revenue cannot begin an audit or issue a penalty after this timeframe.
The statute of limitations in South Carolina is three years from later of either the return was filed or due to be filed. If the tax was understated by at least 20% or greater, it becomes six years from the later of either the date the return was filed or due to be filed.
Appealing to the Department of Revenue in South Carolina
If you do not agree with a penalty or decision made by the South Carolina Department of Revenue, you have the right to file an appeal and ask for reconsideration. In the case of a department appeal, an official petition must be filed with the Department of Revenue within ninety days after the date of the proposed assessment.Top
Administrative Sales Tax Appeals in South Carolina
In the case of administrative appeal, an official petition must be filed with Administrative Law Judge within thirty days after decision has been mailed or deliveredTop
Judicial Sales Tax Appeals in South Carolina
If all other appeal avenues fail, businesses can make a final appeal in the state court system. When working with judicial appeals, the suit must be filed with the Circuit Court within ninety days following the receipt of the Administrative Law Judge's decision
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