Standardization Fair for All

License year, due date, definitions of income

  • Standard due date of April 30, with May 1 start of license year. Penalties imposed after May 1
  • Calculate tax on gross income for calendar year or business' fiscal year

- Contractors may pay per project
- General contractors may pay tax for his contract and that of his subcontractors. He may request a refund when his subcontractors pay the tax for their part of the project


the general contractor may choose to pay only on his contract and have subcontractors pay for themselves. If the subcontractors do not pay, the city may withhold the certificate of occupancy on the project until they do
- Criteria for wholesale transactions clarified

  • Standard definition of gross income
    - Clarifies gross income on which non-resident businesses pay the tax
    - Clarifies split commissions among real estate agents is only income agents retain
    - Manufacturers may calculate tax for municipal locations on lesser of gross income, income allocated/apportioned to a location, expenses of location as cost center

Standard application/refund

  • Standard business license application distributed by Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office
  • Refunds for overpayment to be requested by taxpayer by June 1

Standard class schedule

  • Jurisdictions must adopt updated class schedule every odd year
  • Class schedule recommended by Municipal Association of SC and certified by Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office
  • Flexibility to create sub-classes for economic development

Special agreements

  • Protects current and future agreements with businesses on calculation of business license tax

Transition period

  • Sets January 1, 2021, as effective date for law
  • In the first year, prevents jurisdictions from realizing a revenue windfall that might result from transition to the new, mandated class schedule
  • Allows city to gain new revenue in transition year resulting from growth in number of businesses

Online renewal payment portal

  • Online business license renewal payment portal to be hosted and managed by Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office
  • RFA allowed to contract with software provider for portal services. Software provider may not retain any portion of tax payment
  • Entire taxpayer payment goes directly to jurisdictions
  • Only taxing jurisdictions may use portal information for auditing
  • Jurisdictions must still accept payments in person, by phone or mail

 Appeals process

  • Standard appeals process for all jurisdictions
  • Sets new appeals and response deadlines
  • Appeals of decisions by taxing jurisdiction may be appealed to Administrative Law Court

 Third parties

  • Jurisdictions may continue to contract with third parties to identify non-compliant businesses
  • Restricts third parties' contact with non-compliant businesses