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DOR publishes list of state's top 250 tax debtors

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The S.C. Department of Revenue has discovered that publishing the names of top delinquent taxpayers is a great way to get them to pay up. 

For the second year, SCDOR has published lists of the state’s top 250 individual and business tax debtors at https://dor.sc.gov/top250.

The information is made public as part of the Top Delinquent Taxpayers Initiative. The state collected more than $8.5 million in back taxes from hundreds of debtors in 2021 after the lists were published online, according to statistics compiled by SCDOR. In total, the Initiative has brought in more than $17 million in delinquent tax payments. 

Collectively, the delinquent taxpayers owe more than $104 million. Individual tax debt on the list ranges from a low of $72,570 to a high of $2.7 million, while business debt ranges from $103,681 to more than $2.7 million. Five individuals owe more than $1 million, while six businesses owe at least that amount. 

Before names are published, the agency sends letters, calls or makes personal contact multiple times in an effort to collect payment. The lists do not include those who have filed for bankruptcy protection or made payment arrangements with the agency.

Published quarterly, the lists are an updated version of the agency’s former Debtor's Corner, which publicly listed the state's top tax debtors for years. In 2020, the department developed the Top Delinquent Taxpayers program to provide separate listings of business and individual debtors and to fully automate the listing process. The debts are public because each of the listed taxpayers is in tax lien status.

“Tax revenues are essential to the financial well-being of our state," Hartley Powell, director of SCDOR, said in a news release. “When noncompliant taxpayers don't pay their fair share, the tax burden unfairly shifts to the compliant taxpayers. We are all in this state together, so it is important to hold delinquent taxpayers accountable."

 

Reach Christina Lee Knauss at 803-753-4327.

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