Emergency License Information Regarding Out-of-State Contractors

As a result of the flooding across the State, many out-of-state builders and specialty contractors are seeking employment to perform repairs, construction work, or other services to residential structures.  Please be advised that when issuing building permits to any such builders or contractors applying to do work in this State, they must be appropriately licensed or registered by the South Carolina Residential Builders Commission (“Commission”).
The Commission anticipates issuing emergency licenses to qualified, out-of-state residential builders and residential specialty contractors in the classifications of electrician, plumber, and heating and air conditioner installer/repairer pursuant to S.C. Code Reg. 106-5.  A copy of this regulation is below for your review.  Under these emergency licenses, builders will be limited to a total valuation of $100,000.00 for any single project and electricians, plumbers, and heating and air conditioning installers/repairers will be limited to a total valuation of $35,000.00 for any single project. These emergency licenses are valid only for repairs/work related to heavy rain and flash flooding for which Governor Haley declared a State of Emergency on October 1, 2015, and will expire on April 1, 2016, such that any builder, plumber, electrician, or heating and air conditioner installer/repairer who plans to work in the affected counties beyond that time period is encouraged to apply for a regular license in the interim.
Residential builders licensed in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Utah qualify for reciprocity and have the option of applying for an emergency license or a regular residential builders license.
All other specialty contractors, including vinyl and aluminum siding installers, insulation installers, roofers, floor covering installers, masons, dry wall installers, carpenters, stucco installers, and painters/wall paperers, must apply to the Commission for a regular South Carolina residential specialty contractor registration before they can perform work in this State in excess of $200.  There are no emergency registrations for these specialty registrants. 
Attached are copies of the Emergency License Registration Application, and Residential Specialty Registration Application, which may be disseminated to any out-of-state builders or specialty contractors seeking licensure or registration in this State. 
The Commission intends to expedite and process the emergency applications as quickly as possible during this time of need.  For those applicants seeking a regular license that requires examination, the Commission is prepared to schedule additional testing times and sites. 
The emergency license is only for residential repairs.

106-5 Emergency License and Registration

A. In the instance of an event declared to be an emergency by the governor, the department, as defined by S.C. Code Ann. Section 40-59-20(2), is authorized to issue emergency licenses and registrations for out-of-state builders and specialty contractors.
B. To qualify for an emergency license or registration, an individual, at the time of application, must submit a verification letter issued by the state in which the applicant’s principal place of business is located (home state) as proof that his or her license is in good standing. The emergency license or registration may be issued only to the individual shown on the home-state license. The home-state license must have been issued by examination; a “grandfathered” license or registration will not be accepted as proof of licensure.
C. In addition to proof of home state licensure, an applicant must also provide:
1. An emergency license application;
2. A national criminal background report current within fourteen (14) days of the date of application. A criminal background report showing misdemeanors listed for twenty-four (24) months or felonies listed for fifteen (15) years prior to the application date will not qualify for licensure;
3. A current bond for home builders of at least Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00) and current bond for specialty contractors of at least Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00); and,
4. A fee of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00).
D. An emergency license or registration will be:
1. Issued for one (1) specific event;
2. Limited to a total valuation of One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00) for any single project for home builders, and a total valuation of Thirty-five Thousand Dollars ($35,000.00) for any single project for specialty contractors;
3. Valid only for the scope of work permitted by the applicant’s home-state license;
4. Valid only within the area of the declared emergency; and,
5. Valid only for the duration of the emergency declaration, or as extended at the board’s discretion.
HISTORY: Added by State Register Volume 36, Issue No. 6, eff June 22, 2012.

Counties currently declared by FEMA to be in the disaster area due to the October SC flood event are: Bamberg, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Greenwood, Horry, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter and Williamsburg.
If you are applying for an initial license with the South Carolina Residential Builders Commission, you may now apply online by clicking on the link below:

Thanks to the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (LLR) for sending this important information out. For LLR’s tips on how to prevent contractor scams, click here.

Update: Disaster Relief Volunteer Opportunity

Update: Disaster Relief

We truly appreciate those who have already come forward to help our neighbors in Columbia. In light of their questions, we have more information regarding where to send donations and where volunteers should meet.

If you’d like to send a donation to assist BIA and HBA Members and their families, please make checks payable to Building Industry Charitable Foundation and send them to the following address:

Building Industry Charitable Foundation 
Attn: Earl McLeod 
625 Taylor St 
Columbia, SC 29201  
Members who would like to travel to Columbia to provide relief efforts directly to those suffering, please meet at Trenholm Road Methodist Church as they are coordinating with the families in greatest need. Any materials or trailers would be greatly appreciated. We are grateful for all of your help, and ask that you use caution when helping clean up after such a natural disaster. Please consult this document  which contains safety tips for the clean-up procedure in Columbia.

To: HBA Members

From: Michael Dey
Members have been asking me how they can help in Columbia and Charleston.  I have been in contact with my counterparts in both places and both are still assessing needs.  Charleston has experienced flooding like this before, and they seem to have a handle on their situation.  Our staff is helping them with public relations needs and they told me they would let me know what they need in terms of labor in a couple of days.
In Columbia, the obvious and immediate need is drinking water.  The Hilton Head HBA has organized a large shipment of water to the Columbia HBA for the members there.  And the Greater Greenville Association of Realtors is organizing a water caravan for Thursday.  If you would like to join that trip, or donate, please let me know and I will put you in touch with the Realtors Association.
In Columbia especially there are several HBA members and family who have been directly and tragically impacted by the flooding.  I know of several who have been evacuated from their homes, which are under water.  They are going to need a lot of help in terms of labor, material, and money.  I am working on the best route to handle money, so please standby on making a financial donation that would go directly to an HBA member in need.  
If you would like to donate your time, or your crews’ time, to travel to Columbia, please contact me.  I will work with the HBA in Columbia to match you up with members in need.  I will even act as a guide to help get you to the proper address.
And if you can donate materials, I would like to match you up with the members who want to travel to Columbia to volunteer.  
The HBA is a family, and our family members in Columbia, in particular, have some significant needs.  I was in Columbia for two days this past weekend, very near to the worst of the disaster along Gills Creek.  The pictures do not do it justice.  What happened there is tragic.  Two entire cities, Forest Acres and Acadia Lakes, are literally under water.  The recovery is going to be time and labor intensive.  If you can help, please volunteer.  I think the immediate need will be clean up and demolition.  Long term the Columbia HBA has let me know that they are going to need qualified trades to come in and help. 
Let’s help them out.  Please let me know what you can do, and when.


IRS to Provide Tax Relief to Flood Victims

IRS Provides Tax Relief to South Carolina Flood Victims; Oct. 15 Tax Deadline Extended to Feb. 16

WASHINGTON ––South Carolina flood victims, including individuals and businesses that previously received a tax-filing extension to Oct. 15, will have until Feb. 16, 2016, to file their returns and pay any taxes due, the Internal Revenue Service announced today. All workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization also qualify for relief.
Following this week’s disaster declaration for individual assistance issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the IRS said that affected taxpayers in Berkeley, Charleston, Clarendon, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter and Williamsburg Counties will receive this and other special tax relief. Other locations may be added in coming days, based on damage assessments by FEMA.
The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Oct. 1, 2015. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Feb. 16, 2016, to file these returns and pay any taxes due. Besides the Oct. 15 extension deadline, this also includes the Jan. 15, 2016, deadline for making quarterly estimated tax payments. A variety of business tax deadlines are also affected including the Nov. 2, 2015, and Feb. 1, 2016, deadlines for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns.
The IRS will abate any interest, late-payment or late-filing penalty that would otherwise apply. The agency automatically provides this relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. Taxpayers need not contact the IRS to get this relief.

Beyond Designated Disaster Areas
The IRS will work with any taxpayer who lives outside the disaster area but whose records necessary to meet a deadline occurring during the postponement period are located in the affected area. Taxpayers qualifying for relief who live outside the disaster area need to contact the IRS at 866-562-5227.
Individuals and businesses who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can choose to claim them on either last year’s or this year’s return. Claiming these casualty loss deductions on either an original or amended 2014 return will get the taxpayer an earlier refund but waiting to claim them on a 2015 return could result in greater tax savings depending upon other income factors.
In addition, the IRS is waiving late-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits normally due on or after Oct. 1 and before Oct. 16 if the deposits are made by Oct. 16, 2015. Details on available relief can be found on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.
The tax relief is part of a coordinated federal response to the damage caused by severe storms and flooding and is based on local damage assessments by FEMA. For information on disaster recovery, visit disasterassistance.gov.
Disaster victims in other parts of the country also qualify for tax relief, based on federal disaster declarations issued earlier this year. Currently, individuals and businesses in parts of California, Kentucky, Texas and the Northern Mariana Islands may qualify for filing and payment relief. See the IRS Disaster Relief page for details.

Thank you to the IRS Newswire for sending this information and providing the details in issue number IR-2015-112.