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The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

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Visit to see if you are eligible to receive Disaster Unemployment Assistance due to Hurricane Ian, learn how to apply, and more.

Responsibilities of a Liable Employer

What is a liable employer?

A liable employer is one that contributes to the South Carolina unemployment benefits program according to the State Unemployment Tax Act (SUTA). The unemployment tax system pays benefits to workers who lose their jobs through not fault of their own and is administered through DEW.

The amount of federal and state taxes an employer pays are based on various factors such as the type of business, the amounts paid to employees and the unemployment claims filed against the business.

What are the responsibilities of a liable employer?

  • A liable employer must:
  • Establish an unemployment tax account.
  • Preserve employee records (see details below).
  • Submit quarterly wage reports. (ADD link when page created)
  • Pay taxes according to the current year's tax rate.

What is an experience-rated employer?

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.

Preserving Employee Records

Each employer must preserve the employee records listed below 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 a job was lost.

These records may be used by the department to verify eligibility for UI benefits or for potential future audits (Add link when page created) of your business.