The Hospitality Fee Department is responsible for collecting, depositing and auditing all businesses affected by the Hospitality Fees for Horry County. Audits are performed to assure proper accounting and collection of fee revenues. Field audits are regularly performed to ensure compliance of existing and new businesses. The Hospitality Fee also provides funding for Public Safety areas, as well as funding to the Horry County Public Works Department for other local infrastructure needs. If you have any questions, please contact us via email at BLHospitality@horrycountysc.gov or by phone at (843) 915-5620.
What is the Hospitality Fee
The Hospitality Fee is imposed on sectors of the hospitality industry within the geographic confines of Horry County that:
- provide accommodations to transients
- collect admissions to places of amusement
- sell prepared or modified food or beverages (including alcoholic beverages)
- provide short-term rental of private passenger motor vehicles
A business is subject to the collection and remittance of the Horry County Hospitality Fee if it meets one or more of the conditions above. The payment of the fee is the liability of the consumer of the services and due to the service provider upon delivery of the service. The service provider remits fees collected to the Horry County Hospitality Fee Department.
The Hospitality Fee rate is determined with consideration to the location of the business. Businesses located outside the city limits will calculate the fee at 2.5% of gross proceeds from the Sale of Food/Beverages, 3% of gross proceeds from Rental of Transient Accommodations, 2.5% of gross proceeds from Paid Admissions and/or Amusements and 2.5% from short term rental of private passenger motor vehicles. Businesses located inside city limits will calculate the fee at 1.5% of gross proceeds from the Sale of Food/Beverages, Rental of Transient Accommodation and paid Admissions and 2.5% from short term rental of private passenger motor vehicles. All businesses must register with the S.C. Department of Revenue. In addition, businesses located inside the city limits must register with their local municipality.
Accommodations for Transients
Includes rental or charges for any rooms, campground spaces, lodgings, or sleeping accommodations furnished to transients by any hotel, inn, tourist court, tourist camp, motel, campground, residence, or any place in which rooms, lodging or sleeping accommodations are furnished to transients for a consideration within the County to which the sales tax imposed by the State of South Carolina pursuant to Section 12-36-920 of the South Carolina Code applies.
- All applicable short-term accommodation rentals require collection and remittance of the Hospitality Fee.
- Long-term accommodation rentals 90 consecutive days at the same location to the same patron does not require collection and remittance of the Hospitality Fee.
- If accommodations are arranged by a property manager, then ensure the property manager is collecting and remitting Hospitality Fees.
Admissions to Places of Amusement
Includes paid admissions to places of amusement (including, one time events) within the County to which the admissions tax imposed by the State of South Carolina pursuant to Section 12-21-2420, et seq. of the South Carolina Code applies.
Prepared or Modified Food/Beverages
Includes proceeds derived from the sale (including, one time events) of prepared or modified food/beverages sold for immediate consumption either on or off premises, or on-premise consumption of alcohol, beer, or wine.
Short-Term Rental of Private Passenger Motor Vehicles
Include rental or charges for private passenger motor vehicle to the same patron for less than 90 consecutive days.
How to Establish a New Hospitality Fee Account
Contact our office by telephone at (843) 915-5620 or visit our office and be prepared to provide us with the following information:
- DBA Name
- Corporation Name
- Start Date of Business
- Owner's Name
- Retail Sales License Number
- Federal ID Number or Social Security Number
- Type of Business
- Physical Location of Business (address)
- Mailing Address of Business
- Contact Person and Telephone Number
The Hospitality Fee Account is established with consideration to the location of the business. Businesses located inside the city limits will need to contact the appropriate municipality as well. An information packet will be mailed to the business or property owner. The packet will include a "Reporting Form" (please make copies) and instructions. Keep these documents in a safe place until needed for reporting.
How to Report and Remit Hospitality Fees Collected
When an account is established an information packet is mailed to the business or property owner. This packet explains when and how to report the fees collected.
- Collect appropriate fees from customers
- Retrieve the appropriate "Reporting Form" provided in the information packet or download a form
- Enter the gross proceeds for each category applicable to the business: sale of food/beverages; rental of transient accommodations or paid admissions and/or amusements
- Calculate Hospitality Fee
- Pay the Hospitality Fee
- Create an online account to file/pay the hospitality fee. The information you will need will be in the information packet that is mailed to you.
Due Date and Penalties
The due date is the 20th of the month following the reporting period. If the payment is postmarked after the 20th a penalty will be assessed to your account. When the twentieth day is a Saturday, Sunday or other day the County is not open for regular business, the fee is due on the following day the County is open for regular business. For questions regarding when to report or reporting due dates contact our office with your account number.
Failure to File Return. In the case of failure to file the return, the County shall make a return upon such information as it may be able to obtain, assess the Fee due thereon, and assess a late filing penalty (the "Failure to File Penalty") upon the entire Fee then due, whereupon the County shall mail such notice to the person liable for the Fee. Such payment shall be due within ten days of the postmark of such return.
The Failure to File Penalty shall be calculated as
(A x B) x C = the Failure to File Penalty
where "A" represents the amount of the entire then due Fee, "B" represents the daily penalty in percentage terms calculated on the basis of a 10% per month penalty assumiong a 30-day month (0.333%), and "C" represents the number of calendar days from the date the filing was due to the date of the filing and payment of the Failure to File Penalty. The amount of the Failure to File Penalty for any period shall not exceed 20% of the Fee due for that period.
Failure to Timely File Return. In the case of late filing of the return, the County shall assess a late filing penalty (the "Late Filing Penalty") upon the entire Fee the due.
The Late Filing Penalty shall be calculated as
(D x E) x F = the Late Filing Penalty
where "D" represents the amount of the entire then due Fee, "E" represents the daily penalty in percentage terms calculated on the basis of a 10% per month penalty assuming a 30-day month (0.333%), and "F" represents the number of calendar days from the date the filing was due to the date of the payment of the Fee, the Late Filing Penalty, and any Late Payment Penalty. The amount of the Late Filing Penalty for any period shall not exceed 20% of the Fee due for that period.
Failure to Pay. In the case of failure to pay the entirety of any Fee when due, the County shall add a late payment penalty (the "Late Payment Penalty").
The Late Payment Penalty shall be calculated as:
(X x Y) x Z = the Late Payment Penalty
where "X" represents the amount of the entire fee due for the period in question less any accepted partial payment, "Y" represents the daily penalty in percentage terms calculated on the basis of a 10% per month penalty assuming a 30-day month (0.333%), and "Z" represents the number of calendar days from the date the payment was due to the date of the payment of such Fee, and the Late Payment Penalty. There shall be no limit on the amount of the Late Payment Penalty unless found to be due under an audit.
The failure to pay penalty on fees found to be due under audit shall not exceed twenty-five percent (25%) if paid within 10 days of the County's assessment, then the failure to pay penalty is not capped on the unpaid fee from the 11th day until the taxes are paid. An underpayment amount created by filing an amended return is subject to the failure to pay penalty for the underpayment amount.
Inspections and Audits
To ensure compliance with the Hospitality Fee Ordinance all businesses are subject to periodic on-site inspection and/or financial audit. In the event an inspection or audit reveals that inaccurate information has been filed, an assessment for the correct fee and applicable penalties may be issued to the business.
Violations will be issued in the event the business:
- fails to collect the Hospitality Fee
- fails to remit to the County any Hospitality Fee collected
- fails to file a Hospitality Fee return
- knowingly provides false information on a Hospitality Fee return
- fails to provide books and records to the County Administrator or other authorized agent of the County for the purpose of inspection, examination, or audit after 24 hours of written notice
Each day of violation constitutes a separate offense. Upon conviction of a violation, the violator is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine or forfeiture not exceeding $500, or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or both.
Changes to Account Information
Any changes to the account information should be reported on the Change-Notification Form within five (5) days. The completed form can be mailed or faxed to the office. New business owners must establish a new account. Do not use the previous owner's reporting form.
Board of Fee Appeals
Any person aggrieved by a decision, final assessment, revocation, suspension, or a denial of a business license may appeal the decision by written request stating the reasons therefore filed, within ten (10) days after payment of the assessment under protest or notice of denial is received. A written notice of appeal must be accompanied with a $25 fee. The fee will be refunded in the event the final resolution of the appeal is in favor of the appellant. The Board of Fee Appeals hearings are held monthly.
- Always include reporting form with your payment.
- Always write the account number on check and do not staple check to reporting form.
- If gross receipts for the reporting period are "zero", submit a reporting form indicating "zero". The completed form can be mailed or faxed to the office.
- If business is sold complete the Change-Notification Form and submit to Hospitality Fee Department.
- New business owners must establish a new account. Do not use the previous owner's reporting forms.
- Keep the business' mailing address current in order to receive correspondence from this department.
- If your business is located in the unincorporated area of Horry County you may need an Horry County Business License.
- Retail Sales License/Accommodations/Admissions information can be obtained from the SC Department of Revenue at www.dor.sc.gov