South Carolina Tax Liens – 2019 Statutory Changes

Jarrett Hayes

The practice of searching title to South Carolina real property may be changing soon.  Governor Henry McMaster recently signed a bill allowing for the creation of a statewide filing and indexing system of liens imposed by the South Carolina Department of Revenue that will take effect on July 1, 2019.  Currently, state tax liens are filed with the office of a county’s Register of Deeds, Register of Mesne Conveyance, or Clerk of Court.  Once the new system is implemented, liens will instead be filed in a statewide registry that will be publically accessible and searchable online.  The most significant result of this statutory revision is that state tax liens will no longer attach only to a debtor’s property situated within the county where the lien is filed–liens under the new filing system will attach to a debtor’s property regardless of where it is located within the state.  South Carolina real estate practitioners and title abstractors will need to adjust searching protocols to account for the new system, as well as continue checking for outstanding state tax liens previously filed at the county level.

If you have any questions about liens filed by the South Carolina Department of Revenue and their effect on real property, please contact an attorney with Black, Slaughter & Black, PA to discuss further.