Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP) Certification
As a reminder, all Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP) team reports must be submitted to the Office of State Fire Marshal by Friday, March 29, 2013. These include “Qualified Rescue Squads” and “HAZMAT Team” reports.
Once the information is received, the OSFM compiles the information and forwards it to the S.C. Department of Revenue.
NOTE: To allow for the safekeeping of all information received, the State Fire Marshal’s office is working in conjunction with the DOR for protected delivery of this private information in a secure format.
In case of a Department of Revenue tax audit, as proof of certification, the “Individual Certification” form must be retained by the volunteer.
Per the S.C. Department of Revenue:
Volunteer firefighters, rescue squad workers, and volunteer hazardous material HAZMAT team members are allowed to deduct $3,000.
Volunteer firefighters, rescue squad workers and HAZMAT members qualify only if their employer provides them with a form stating that they have earned the minimum number of points (70).
An individual is limited to one deduction of $3,000. If a taxpayer and spouse both qualify, the deduction is $6,000.
Each rescue squad chief/ county emergency service director must collect data, certify volunteers meeting the qualifications (70 points), and file the appropriate certification form with the OSFM.
Once received, the OSFM will report names, social security numbers and the number of earned points to the South Carolina Department of Revenue (DOR).
Instructions regarding how to report this deduction are in the South Carolina tax booklet. You may also call the S.C. Department of Revenue at 803-898-5000.
Links to the Volunteer Incentive Program’s Individual Certification, Rescue Squad and Volunteer Hazardous Material (HAZMAT) Team Report forms are listed below.
Per S.C. Code of Laws (23-9-190), the local fire chief/rescue squad leader and county emergency services director shall:
(1) provide written records to each member by January 31 of the year following the applicable tax year that shows the points obtained by each member for the previous tax year;
(2) maintain a copy of records for each member for at least seven years;
(3) certify the report for each member;
(4) provide to the Department of Revenue by January 31 of the year following the applicable tax year copies of the records forwarded to members pursuant to item (1) of this subsection. Each member's social security number must be included in the copies forwarded to the department.