V.I.P. Program

Volunteer Incentive Program Tax Deduction

For your convenience, Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP) reports may be submitted by a chief/director via SC State Fire’s “Fire Portal.” Visit: https://fire.llr.sc.gov/Portal/  

The deadline each year is January 31.

Qualified volunteer personnel are offered a $3,000 VIP state tax deduction (minimum of 70 earned points).

To view the instructions for point system distribution, visit: http://statefire.llr.sc.gov/osfm/forms/vip/VIP%202019%20Memo.pdf

Each chief/ director is responsible for:

Collecting data on each volunteer member

Certifying members have met the qualifications (minimum 70 points)

Submitting the information to SC State Fire via the online process. (Mail or fax is optional.)

Paper forms, if utilized, must be sent to SC State Fire, 141 Monticello Trail, Columbia, SC 29203 or FAX: 803-896-9806

The State Fire Marshal, in conjunction with the S.C. State Firefighters’ Association, formulates the point system on the individual certification form and the following is an explanation of the key topics:

 

Training

Training courses listed in this section are those deemed deserving of specific points, but are not intended to be the only training qualifying for point accumulation. Additional training, other than that listed, qualifies under the “bonus point” section.

Training courses listed carry forward to following years. In other words, an individual does not have to receive the training again the next year to receive the points. Therefore, once a volunteer receives EMT, paramedic, or first responder training, he automatically receives those points each year.

The course listed “Self-contained Breathing Apparatus” is any course deemed appropriate by the chief/ director that specifically addresses the maintenance and use of the breathing apparatus.
IMPORTANT: In instances dealing with training, it is the responsibility of the chief/director (who is certifying to the Department of Revenue) to make sure the individual has, in fact, received training. Therefore, that individual is qualified to receive the points within that category.

Station Training/Meetings

These points are accumulated by the individual’s attendance at meetings and training sessions he/she is eligible to attend. Example: In a combination department, paid personnel might be required to train every day on duty. However, a volunteer member may be required to train only once a month. The percentage of attendance would be determined by the monthly training session in which the volunteer is required to attend. The same holds true for station meetings.

Call Volume/Volunteer Response

The participation percentage for calls is computed from those calls in which the volunteer rescue person is expected and required to attend. Examples:

 In a combination department, paid personnel may handle routine calls and a volunteer member might only be called for a major incident. The participation percentage for the volunteer would not be based on ALL calls answered by the squad, but only those calls where the volunteers were alerted.

 For squads with volunteers assigned specific days to be on call, the individual volunteer’s participation percentage would be based only on those calls falling on the days he/she was actually on standby.

Service to Department

This category was established for volunteers who are unable to actively participate rescue/team operations, but continue to provide significant service to the squad/team and community by performing other rescue/HazMat duties. The chief/ director has sole authority in granting these points and services, which include (but are not be limited to) dispatch, maintenance, computer entry, crowd control at scene, etc.

Bonus Points

These points are awarded for any training, other than that identified under the Training Section, the chief/director deems appropriate and beneficial to the operation of the department/squad and the citizens it serves.

Fire Chief Certification

The chief/director is the sole authority for the certification of the volunteer personnel as it relates to the volunteer being qualified to receive the state tax deduction under the Volunteer Incentive Program law.

This law rewards volunteer personnel for services rendered to their community. The point system was created so those individuals putting forth a good faith effort should qualify. It is, however, the responsibility of the chief/ director to verify those individuals meeting the standard receive the benefit.

To allow volunteers to receive this benefit, State Fire encourages chiefs/directors to maintain appropriate records.

This form must be submitted via the Fire Portal or returned by January 31 of each year to:

State Fire
141 Monticello Trail Columbia, SC 29203
FAX: 803-896-9806