Personal income tax
South Carolina collects taxes from its residents at the following rates over six income brackets:
- There is no tax assessed on the first $2,880 of taxable income.
- 3 percent on taxable income between $2,881 and $5,760.
- 4 percent on taxable income between $5,761 and $8,640.
- 5 percent on taxable income between $8,641 and $11,520.
- 6 percent on taxable income between $11,521 and $14,400.
- 7 percent on taxable income of $14,401 and above.
South Carolina tax returns are due April 15 or the next business day if that date falls on a weekend or holiday.
South Carolina's state sales tax rate is 6 percent for most purchases.
South Carolina also has a 7 percent lodging tax. The state's sales tax Web page also has a FAQ section that elaborates on what products and services are taxable or exempt.
Counties have the option to impose an additional 1 percent local option sales tax for capital projects, the school district, tourism development or transportation projects. These local taxes are collected by the South Carolina Department of Revenue on behalf of the counties.
Citizens 85 years old or older get a 1 percent exclusion from the state's sales tax. You must show an ID to get this break.
Personal and real property taxes
Property tax is administered and collected by local governments with assistance from the South Carolina Department of Revenue. Real and personal property are subject to tax.
Approximately two-thirds of county-levied property taxes are used for the support of public education.
Municipalities levy a tax on property situated within the limits of the municipality for services provided by the municipality. The tax is paid by individuals, corporations and partnerships owning property within the state.
Each class of property is assessed at a ratio unique to that type of property. For example:
- Primary residences at 4 percent of fair market value.
- Privately owned agricultural property at 4 percent of use value.
- Personal property at 10.5 percent of income tax depreciated value.
Each county and municipality then applies its millage rate to the assessed value to determine the tax due. The millage rate is equivalent to the tax per $1,000 of assessed value. As the millage rate varies among taxing districts, homeowners need to contact the local county assessor for specific mill rates.
The state provides for numerous property tax exemptions, including a homestead exemption of $50,000 from the property's assessed valuation that is available to residents who are 65 years of age or older, who are totally disabled and/or who are totally blind. This exemption is granted by the county auditor. Taxpayers are required to file an application with the county auditor.
South Carolina imposes a casual excise tax of 5 percent on the fair market value of all motor vehicles, motorcycles, boats, motors and airplanes transferred between individuals. The maximum casual excise tax is $300.
Inheritance and estate taxes
There is no inheritance tax.
Because South Carolina follows federal rules regarding the taxation of estates, the phaseout of the federal credit means that the state does not collect an estate tax.
Other South Carolina tax facts
The South Carolina Department of Revenue offers its own version of free tax filing to eligible taxpayers.
The South Carolina Department of Revenue operates six taxpayer assistance centers across the state to help taxpayers file their taxes.