South Carolina assesses income taxes over 6 brackets; however, the lowest bracket incurs no tax. The Palmetto State’s highest rate is 7%. More on South Carolina taxes can be found in the tabbed pages below.
Personal income tax
South Carolina collects taxes from its residents at the following rates over 6 income brackets:
- There is no tax assessed on the first $2,910 of taxable income.
- 3% on taxable income between $2,911 and $5,820.
- 4% on taxable income between $5,821 and $8,730.
- 5% on taxable income between $8,731 and $11,640.
- 6% on taxable income between $11,641 and $14,550.
- 7% on taxable income of $14,551 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% for most purchases.
Counties have the option to impose an additional 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% 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 2/3 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% of fair market value.
- Privately owned agricultural property at 4% of use value.
- Personal property at 10.5% 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 millage 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, totally disabled, or 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% on the fair market value of all motor vehicles, motorcycles, boats, motors and airplanes transferred between individuals.
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
South Carolina works with approved tax software providers, which residents can use to prepare and file their tax returns for free.
South Carolina offers taxpayers almost 50 tax credits that cover a wide range of individual and business circumstances. A tax credit can reduce tax liability dollar-for-dollar, and in some cases provide the filer with a refund. Among the Palmetto State tax breaks is the nursing home credit for an individual who pays expenses for his own support or the support of another to an institution, in any state, providing nursing facility level of care or to a provider for in-home or community care.
For more information, contact the South Carolina Department of Revenue’s Tax Helpline at (803) 898-5709 or at the agency’s website.
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