Sales Tax Updates in South Carolina

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February 6, 2013 — 2,105 views  
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Changes for Aiken County

Effective January 1, 2013, Aiken County, South Carolina will re-impose a one percent sales and use tax for all capital projects, with the old capital projects tax ending on December 31, 2012. This new one percent sales and use tax will be exempt on all sales of unprepared grocery food items within Aiken County.

Changes for Beaufort County

Beginning October 1, 2012, the South Carolina Department of Revenue changed the sales and use tax rate within Beaufort County to six percent, removing a one percent transportation tax that ended effective September 30, 2012. This additional tax was removed due to the county achieving the maximum revenue collection that was specified for the tax. The final tax return that included the one percent transportation tax was due on October 20, 2012.

Sales and Use Tax Laws in South Carolina

In the State of South Carolina, a sales tax of six percent is imposed upon the sale of all goods. Certain services within the state will also be taxed by six percent statewide. However, counties are allowed to impose up to an additional one percent of local sales tax if approved by voters within the county. All retail sales are generally subject to paying the six percent sales tax within the state.

Use tax within the State of South Carolina is applied to the purchase of tangible goods that are used within the state that have not paid the six percent sales tax. Some examples of purchases that would fall under the state's use tax requirement include items that were purchased via catalogs or online from out-of-state businesses that did not collect South Carolina sales tax, as well as furniture that was purchased out-of-state but delivered in South Carolina.

Sales tax and use tax both apply to the value of the items purchased at wholesale. Use tax can also be applied to services, such as laundry, dry cleaning, electricity and communications. Effective June 1, 2007, the State of South Carolina charged an eleven percent sales tax to telephone services that carry exchanges consisting of 900 and 976 number exchanges. Rental cars are taxed an additional five percent surcharge and heavy equipment rentals receive an additional three percent surcharge within the state.

Businesses that purchase items out-of-state on a regular basis should use form ST-3 to report these non-taxed purchases. Individuals need to use form UT-3/T-3W and the South Carolina Use Tax Worksheet. These forms are included each year in the individual tax forms package that taxpayers receive via post mail for easy use.

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