Sales and Use Tax & Incentives

Sales and Use Tax

The sales and use tax rate in South Carolina is 6 percent. Some counties assess an additional 1% or 2% local option sales tax and/or a capital project sales tax. Proceeds of these local taxes go toward infrastructure improvements or a rollback of property taxes.

  • Sales tax applies to all retail sales, leases and rentals of tangible personal property, including the value of property purchased at wholesale and then used or consumed by the purchaser. A $300 maximum sales tax cap is applicable on the sale or lease of aircraft, motor vehicles, motorcycles, boats, recreational vehicles and other items.
  • Use tax is based on the sales price of such property

Sales Tax Incentives

Out-of-State Sales
South Carolina exempts sales tax on the gross proceeds of the sale of tangible personal property where the seller, by contract of sale, is obligated to deliver to the buyer, an agent of the buyer, or a donee of the buyer, at a point outside of the state, a carrier, or mails for transportation outside this state.

Out-of-State Purchases - Use Tax Credit
South Carolina provides a credit to the use tax for sales and use taxes on purchase of tangible personal property paid in another state, if the state in which the property is purchased has substantially similar tax credits on tangible personal property purchased in this state.  If the amount of the sales or use tax paid in the other state is less than the amount of use tax imposed in this state, the user shall pay the difference to this state. 

Sales Tax Exemptions
South Carolina supports new and expanding industry with a wide range of valuable exemptions to the sales tax (state and local). These exemptions include the following:

  • Machinery and equipment used in the production of tangible goods process;
  • Research and development machinery and equipment;
  • Repair Parts;
  • Materials that will become an integral part of the finished product;
  • Fuels used in the production process including electricity;
  • Pollution control equipment;
  • Packaging materials;
  • Rail cars and locomotives;
  • Computer equipment used in a qualifying technology intensive facility;
  • Computer services and software;
  • Recycling property used in a qualifying recycling facility;
  • Long distance telephone calls and access charges, including 800 services; and
  • Material-handling equipment is exempt from sales taxes for manufacturing or distribution projects investing $35 million or more.
  • Construction materials used in the construction of a single manufacturing and distribution facility with a capital investment of at least $100 million in an 18 month period will be exempt from sales tax.

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