South Carolina State House

South Carolina State Taxes

Nestled among the lush landscapes and historic charm of South Carolina lies a complex tapestry of tax regulations residents and businesses must navigate. From the sandy shores of Myrtle Beach to the mountain town of Greenville, understanding South Carolina’s tax system is essential for anyone living in or considering moving to the Palmetto State.

This article delves into the intricacies of South Carolina taxes, shedding light on its graduated state income tax rates, unique sales tax nuances, property taxes and other fiscal obligations that define life within this vibrant southern enclave. Whether you’re a long-time resident looking to demystify your annual tax responsibilities or a newcomer trying to grasp how these laws might affect your financial landscape, our comprehensive guide serves as your roadmap through the multifaceted world of South Carolina taxation.

South Carolina state income tax 

South Carolina employs a graduated structure for its state income tax with rates spanning from 0 percent to 6.5 percent—a slight reduction from the previous top rate of seven percent. To account for inflation, the state adjusts these tax brackets each year and anticipates further rate reductions in future years.

The breakdown of these tax brackets is as follows:

  • $0—$3,200 at 0 percent
  • $3,201—$16,040 at 3 percent
  • Above $16,040 at 6.5 percent

Sales Tax in South Carolina

South Carolina has a basic 6 percent sales tax on most items, but local taxes can increase it to a maximum of 9 percent. The state does not charge this base rate on essential goods like groceries, making everyday expenses more affordable. However, prepared foods, hotel stays and certain services are taxed at the total rate of both state and local taxes.

For big-ticket items like cars, South Carolina applies its regular sales tax rates but limits the tax amount to $500 for each vehicle sold. This approach aims to keep taxes fair for larger purchases and balance the need for public funding with the need to keep living costs reasonable.

South Carolina Property Tax

South Carolina’s property tax system encompasses two main categories:

  • Real Estate Taxes: Applied to homes, land and buildings with rates varying by county. Owner-occupied residences benefit from a reduced rate of 4 percent on assessed value, compared to higher rates for non-owner occupied properties. 
  • Personal Property Taxes: Target vehicles, boats and airplanes, taxing them based on fair market value.

Additionally, the state offers exemptions aimed at lessening the burden for certain groups, including seniors over the age of 65, disabled individuals and veterans, as well as providing favorable conditions for agricultural lands actively used in farming. These efforts are designed to balance fiscal responsibility with support for South Carolina residents’ varied needs.

South Carolina Estate Tax

South Carolina does not levy an estate tax, following the federal government’s 2005 elimination of the state death tax credit. This means residents face no state-level estate taxes when transferring or inheriting property. The lack of a state estate tax simplifies inheritance matters, allowing South Carolinians to plan their estates without worrying about additional state taxes on top of federal obligations.

This policy reflects South Carolina’s commitment to creating a taxpayer-friendly environment, easing financial and legal processes for residents dealing with inheritances. By removing this layer of taxation, the state aims to promote economic stability and growth by reducing fiscal burdens during inheritance transitions.

South Carolina Retirement Tax

South Carolina offers a tax-friendly environment for retirees, highlighted by:

  • Social Security Benefits: Completely exempt from state taxes.
  • No Estate or Inheritance Tax: Enhances the state’s appeal by allowing retirees to pass on their financial legacy without additional taxes.

These policies collectively create an appealing setting for seniors looking to enjoy their retirement years with minimal taxation burdens.

To make sure you’re not overpaying on taxes, it’s smart to consult with a professional. A financial advisor can answer your tax questions and help ensure you pay only what’s necessary. At Horizons Wealth Management, we help you navigate your financial future with expertise behind you.

Does this generation have a unique financial perspective because of how they were raised?  Find out here.

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Learn more here.

Do you have a few hundred dollars to spare? Want to make the most of it? Here are a few smart (and fun) ideas.

Maybe you received a bonus at work, got lucky on a scratch-off lottery ticket or—unlike many disappointed taxpayers this season—you scored a sizable tax refund. If you have a grand to spare, we have recommendations on ways to spend it, including buying travel upgrades, creating a smarter home, making a difference for local schoolkids and much more.

Learn more here.

Investing is the most important element of our financial future.  Tony Robbins and Clark Howard recommend that people who have yet to invest in the stock market should ‘get in the game.’  Experts believe the financial market is still ‘winnable’. We agree.  Don’t wait to invest. Get started with whatever you have.

You can put off some small things in life without consequence, but when it comes to investing, sticking your head in the sand simply won’t cut it. If you don’t know how to start investing, when to start investing or why you should invest, now’s the time to learn. The sooner you get started, the more time and interest can help grow your money.

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Deciding when to let your children stand on their own can be tough, especially when they’re contending with student loans, underpaying jobs, or sky-high rents. But easing your kid’s entry into adulthood could be undermining your own financial security.

According to a December survey from, three-quarters of parents are providing financial support for their adult kids.

But at a time when the majority of Americans haven’t socked away nearly enough for retirement—the median retirement savings for all working families in the US is just $5,000, according to the Economic Policy Institute—it makes sense to do a little less for our offspring, so we can think a little more about ourselves.

So, how do you figure out when and how to cut your kids off financially?  Learn more below.


Basing your spending off how your friends spend their money is a huge mistake to make.  Large spenders may also be building crippling debt.

You won’t find a real answer to how you’re doing in a Federal Reserve survey or a social media feed.  You will find it by measuring yourself against rules of thumb, refined over decades and endorsed by financial pros  that point the way toward true financial health.

Start with these:


Becoming rich is nothing more than a matter of committing and sticking to a systematic savings and investment plan.

If you want to get rich, start investing- and start as early as you possibly can.

To illustrate the simplicity of building wealth over time, Bach created a chart detailing how much money you need to set aside each day, month, or year in order to have $1 million saved by the time you’re 65.

Next time you consider running to Starbucks for a $4 latte, think about this chart and consider redirecting that coffee cash to your savings.  Check it out here.

If you want to be happy, but you’re having a tough time in life due to personal or financial issues, it’s important to take whatever steps possible — even small ones — to progress and grow.

This best-selling author’s advice has been featured prominently in magazines, digital media and in national televised media. He travels all over the country every month for events to inspire people in their lives and in business.

Click HERE for some of Tony’s top pieces of advice on how to change your mindset in ways that can have a positive impact on your life and your finances.

Money is an emotional topic, but what’s really happening inside our brains when money comes up?  The answer, in short, is a whole lot!   A Harvard Business article explains what your brain looks like while thinking about money. Click below to read the 3 key takeaways.