9 Things To Know About South Carolina's Taxes

Find out how South Carolina's tax brackets could impact your wallet differently this year.

mature couple sitting on sofa with financial advisor
Updated July 18, 2024
Fact checked

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Navigating the complexities of state taxes is essential for individuals and businesses alike, especially in a dynamic economic landscape. 

Understanding South Carolina's tax structure is crucial if you want to boost your bank account and stay compliant with state regulations. 

Each component plays a significant role in shaping the state's fiscal landscape, from income and property taxes to sales and fuel levies.

If you’re over 50, take advantage of massive discounts and financial resources

Over 50? Join AARP today — because if you’re not a member you could be missing out on huge perks. When you start your membership today, you can get discounts on things like travel, meal deliveries, eyeglasses, prescriptions that aren’t covered by insurance and more.

How to become a member today:

  • Go here, select your free gift, and click “Join Today”
  • Create your account (important!) by answering a few simple questions
  • Start enjoying your discounts and perks!

Important: Start your membership by creating an account here and filling in all of the information (Do not skip this step!) Doing so will allow you to take up 25% off your AARP membership, making it just $12 per year with auto-renewal.

Become an AARP member now

State income taxes

Yaroslav Pavlov/Adobe 1040 tax form

Income tax rates in South Carolina range from 0% up to 6.4%. For both single fillers and those married and filing jointly, the income tax rate is 0% if you’re earning up to $3,460, 3% if you’re earning between $3,461 to $17,330, and 6.4% if you’re earning $17,331 or more.

As of January 1, 2024, South Carolina reduced its top individual income tax rate from 6.5% to 6.4%. The state aims to reduce this rate further to 6%, subject to tax revenue.

Property taxes

PRI/Adobe family admiring new house from outside

South Carolina ranks 6th for lowest overall property taxes compared to all 50 states. You’ll save a bundle on property taxes yearly compared to most other states.

The effective property tax rate is 0.57%, the median home value or list price is $383,900, and the average annual property tax is $2,175.93. 

Capital gains taxes

stanciuc/Adobe  wooden blocks with letters making Capital Gains Tax text

South Carolina taxes capital gains as income (with a 44% deduction available on long-term gains), and the rate reaches 6.4%. 

Capital gains tax rates align with the state's income tax rates, which means your capital gains are taxed at the same rate as your ordinary income.

Resolve $10,000 or more of your debt

Credit card debt is suffocating. It constantly weighs on your mind and controls every choice you make. You can end up emotionally and even physically drained from it. And even though you make regular payments, it feels like you can never make any progress because of the interest.

National Debt Relief could help you resolve your credit card debt with an affordable plan that works for you. Just tell them your situation, then find out your debt relief options.1

How to get National Debt Relief to help you resolve your debt: Sign up for a free debt assessment here. (Do not skip this step!) By signing up for a free assessment, National Debt Relief can assist you in settling your debt, but only if you schedule the assessment.

Try it

Estate taxes

Creative Clicks/Adobe elderly couple signing papers

South Carolina does not have an estate or inheritance tax, meaning that estates are not subject to state-level taxation upon inheritance or death, making South Carolina an attractive state for retirees and those concerned about estate planning.

This favorable tax environment contributes to the state's appeal as a retirement destination and underscores the importance of comprehensive estate planning strategies.

Fuel taxes

Cavan/Adobe young afro woman

South Carolina levies a 28 cents per gallon tax on gasoline and diesel fuel. These rates are lower than those of bordering North Carolina (40 cents per gallon for gasoline and diesel fuel) and Georgia (31 cents per gallon for gas and 35 cents for diesel fuel).

South Carolina’s rates are slightly below the average fuel taxes in the U.S., which are 29 cents per gallon for gasoline and 31 cents per gallon for diesel fuel.

Social Security taxes

zinkevych/Adobe optimistic senior couple

South Carolina is one of 40 U.S. states that does not have a Social Security tax. This means that Social Security benefits are not subject to state income tax, providing additional financial relief for retirees and individuals receiving Social Security benefits.

Sales taxes

bernardbodo/Adobe selling online

South Carolina's state sales tax rate is 6%. Localities can add as much as 3%, and the average combined rate is 7.499%. It's worth noting that groceries and prescription drugs are tax-exempt, while women's feminine products and diapers are taxable.

How to file taxes in South Carolina

Jelena Stanojkovic/Adobe man with paperwork

You can file your taxes online with the South Carolina Department of Revenue. The online filing system offers convenience and efficiency, allowing taxpayers to submit their returns electronically and receive refunds faster.

The South Carolina Department of Revenue also provides resources and assistance for taxpayers to navigate the filing process and address any questions or concerns they may have. 

Those​ who earned ​​$79,000 or less in 2023 may qualify to file their federal and state returns with the department’s free tax filing software.

Do you get what you pay for in South Carolina?

Felix Mizioznikov/Adobe Myrtle Beach

South Carolina ranks 45th for overall government services compared to all 50 states. With an overall score of 41.13 (out of 100), education scored 36, health scored 46, safety scored 47, economy scored 34, and infrastructure & pollution scored 15.

While South Carolina offers relatively favorable tax rates compared to other states, taxpayers should consider the quality and accessibility of government services when evaluating the overall value of their tax contributions.

Earn cash back on everyday purchases with this rare account

Want to earn cash back on your everyday purchases without using a credit card? With the Discover®️ Cashback Debit Checking account (member FDIC), you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month!2

With no credit check to apply and no monthly fees to worry about, you can earn nearly passive income on purchases you’re making anyway — up to an extra $360 a year!

This rare checking account has other great perks too, like access to your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay, no minimum deposit or monthly balance requirements, over 60K fee-free ATMs, and the ability to add cash to your account at Walmart stores nationwide.

Don’t leave money on the table — it only takes minutes to apply and it won’t impact your credit score.

Apply for a Discover Cashback Checking account today

Bottom line

Studio Romantic/Adobe insurer consulting clients

As taxpayers in South Carolina, it's vital to grasp the nuances of the state's tax system to make informed financial decisions. 

Each aspect has implications for your bottom line, from income tax rates and property levies to sales tax policies.

By understanding these eight key factors and their impact on your financial fitness, you can confidently navigate the tax landscape and optimize your tax planning strategies.

Choice Home Warranty Benefits

  • First month free
  • Protection for unexpected expense
  • 24/7 claims hotline
  • Network of over 15,000 technicians

Author Details

Adam Palasciano

Adam Palasciano is a personal finance-obsessed and money-savvy individual who loves to hash out content on all things saving money. He specializes in writing millennial-friendly personal finance content, covering topics ranging from trending financial news, debt, credit cards, cryptocurrency, and more.