What You Need to Know About South Carolina Taxes and Retirement

There are so many reasons the Palmetto State is retiree-friendly. South Carolina income taxes for retirees are just one desirable perk! Read on to discover more reasons senior citizens are retiring in South Carolina.

After you read more about South Carolina state and local taxes, and you are ready to begin your home search, contact us at Pam Harrington Exclusives for a customized search.

  • At what age do South Carolinians stop paying property taxes?

Residents of South Carolina may be exempt from paying a portion of property taxes for the following criteria: resident of the state for a full calendar year and either over 65 years of age or permanently disabled or legally blind.

If so, you are eligible for a Homestead Exemption of $50,000 from the value of your home for tax purposes.

  • What taxes do retirees pay in South Carolina?

South Carolina is known for having one of the lowest property tax rates in the United States.

Social Security retirement benefits are not taxed in South Carolina. Additionally, retirement income from other sources benefits from a $15,000 taxable income deduction.

  • What is the income tax rate for South Carolina?

South Carolina's state income tax rates range from 0% to 7%. Retirees receive a deduction for some retirement income. There is also an earned income tax credit and a credit to offset nursing home costs.

  • Who qualifies for a 4% property tax rate in South Carolina?

To qualify for the special 4% property tax assessment ratio, the owner of the property must have actually owned and occupied the residence as his legal residence and been occupying that address for some period during the applicable tax year.

Only an owner-occupant is eligible to apply for the 4% special assessment.

The average effective property tax rate in South Carolina is only 0.57%. However, retirees who are legal residents of South Carolina for one preceding tax year qualify for a property tax exemption known as the Homestead Tax Exemption. This tax exemption is available to South Carolina property owners over the age of 65.

So, with the Homestead Tax Exemption, the first $50,000 of your home is exempt from municipal, county, school, and real property taxes. To receive this exemption, you must apply at your county auditor's office.

Other South Carolina Tax Breaks for Seniors

South Carolina taxpayers ages 65 and older do not need to file a state income tax return in most cases. If your gross income is less than the federal gross income filing requirement, you shouldn't be required to file a SC state return. In addition, Social Security benefits are not taxed by the state of South Carolina.

Overall, Kiplinger rates South Carolina as a state tax-friendly state for retirees. For more information on tax breaks that senior residents may be eligible for, visit the South Carolina Department of Revenue website.

What Additional Taxes are collected in South Carolina?

South Carolina's state Sales Tax rate: is 6%. Local sales tax rates vary. Some municipalities impose additions to the state sales tax.

South Carolina Excise Taxes: The state collects sales tax on the sale or lease of a motor vehicle. The amount is 5% of the purchase price, up to $300 per vehicle purchased or leased.

The Best Places to Retire in South Carolina

If you are looking for a unique combination of serenity and fun, look no further than Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island.

South Carolina Retirees on the beach at Kiawah Island

Charleston’s most beloved sea islands are a wonderful playground for retirees. Enjoy access to championship golf, world-class tennis, miles of pristine beaches, and more.

In addition, Charleston offers beautiful year-round weather. You can enjoy your favorite sports and outdoor activities throughout the four seasons!

Additional South Carolina Retirement Resources

When you are ready to embark on this next exciting chapter of your life, the following resources will make your transition a bit easier.


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If you have any other questions about taxes for seniors and retirees in South Carolina, simply contact us at Pam Harrington Exclusives.