South Carolina State Income Tax Overview

For those who earn income from a source based in South Carolina or who live in South Carolina, you need to know that South Carolina imposes a state income tax.  The South Carolina Department of Revenue is responsible for administering state income tax, which requires the filing of a separate tax return from the federal income tax return administered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Below is additional information in answer to frequently asked questions about South Carolina state income tax.

State Income Tax Filing Requirements

Whether you have to file a South Carolina state income tax return depends on your age, income, and residency.

Residents

If you are a resident of South Carolina, you must file a state income tax return if either of the following is true:

  • You are under the age of 65, you have to file a federal income tax return, and you earned any amount of income from any taxable source, even one based outside of South Carolina.
  • You are age 65 or over and your gross income is more than your gross income for federal income tax purposes plus $15,000 if you are Single or $30,000 if you are Married Filing Jointly.

You must also filing a South Carolina state income tax return if you had South Carolina income tax withheld from your wages.

Non-Residents

If you are not a resident of South Caroline, you must file a South Carolina state income tax return if any of the following are true:

  • You earned income taxable under South Carolina income tax law.
  • You had South Carolina state income tax withheld from your wages.

Part-Year Residents

If you lived in South Carolina for only part of the year, you may choose to file as a resident or a non-resident depending on which option is the best for you.

Tax Rate

South Carolina uses a marginal tax rate that is adjusted annually based on inflation.  The tax rate currently ranges from 0% to 7%, increasing as you earn additional taxable income.

State Income Tax Filing Date and Extension

South Carolina state income tax is due on April 15.  If April 15 falls on a holiday or a weekend, your tax return is due on the next business day that is not a holiday.

South Carolina allows taxpayers to exercise a six-month extension on the filing date.  You must elect to take the extension before April 15.  South Carolina will also accept an extension granted for federal income tax purposes.

Even if you receive an extension, remember the extension is only for the filing date for your return and not for any tax owed.  If you believe you will owe tax on your state income tax return, you must submitted an estimate payment for the tax due by the original filing date.  South Carolina charges interest and a penalty on any unpaid tax liability not paid by the original filing date.

Tax Preparation Assistance

The information above should not be considered as legal or tax advice.  If you need help with questions about your state income tax return or with filing your state income tax return, you should contact a tax attorney who is familiar with South Carolina state income tax law.

by Mark Johnston

Mark has been a contributor to legal web sites related to bankruptcy, tax, and criminal law since 2011. He has an Accounting degree from Texas A&M University.