South Carolina – Consumer Use Tax Explained

SALT Report 1189 – The South Carolina Department of Revenue has released an information guide regarding consumer use tax.  Since 1951, use taxes have applied to purchases of tangible personal property made from out-of-state retailers for use, storage or consumption in South Carolina. This includes purchases made online, through out-of-state catalog companies, shopping networks, or while visiting another state.

Use tax is required on all purchases that would normally be subject to state sales tax if the items had been purchased in South Carolina. Examples of taxable items include books, compact discs, computers, electronic equipment, clothing, jewelry, sporting goods, appliances, furniture and home furnishings.
The tax rate for use tax is the same as the state’s sales tax rate. This rate is calculated based on where the tangible personal property will eventually be used, stored or consumed, regardless of where the sale actually takes place. Therefore, the use tax rate is the 6% state sales tax rate in addition to any local use tax rates imposed by the location where the item will be used, stored or consumed.
The Department of Revenue is currently working on a way for purchasers to pay their use tax online. In the meantime, you can pay your use tax by completing Form UT-3W/UT-3 and mailing it to the SC Department of Revenue.
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