South Carolina: Sales Tax Handbook
What constitutes sales tax nexus in South Carolina?
One of the more complicated aspects of South Carolina sales tax law is sales tax nexus, the determination of whether a particular sale took place within the taxation jurisdiction of South Carolina, and is thus subject to state (and possibly local) sales taxes.
If a vendor's transactions are determined to have nexus in South Carolina, the vendor must register for a South Carolina sales tax license and collect appropriate sales taxes from the buyer for all transactions with nexus in the state. On this page, we have compiled some of the most commonly needed facts about what constitutes sales tax nexus in South Carolina.
Sales Tax Nexus in South Carolina
According to the law of South Dakota, all retailers who have tax nexus can be defined in several ways. A seller has tax nexus if they have any of the following within the state's boundaries:
an office or place of business, an employee present, goods in a warehouse, ownership of real or personal property, independent contractors or other representatives in South Carolina, storing physical products can also create sales nexus.
For additional details on sales tax nexus law in South Carolina, see the nexus information page from the Department of Revenue at https://dor.sc.gov/tax/sales/faq
Taxation of Internet-Based Sales in South Carolina
NOTE: 2018 Supreme Court Ruling Regarding Online Sales Taxes
In the 2018 Supreme Court case South Dakota vs. Wayfair Inc, Et Al., the court overturned a previous ruling that required a merchant to have physical nexus in order for a state to collect sales tax. This means that any state is now free to enforce collection of sales taxes on out-of-state online merchants. The information provided here may be subject to change, and many states are expected to begin collecting online sales taxes following this ruling.
Generally, South Carolina does not charge sales tax on Internet-based transactions determined to have nexus within the state. This means that purchases from Amazon.com and other Internet-based retailers may be sales-tax-free. Any sort of business that sells tangible, physical personal property by utilizing the Internet and also operates a website, which is maintained with a server that is owned by the seller's business, which is also located within South Carolina's state boundaries, does have nexus. It is possible for other exceptions to be applicable.
The nexus status and taxability of Internet-based sales, by vendors and/or consumers within South Carolina, have been the subject of hot debate in recent years. You can learn more on our introduction to Internet-based sales taxes.
Does my business have tax nexus in South Carolina?
The folks at the sales tax compliance company Avalara are an approved South Carolina sales tax partner, and you can use their free South Carolina nexus wizard tool to determine whether or not your business has nexus, and is therefore required to pay South Carolina sales taxes. If you're interested in automating your sales tax collection and filing process, click here to get more information.
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