South Carolina Sales Tax on Services, Installation, etc South Carolina: Sales Tax Handbook

South Carolina:

What purchases are taxable in South Carolina?

The taxability of various transactions (like services and shipping) can vary from state to state, as do policies on subjects such as whether excise taxes or installation fees included in the purchase price are also subject sales tax. This reference is here to help answer your questions about what is and is not subject to the South Carolina sales tax.

Section 1: Taxability of Goods and Services

What transactions are generally subject to sales tax in South Carolina?

All tangible products within South Carolina are taxable with the exception of prescription drugs, certain medical devices, and machinery and chemicals which will be used in the process of research and development.

This means that an individual in the state of South Carolina who sells books would be required to charge sales tax, but an individual who sells medical devices might not.

Are services subject to sales tax in South Carolina?

Services in South Carolina are generally not taxable, for instance one cannot worry if you are a freelance writer or a plumber about sales tax except only if the services you provide included creating or manufacturing a product, there shall be a tax charged on the products.

You can find a table describing the taxability of common types of services later on this page.


Are shipping & handling subject to sales tax in South Carolina?

Sales tax charges are based on the item if the seller pays to ship for an item, on the other hand if the buyer arranges a shipping method, then the seller would not be able to charge sales tax on shipping.


Are drop shipments subject to sales tax in South Carolina?

"Drop shipping" refers to the common business practice in which a vendor, often in a different state, makes a sale of a product which is shipped to the end-user by a third party supplier hired by the initial vendor. In South Carolina, drop shipments are generally subject to state sales taxes.


Section 2: Taxability of Various Items in South Carolina

This table shows the taxability of various goods and services in South Carolina. If you are interested in the sales tax on vehicle sales, see the car sales tax page instead. Scroll to view the full table, and click any category for more details.

Category Exemption Status
Amazon Purchases
Products on TAXABLE *
General Clothing TAXABLE *
Food and Meals
Catering TAXABLE *
Grocery Food EXEMPT *
Leases and Rentals
Motor Vehicles TAXABLE *
Tangible Media Property TAXABLE *
Manufacturing and Machinery
Machinery EXEMPT
Raw Materials EXEMPT
Utilities & Fuel EXEMPT
Medical Goods and Services
Medical Devices EXEMPT *
Medical Services EXEMPT
Medicines TAXABLE *
Newspapers and Magazines
Newspapers EXEMPT
Periodicals TAXABLE
Occasional Sales
General Occasional Sales EXEMPT
Motor Vehicles EXEMPT *
Optional Maintenance Contracts
General Optional Maintenance Contracts TAXABLE *
Parts Purchased for Use in Performing Service Under Optional Maintenance Contracts EXEMPT *
Pollution Control Equipment
General Pollution Control Equipment TAXABLE *
Janitorial Services EXEMPT
Transportation Services EXEMPT
Software and Digital Products
Canned Software - Delivered on Tangible Media TAXABLE *
Canned Software - Downloaded EXEMPT *
Custom Software - Delivered on Tangible Media TAXABLE *
Custom Software - Downloaded EXEMPT *
Customization of Canned Software TAXABLE *
Digital Products EXEMPT
General Trade-Ins EXEMPT
Vending Machine Sales
Merchandise TAXABLE *

* See notes in category taxability page for details

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