SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
Public Affairs Office
Contact: Adrienne Fairwell
Phone: (803) 898-5287
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2006
Sales Tax Rate Reduction on Unprepared Foods Effective October 1, 2006
Columbia, SC…South Carolinians will soon see additional savings on their grocery bill due to legislation passed and signed by Governor Mark Sanford to reduce the state sales and use tax on unprepared food items.
Effective October 1, 2006, the state sales and use tax rate on unprepared foods will be reduced to three percent—down from five percent. Unprepared food items refer to foods which lawfully may be purchased with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) food coupons i.e., food stamps, electronic benefits transfer cards and any other method approved by the USDA.
The reduced state rate does not require that foods be purchased with USDA food coupons in order to be taxed at the three percent state rate. However, food purchased with USDA food coupons will continue to be exempt from the tax.
While persons 85 years of age or older are entitled to a one percent reduction in the state sales tax rate when they request it at the time of purchase and provide proof of their age, the one percent reduction for persons 85 years of age and older will not apply to the new three percent state rate on unprepared food. As a result, persons 85 years of age and older will also pay a state rate of three percent on food eligible to be purchased with USDA food coupons.
For a listing of food eligible for the new three percent state rate and frequently asked questions please visit the South Carolina Department of Revenue Web site, www.sctax.org, and scroll to "What's New."