SC Department of Revenue
No state sales and use tax on unprepared food


Public Affairs Office
Contact: Adrienne Fairwell
Phone: (803) 898-5287
October 9, 2007

South Carolinians to Soon See Additional Savings on Grocery Bill

Beginning November 1, 2007 there will be no state sales and use tax on unprepared food items

Columbia, SC…Taxpayers will soon see savings when buying unprepared food items. Effective November 1, 2007 the current three percent state sales and use tax rate on unprepared food items will be eliminated.
Legislation recently passed and signed by Governor Mark Sanford states that unprepared food items which lawfully may be purchased with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) coupons i.e., food stamps and electronic benefits transfer cards will be exempt from the current three percent state sales and use tax rate.
This exemption does not apply to local option taxes administered and collected by the SC Department of Revenue on behalf of counties and other jurisdictions, unless otherwise specifically exempted.

Unprepared food items do not have to be purchased with USDA coupons in order to get the exemption, and food purchased with USDA food coupons will continue to be free from the tax.  Additionally, persons 85 years of age and older purchasing unprepared food items will receive the state sales and use tax rate exemption.
For a listing of food eligible for the state sales and use tax rate exemption and frequently asked questions please visit the South Carolina Department of Revenue Web site,, and scroll to "What's New."



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