SC Department of Revenue
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Use Tax Exemptions

 

Exemptions from Sales and Use Tax

INDIVIDUALS   |   NOT-FOR-PROFIT   |   BUSINESSES

 

INDIVIDUALS

The following are examples of exemptions available to individuals. To qualify for the exemption, the purchase must meet all the requirements of the exemption code section as listed below. For a list of all Sales Tax Exemptions, select Section 12-36-2120.

1. Textbooks used in K-12 and in Institutions of higher learning.

Section 12-36-2120

(3) (a) textbooks, books, magazines, periodicals, newspapers, and access to on-line information systems used in a course of study in primary and secondary schools and institutions of higher learning or for students' use in the school library of these schools and institutions;

(b) books, magazines, periodicals, newspapers, and access to on-line information systems sold to publicly supported state, county, or regional libraries;

Items in this category may be in any form, including microfilm, microfiche, and CD ROM; however, transactions subject to tax under Sections 12-36-910(B) (3) and 12-36-1310(B) (3) do not fall within this exemption;

2. Newspapers

Section 12-36-2120

(8) newsprint paper, newspapers, and religious publications, including the Holy Bible and the South Carolina Department of Agriculture's The Market Bulletin;

3. Prescription Medicine

Section 12-36-2120

(28)(a) medicine and prosthetic devices sold by prescription, prescription medicines used to prevent respiratory syncytial virus, prescription medicines and therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, lymphoma, leukemia, or related diseases, including prescription medicines used to relieve the effects of any such treatment, free samples of prescription medicine distributed by its manufacturer and any use of these free samples;

(b) hypodermic needles, insulin, alcohol swabs, blood sugar testing strips, monolet lancets, dextrometer supplies, blood glucose meters, and other similar diabetic supplies sold to diabetics under the authorization and direction of a physician;

(c) disposable medical supplies such as bags, tubing, needles, and syringes, which are dispensed by a licensed pharmacist in accordance with an individual prescription written for the use of a human being by a licensed health care provider, which are used for the intravenous administration of a prescription drug or medicine, and which come into direct contact with the prescription drug or medicine. This exemption applies only to supplies used in the treatment of a patient outside of a hospital, skilled nursing facility, or ambulatory surgical treatment center;

(d) medicine donated by its manufacturer to a public institution of higher education for research or for the treatment of indigent patients; and

(e) dental prosthetic devices;

(f) prescription drugs dispensed to Medicare Part A patients residing in a nursing home are not considered sales to the nursing home and are not subject to the sales tax.

4.  Hearing Aids

Section 12-36-2120

(38) hearing aids, as defined by Section 40-25-20(5);

5. Items sold during the annual sales tax holiday

Section 12-36-2120

(57)(a) sales taking place during a period beginning 12:01 a.m. on the first Friday in August and ending at twelve midnight the following Sunday of:
(i) clothing;
(ii) clothing accessories including, but not limited to, hats, scarves, hosiery, and handbags;
(iii) footwear;
(iv) school supplies including, but not limited to, pens, pencils, paper, binders, notebooks, books, bookbags, lunchboxes, and calculators;
(v) computers, printers and printer supplies, and computer software;
(vi) bath wash clothes, blankets, bed spreads, bed linens, sheet sets, comforter sets, bath towels, shower curtains, bath rugs and mats, pillows, and pillow cases.

(b) The exemption allowed by this item does not apply to:
(i) sales of jewelry, cosmetics, eyewear, wallets, watches;
(ii) sales of furniture;
(iii) a sale of an item placed on layaway or similar deferred payment and delivery plan however described;
(iv) rental of clothing or footwear;
(v) a sale or lease of an item for use in a trade or business.

(c) Before July tenth of each year, the department shall publish and make available to the public and retailers a list of those articles qualifying for the exemption allowed by this item.

6. Coins, Currency-Legal Tender

Section 12-36-2120

(70)(a) gold, silver, or platinum bullion, or any combination of this bullion;

(b) coins that are or have been legal tender in the United States or other jurisdiction; and

(c) currency.
The department shall prescribe documentation that must be maintained by retailers claiming the exemption allowed by this item. This documentation must be sufficient to identify each individual sale for which the exemption is claimed.

7. Unprepared Food

Section 12-36-2120

(75) unprepared food that lawfully may be purchased with United States Department of Agriculture food coupons. However, the exemption allowed by this item applies only to the state sales and use tax imposed pursuant to this chapter.

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NOT FOR PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

The following are examples of exemptions available to individuals. To qualify for the exemption, the purchase must meet all the requirements of the exemption code section as listed below. For a list of all Sales Tax Exemptions, select Section 12-36-2120.

1. Certain Meals or Foodstuffs for the elderly, school children, needy, etc.

Section 12-36-2120

(10)(a) meals or foodstuffs used in furnishing meals to school children, if the sales or use are within school buildings and are not for profit;

(b) meals or foodstuffs provided to elderly or disabled persons at home by nonprofit organizations that receive only charitable contributions in addition to sale proceeds from the meals;

(c) food stuffs, either prepared or packaged for the homeless or needy that are sold to nonprofit organizations, or food stuffs that are subsequently sold or donated by a nonprofit organization to another nonprofit organization. This subitem is only applicable to food stuffs which are eligible for purchase under the USDA food stamp program;

(d) meals or foodstuffs prepared or packaged that are sold to public or nonprofit organizations for congregate or in-home service to the homeless or needy or disabled adults over eighteen years of age or individuals over sixty years of age. This subitem only applies to meals and foodstuffs eligible for purchase under the USDA food stamp program.

2. Items sold by certain charitable organizations (churches,  etc).

Section 12-36-2120

(41) items sold by organizations exempt under Section 12-37-220A(3) and (4) and B(5), (6), (7), (8), (12), (16), (19), (22), and (24), if the net proceeds are used exclusively for exempt purposes and no benefit inures to any individual. An organization whose sales are exempted by this item is also exempt from the retail license tax provided in Article 5 of this chapter;

3. Goods sold to nonprofit hospitals that primarily treat children at no cost to the patient.

Section 12-36-2120

(47) tangible personal property sold to charitable hospitals predominantly serving children exempt under Section 12-37-220, where care is provided without charge to the patient.

4. Medicine and medical supplies, including diabetic supplies and diabetic diagnostic and testing equipment, sold to a health care clinic providing free medical and dental care to all patients

(63) prescription and over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies, including diabetic supplies, diabetic diagnostic equipment, and diabetic testing equipment, sold to a health care clinic that provides medical and dental care without charge to all of its patients.

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BUSINESSES

FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF EXEMPTIONS FROM SALES AND USE TAX UNDER SC CODE, SEE  SECTION 12-36-2120.

ALSO SEE CHAPTER 9 OF THE SC SALES AND USE TAX MANUAL.

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