FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND LAW SUMMARIES
ENVIRONMENTAL TAXES-SOLID WASTE EXCISE TAX
1. What is the solid waste excise tax?
The South Carolina Solid Waste Policy Management Act of 1991 was enacted to help protect public health and the environment from the millions of tons of solid waste generated South Carolina each year. A statewide solid waste management program has been implemented to provide for a solid waste reduction and recycling program. Effective November 1, 1991, an excise tax is imposed on motor oil and similar lubricants lead-acid batteries, tires and white goods in order to provide funds for their collection an disposal.
2. How does the law define the items subject to the solid waste excise tax?
The four categories of items subject to the solid waste excise tax are defines in the statute as follows
Motor oil and similar lubricants - the fraction of crude oil or synthetic oil that is classified for use in the crankcase, transmission, gearbox, or differential of an internal combustion engine, including automobiles, buses ,trucks, lawn mowers and other household power equipment, industrial machinery, and other mechanical devices that derive their power from internal combustion engines. The terms include re-refined oil but do not include specialty industrial or machine oils, such as spindle oils, cutting oil, steam cylinder oils, industrial oils, electrical insulating oils, or solvents which are not sold at retail in this state.
Tires - the continuous solid or pneumatic rubber covering encircling the wheel of a motor vehicle, trailer, or motorcycle as defined in Section 56-3-20(2), (4) and (13). It does not include an industrial press-on tire, with a metal or solid compound rim, which may be retooled.
Lead-acid batteries - any battery that consists of lead and sulfuric acid, is used as a power source, and has a capacity of six volts or more, except that this term shall not include a small sealed lead-acid battery which means a lead-acid battery weighing twenty-five pounds or less, used in non-vehicular, non-SLI(starting lighting ignition) applications.
White goods - include refrigerators, ranges, water heaters, freezers, dishwashers, trash compactors, washers, dryers, air conditioners, and commercial large appliances.
3. Who is liable for collecting and emitting the fee?
The imposition of the fee at the wholesale, retail or consumer level depends upon the category of the item sold as described below:
Motor Oil and Similar Lubricants - The $0.08 per gallon fee is imposed at the wholesale level on wholesale sales in South Carolina and is imposed on retailers or consumers on the importation of motor oil or similar lubricants into South Carolina upon which the solid waste fee has not been levied. Note: Motor oil or similar lubricants exported from South Carolina in its original package or container are exempt from the fee.Tires - The $2.00 fee is imposed at the retail level only.
Lead-Acid Batteries -The $2.00 fee is imposed at the retail level only effective September 29, 1992. Prior to this the tax was reported at the wholesales level.
White goods - The $2.00 fee is imposed at the wholesale level on white goods for resales in South Carolina. Licensed wholesalers receiving new white goods from un-licensed wholesalers are responsible for the fee. Also, the fee is imposed at the retail level on purchases by retail merchants, jobbers or dealers from un-licensed wholesalers.
NOTE: As stated above, the fee is imposed at the wholesale, retail or consumer level depending upon the category of item sold. A wholesaler or retailer liable for the fee may increase the price of the item by the solid waste excise fee. Such an increase is considered an increase in the price of the item and not a payment of the solid waste excise fee by the purchaser. There is no requirement in the law that the fee be passed on to the purchaser, and the fee is still due by the wholesaler/retailer even if their purchaser, refuses to pay the fee.
4. What is meant by the term "wholesaler" for purposes of the Form St-391, Solid Waste Registration Removal/Wholesale information?
The term includes anyone who makes sale for resale including a manufacturer, distributor, importer, supplier, jobber or wholesaler of motor oil and similar lubricants or white goods.
5. Is the solid waste excise tax imposed on sales of used tires, lead-acid batteries and white goods?
No, the tax is imposed only on sales of new tires, lead-acid batteries and white goods.
6. Are taxpayers who are exempt from sales and use taxes also exempt from the solid waste excise tax?
No, the sales and use tax exemptions provided to farmers, manufacturers, etc. do not exempt them from the solid waste excise tax.
7. Are sales made to the federal government or agents of the federal government taxable?
Yes, the solid waste tax is imposed on the wholesaler or retailer, not the purchaser, except for ex-tax motor oil. Therefore, the solid waste fee is not a direct tax on the federal government, and there is no requirement the fee be passed along to the consumer (government). Note: The federal government will not be liable for the solid waste tax imposed on ex-tax motor oil and similar lubricants they import into South Carolina.
8. Is the solid waste excise tax imposed on new tangible personal property which contain motor oil, tires, white goods or batteries, such as vehicles, boats, machines, mobile homes and tractors?
No, the fee is not imposed on the sales of tangible personal property containing motor oil or similar lubricants, tires, white goods, or lead-acid batteries. However, the fee is imposed on the separate sale of oil, tires, white goods or lead-acid batteries as a replacement part of a repair to vehicles, machines, and the like.
9. Are motor oil, tires or batteries sold to an automobile dealer or leasing company for a used vehicle that will be leased or ultimately sold subject to the solid waste fees?
Yes, the person liable for collecting the tax on motor oil is explained in question 3 above. In the case of tires and batteries, the automobile dealer will be liable for the solid waste fee at the time the tires and batteries are withdrawn from their stock for installation on the used car.
10. Is the tax imposed on consignment sales?Yes, the fee is imposed on the first sale or importation of motor oil or similar lubricants in to South Carolina, on the receipt of white goods by a wholesaler or retailer, and on the retail sale of tires and batteries. The taxpayer will be allowed a credit for ship backs on which the solid waste excise fee has been imposed.
11. What evidence must retailers or wholesalers obtain from their wholesaler or suppliers to verify to the Department that the solid waste excise fee has been paid?
The retailer or wholesaler must have evidence on their invoice indicating the tax has been paid by their supplier. Evidence would include a supplier's stamped or written statement on the invoice indicating the solid waste tax had been paid.
12. Is sales tax computed after the solid waste excise fee is added to the sales price?
No, the solid waste excise fee is not included when computing sales tax. This includes the refundable deposit when a lead-acid battery core is not returned to a retailer.
GENERAL REPORTING REQUIREMENTS:
13. When does collection of the solid waste excise tax begin?
Collection began on November 1, 1991. The Department initially registered retailers for the solid waste excise tax based upon the type of business they reported on their business tax application.
Retailers that should not have been registered may request removal from our solid waste excise tax registration records by completing Form ST-391- Solid Waste Registration Removal/Wholesale Information.
14. How is the payment to be made?
Form ST-390-Solid Waste Excise Tax Return is to be used when remitting the tax. A tax return must be filed for each period even if no solid waste excise tax liability exists.
Taxpayers who have more than one business location may choose to file a Form ST-390 for each business location or may file a consolidated return for all locations.
The return should be mailed to:
South Carolina Department of Revenue
Columbia, South Carolina 29214-0106
15. When are payments due?
Solid waste excise tax payments are due on or before the 20th day of each month following the month in which the fee is collected. However, taxpayers who are permitted to file a quarterly sales and use tax return may remit solid waste excise tax payments on quarterly basis.
16. Are discounts available for early filing an paying of the solid waste excise tax?
No, however, the law allows that all taxpayers may retain 3% of the total solid waste fees due in order to cover their administrative costs of remitting these fees. The pre-printed fee amounts on Form ST-30- reflect the 3% administrative allowance. (Only 97% of the total solid waste fees are remitted to the Department - $1.94 per battery, white goods and tire and 7.76 cents per gallon of motor oil or similar lubricant.)
17. Will penalties and interest be imposed for failure to file a sold waste excise tax return or failure to pay the sold waste excise tax?
Yes, penalties and interest will be assessed according to the provisions of Chapter 54 of Title 12.
18. Do taxpayers have to send a separate check for the solid waste excise tax if they have other tax liabilities due at the same time?
Yes, payment should be sent only for the amount of solid waste excise tax. If other liabilities are due at the same time, such as sales and use tax liabilities, taxpayers must remit these payments separately; otherwise, the payments may not be properly credited.
19. Can an amended Form ST-390 or a request for extension of time be filed?
Yes, to file an amended Form ST-390 the taxpayer should write "amended" on top of the Form ST-390 and provide a written explanation for the amendment. To request an extension of time, the taxpayer should submit a written request prior to the due date of the return.
SPECIFIC QUESTIONS CONCERNING MOTOR OIL:
20. What are examples of motor oil and similar lubricant subject to the fee?
Examples of motor oil and similar lubricants subject to the fee include automatic transmission fluid, oil additions which are not burned or consumed in the engine, and jet engine oil. Items such as brae fluid, WD40, hydraulic fluid, 2-cycle oil mixed with gasoline that is consumed or burned, and motor oil or lubricants used in electric motors are examples of items not subject to the fee.
21. How is the fee computed on parts of a gallon of oil?
The amount of motor oil and similar lubricants subject to the solid waste excise tax should be totaled at the end of the reporting period. When the total results in a fractional gallon, the total should be rounded up to the nearest whole gallon when the fraction is one-half gallon or more and should be rounded down to the nearest whole gallon if the faction is less than one-half gallon. For example, if total motor oil sales in South Carolina for the month are1000.75 gallons, then the amount shown on Form ST-390 should be 1001 gallons. Remember, only whole gallons are to be reported on the ST-390.
22. Is motor oil to be exported from South Carolina exempt from the solid waste excise tax?
Any person purchasing motor oil or similar lubricants at wholesale in its original package or container and who exports such motor oil or similar lubricants from South Carolina may certify in writing to the seller that the motor oil or similar lubricants will be exported, and such certification, if taken by the seller in good faith, will relieve the seller of the fee otherwise imposed. The written certification should include any documentation to identify the number of gallons exported, such as sales invoice or delivery ticket.
23. What is the "for hire motor carrier" exemption?
An exemption from the solid waste excise fee imposed on motor oil and similar lubricants is provided for in the law to "for hire motor carriers" who purchase lubricating oils not for resale for use in their fleets. The for hire motor carrier must hold a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity or be registered with the Public Service Commission and must also (1) have a maintenance facility to service their own fleets and properly store waste oil for recycling collections, (2) have reported to the EPA the existence of storage tanks for waste oil storage, (3) maintain records of the dispensing and servicing of lubrication oil in the fleet vehicles and (4) have a written contractual agreement with an approved waste oil hauler.Qualifying carriers must apply for this exemption on South Carolina Department of Revenue Form ST-10-Application for Certificate. The application should be mailed to the main office of the South Carolina Department of Revenue. Upon approval, exempt carriers will be issued a Form ST-9-South Carolina Exemption Certificate.
24. Is oil used in a compressor to distribute air in a plant's electrical division taxable?
No, this oil does not meet the taxable definition.
25. Is motor sealant taxable as a motor oil or similar lubricant?
No, this type product is not drained or disposed of.
SPECIFIC QUESTIONS CONCERNING TIRES:
26. What tire sales are subject to solid waste excise tax?
The statue imposes the tax on motor vehicle, trailer and motorcycle tires as defined in Section 56-3-20(2), (4) and (13). The definitions are:
(2) Motor Vehicle - Every vehicle which is self-propelled, excepts mopeds, and every vehicle which is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wire, but not operated upon rails;
(4) Motor-driven cycle - Every motorcycle, including every motor scooter, with a motor which produces not to exceed five horsepower.
(13) Trailer - Every vehicle with or without motive power, other than a pole trailer, designed for carrying persons or property and for being drawn by a motor vehicle and so constructed that no part of its weight rests upon the towing vehicle.
Based upon the above definitions, the types of tires that are subject to the solid waste fee are new tires sold or leased for transportation of tangible personal property or persons on the streets or highways.
Farm tractor tires, airplane tires, off highway machinery, used tires, recaps, retreads, lawn mower tires, and tires for vehicles propelled solely by human power, such as bicycles, garden carts, and wheel barrows are examples of tires that are not subject to the solid waste excise tax.
27. How will tires returned to a permitted tire disposal facility be treated?
A wholesaler or retailer required to submit a solid waste fee who delivers or arranges delivery of waste tires to a permitted waste tire disposal facility may apply to the Department for a refund of one dollar per tire delivered. In lieu of requesting a refund, a credit may be taken on the current return for tires delivered to a permitted facility up to the number of tires reported as taxable. A credit balance should be carried forward to the next month, or a refund requested for any overage.
28. Are tire tubes subject to the tax?
No, tire tubes are not taxable or subject to any refund or credit provisions in the law.
29. Are tires shipped out of state by the retailer taxable?
30. Are tires for a mobile home subject to the tax?
No, these tires do not meet the imposition of the tax under code sections 56-3-20(2), (4) and (13).SPECIFIC QUESTIONS CONCERNING WHITE GOODS:
31. Are replacement parts for white goods, such as compressors, subject to the solid waste excise tax?
No, the fee is imposed on the sale of the new item and not on replacement or repair parts. For example, a central heating and air conditioning unit is subject to the fee; however, the replacement of a compressor on an air conditioner is not subject to the fee.
32. Are garbage disposals considered taxable as a white good? What about water coolers?
No, it has been our position to apply the tax only to those items specifically listed in the law and the commercial aspects of the same, even though they may be similar in nature to an item considered as taxable by definition. A disposal is not listed in the definition of white goods, nor is a water cooler.
33. Are white goods which are rented subject to the tax?
Yes, appliances which are purchased by retailers to be rented are taxable on the wholesale transaction to the retailer (renter).
34. If a building contractor purchases white goods for home construction from out of state is he liable for self-assessment of the tax?
No, the contractor is not liable as the law indicates the tax is imposed upon retailers or other wholesalers receiving goods from un-licensed wholesalers. The contractor is not considered a wholesaler. Also, goods incorporated into sales of real property would not be taxable.
35. Are large braising pans, steam cookers and warming cabinets taxable?
Yes, these items are congruous to a range at the commercial level and consequently meet the definition of a commercial large appliance.
SPECIFIC QUESTIONS CONCERNING BATTERIES:
36. How will exchange or warranty items be treated?
The tax will not be due when there is a full refund or exchange of the item. If there is a pro-rated or partial charge for the item, the tax will be due.
37. The definition of lead-acid batteries includes batteries used in non-SL1 (start lighting ignition) applications as not being taxable. To what does this term refer?
SL1 (start lighting ignition) batteries are batteries that are used to power or start an engine.
38. Is a battery used in a riding mower taxable?
Yes, the battery is used as a power source and therefore is considered an SL1 application.
39. Is a battery used in a wheelchair taxable?
No, the battery meets the exempt criteria in that it is a lead-acid battery weighing 25 pounds or less, it is used in a non-vehicular capacity and it is s non-SL1 application. (Note: all three criteria must be met in order for the battery not to be taxable).
40. Are batteries used as a back-up power source for home security systems taxable?
No, these batteries meet the exempt criteria.GENERAL:
41. Are plastic containers subject to the solid waste tax?
No, there is no provision in the law for charging the tax on plastic containers.
SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
NOTICE TO SOLID WASTE WHOLESALE FILERS
On January 10, 1992, it was decided to allow a procedure for in-state wholesalers of motor oil, and white goods to become liable for remitting tax on their purchases of product from registered suppliers.
The procedure to be utilized will be as follows:
1) The in-state wholesaler must be registered with this agency as a Solid Waste Excise Tax filer.
2) The in-state wholesaler will be allowed to work out an agreement in writing with their supplier to become liable for remitting of the tax.
3) The in-state wholesaler should provide the following to their supplier;
a) statement t the effect that the in-state wholesaler is registered for the Solid Waste Tax and their South Carolina Solid Waste Tax Registration (retail license) number.
b) statement to the effect that the in-state wholesaler is assuming liability for the tax on all purchases from the registered supplier.
4) The supplier will maintain the wholesaler's letter on file as evidence of agreement to this procedure.
5) All agreements will be between the individual parties involved, NO EXEMPTION/RESALE CERTIFICATES WILL BE ISSUED BY THIS AGENCY.
6) If the supplier does not have evidence of a letter on file from the in-state wholesaler (purchaser) regarding this procedure, the supplier will be liable for the tax. That is, we will enforce our existing guidelines stating that the tax is due on the first transaction (original sale) in the state.
7) This procedure is not retroactive to activity which occurred prior to January 10, 1992. Thank you for your cooperation. If you need further clarification feel free to contact this agency at (803) 898-5182.CODE SECTION 44-96-170[M] ALLOWS FOR THE DEALERS TO OBTAIN A ONE DOLLAR REFUND EQUAL TO THE NUMBER OF TIRES SOLD FOR TIRES PROPERLY DISPOSED OF AT ONE OF THE 15 DHEC APPROVED DISPOSAL/RECYCLING FACILITIES (LIST ATTACHED).
[IF YOU ARE NOT USING ONE OF THESE 15 FACILITIES, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE THE $1.00 CREDIT OFF YOUR ST-390 SOLID WASTE RETURN FOR TIRES.] THESE APPROVED FACILITIES ARE UPDATED BY DHEC. DURING THE YEAR. YOU MAY REQUEST AN UPDATED LIST BY PHONING (803) 898-5182.
THE DISPOSAL/RECYCLING FACILITY APPROVED BY DHEC. MUST PROVIDE THE DEALER WITH EVIDENCE OF NUMBER OF TIRES DISPOSED. THIS DOCUMENTATION MUST BE MAINTAINED IN THE DEALER'S FILES FOR A PERIOD OF THREE YEARS SHOULD VERIFICATION EVER BE REQUESTED BY THE DEPT OF REVENUE. TIRE HAULERS RECEIPTS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE FOR CREDITS OR REFUNDS, ONLY RECEIPTS FROM THE APPROVED FACILITIES.
THE DEALER MAY ONLY TAKE THE $1.00 CREDIT FOR TIRES UP TO THE AMOUNT OF TIRES THE DEALER SOLD THAT MONTH. If THE NUMBER OF TIRES DISPOSED OF FOR ANY PERIOD EXCEEDS THE NUMBER OF TIRES SOLD, THE DEALER MUST CARRY THE EXCESS OVER TO THE NEXT REPORTING PERIOD OR REQUEST A REFUND FOR THE EXCESS. IN NO CASE MAY A REFUND OR CREDIT BE APPROVED FOR A NUMBER OF TIRES DELIVERED IN EXCESS OF THE NEW TIRES SOLD. DEALERS CANNOT TAKE CREDIT ON TIRES NOT DISPOSED OF BY THE TIME YOU FILE YOUR RETURN. CREDITS MUST NOT BE TAKEN AGAINST BATTERY, WHITE GOODS OR MOTOR OIL LIABILITIES.
ON THE SOLID WASTE EXCISE TAX RETURN ST-390, THE TOTAL NUMBER OF TIRES SOLD SHOULD BE ENTERED WITH A PROPER NOTATION OF THE AMOUNT OF CREDIT TAKEN.
DOCUMENTATION OF PROOF OF DISPOSAL WILL BE REQUIRED OF DEALERS WHEN REQUESTING A REFUND. A REFUND REQUEST SHOULD IDENTIFY IN WRITING THE DEALERS RETAIL LICENSE NUMBER, TAX PERIOD, NUMBER OF TIRES SOLD, AND THE PROOF OF DISPOSAL.
REFUND REQUEST WITH THE PROPER DOCUMENTATION SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO:
SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUELIST OF APPROVED DHEC APPROVED FACILITIES
PO BOX 125
COLUMBIA SC 29214
ATTN: LAKAY BEDENBAUGH
ANDERSON TIRE RECYCLING
SC Permit # 042417-5201
3520 Abbeville Highway
Anderson SC 29624
Facility address: SAME
ARGOS CEMENT, LLC
(Formerly Lafarge, Systech Environmental Corporation and Blue Circle Cement)
SC Permit # 182759-5201
463 Judge St.
Harleyville, SC 29448
Fax (843) 462-7679
Facility Address: SAME
NY Permit # 4-1926-00071
PO Box 731
Catskill, NY 12414
Fax (518) 943-7020
Cell (518) 456-0295
Facility address: US Route 9W Catskill, NY
(Formerly Medusa-Citadel Inc.)
(Formerly Medusa Cement Company)
GA Permit # 076-001-STP
PO Box 120
Clinchfield GA 31013
Facility address: Clinchfield Plant 2720 Hwy 341 S, Clinchfield GA 31013
CENTRAL CAROLINA TIRE DISPOSAL
NC Permit # 43-08-TP
Thomas A Womble
1616 McKoy Town Road
Cameron NC 28326
Facility address: SAME
EMANUEL TIRE COMPANY
MD Permit # 2010-RTR-00042
1300 Moreland Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21216
Fax (410) 947-3708
Facility address: SAME
KILN DIRECT, INC.
SC Permit # 432788-5201
PO Box 1060
Sumter, SC 29150
Fax (803) 506-4737
Facility address: 1880 Lynette Drive, Sumter, SC 29150
NORTHEAST GEORGIA TIRE RECYCLING, INC.
GA Permit # 073-001-STP
123 Industrial Park Drive
Hartwell, GA 30643
Facility address: SAME
RUBBER RECOVERY, INC dba VIVA RECYCLING
(Formerly Recovery Technologies of SC, Inc)
SC Permit # 232784-5201
1620 Cypress Garden Road
Moncks Corner, SC 29461
Facility address: SAME
RIDGE RECYCLERS, INC
SC Permit # 192653-5201
PO Box 568
Johnston, SC 29832
Fax: (803) 275-5119
Facility address: 490 HWY 121 Johnston, SC 29832
SC TIRE PROCESSING, LLC
SC Permit # 022415-5201
19562 Atomic Road
Jackson, SC 29831
(803) 393-1001 or 393-1098
Facility address: SAME
TRM USA, INC.
SC Permit # TIRE-00033
6331 Fain Street
North Charleston, SC 29406
Fax (843) 793-3909
Facility address: SAME
U.S. TIRE DISPOSAL INC
NC Permit # 13-03-TP
6322 Poplar Tent Road
Concord, NC 28027-7730
Facility address: SAMENOTE: Some facilities have been removed and others have changed ownership or other information so please review carefully.