Tax FAQs: Get Your Answers!
For many people, taxes bring many questions that just never seem to be answered. As a local business, we want our fellow Charlestonians to have their questions answered. Not only answered, but answered in a way that can be understood! Here is a compiled list of some Frequently Asked Questions from Charleston County.
How are my property taxes calculated?
Depending on the use of the property, and assessment ratio is applied to the market value of the property in order to determine the assessed value of the property. The millage rates of the property are then multiplied by the assessed value to determine the tax due.
Therefore, MILLAGE RATE x ASSESSED VALUE = TAX DUE ON PROPERTY
What are the assessment rates currently in use?
The current assessment ratios for the state of South Carolina are as follows:
Primary Residences 4 percent fair market value
Other Real Estate 6 percent fair market value
Personal Property (some motor vehicles, watercraft, aircraft, business personal property) 10.5 percent fair market value
Commercial boats 5 percent fair market value
Primary-residence boats 4 percent fair market value
Agricultural Property (privately owned) 4 percent fair market value
Agricultural Property (corporate owned) 6 percent use value
Manufacturing & Utility Property 10.5 percent fair market value
Railroad, Airline, & Pipeline Property 9.5 percent fair market value
What is “Property Tax Relief” and who qualifies for it?
Property Tax Relief is an exemption from school operating millage on residential property. South Carolina law allows this exemption for taxpayers who own the home in which they reside (legal residence). To qualify for Property Tax Relief, the taxpayer must first apply, qualify and be approved for the 4% Legal Residence exemption. To apply you must contact the Assessors' office.
How can I make a Tax payment?
Checks or money orders made payable to Charleston County Treasurer can be mailed to:
Charleston County Treasurer, P.O. Box 878, Charleston, SC 29402-0878
The Treasurer's Office does accept cash, checks and money orders at all Treasurer's office locations. We do not accept credit card payments over the phone or in person. However, you can pay online with your Visa or MasterCard by clicking here. There is a surcharge involved with paying by credit card.
Can I make a partial payment of my tax bill?
No. South Carolina state law does not allow the Treasurer to accept partial payments for individual tax bills.
What is the Homestead Exemption program?
In 1972, the S.C. General Assembly passed the Homestead Exemption Law which provides real estate property tax relief for South Carolinians who are age 65 and over, totally and permanently disabled, or legally blind. The exemption excludes the first $50,000 from the fair market value of your legal residence.
Value of Home 100,000
Multiplied by 4% 4,000
Multiplied by Sample Millage x .270
Total Taxes . = 1,080
Value of Home 100,000
Less Exemption -50,000
Adj. Value of Home = 50,000
Multiplied by 4% = 2,000
Multiplied by Sample Millage x .270
Total Taxes = 540
Please note: This example is a comparative guide and is provided as a general information tool only. The millage used in the example is a composite figure and does not represent current millage amounts. More detailed information can be obtained from the Charleston County Auditor's Office.
When are vehicle taxes due?
Personal property taxes on motor vehicles and recreational vehicles must be paid before your license plates can be renewed. Taxes are due throughout the year on a staggered monthly schedule. You have 45 days after moving to South Carolina to register your vehicle. If you live in this state only part of the year and consider another state your home residence, you are still required to register your car in SC if you will be living here for 150 days or more. For more information, contact the nearest office of the DMV.
What is “Personal Property”?
In South Carolina, personal property encompasses motor vehicles, recreational vehicles, aircraft and watercraft (including boats, motors, and personal recreational vehicles like wave runners and jet skis, etc.). Personal property tax also applies to equipment, furniture, fixtures and machinery primarily used by businesses.
When are personal property taxes due?
With the exception of motor vehicles, personal property taxes must be paid by January 15 of the following year, unless that day falls on a county holiday or weekend. Personal property taxes on motor vehicles and recreational vehicles are due throughout the year on a staggered monthly schedule and must be paid before your license plates can be renewed.
We hope that providing this list of Charleston County FAQs will assist you in understanding your taxes before tax time arrives! Remember to always keep your tax information organized and readily available. Hoods is here to keep taxes simple and help your understanding so you get the most of out the process! Call and make an appointment today to have questions that may have not been on this list answered by one of our knowledgable staff members!
Tax Tips: Save Time and Money!
Taxes can be daunting. Numbers, payments, files, bookkeeping, and even audits can get to be scary thoughts. Not for our Hoods Tax & Accounting team, though! Below are some tips on things to understand in order to help you come tax season! Whether you are filing as an individual, or an owner of a small business, these tips will be relative to you!
Keep everything you’ll need to reference for your taxes together. Keep logbooks, receipts, pay stubs, and credit card statements all tougher through the year. File them to maximize organization.
Keeps tabs on everything. From purchases to payments, make sure you are keeping record of everything you are doing with your money. Not only will this help you understand what you are spending your money on, it will also help things go smoothly during tax time.
Keep your work money and personal money separate. If you are a business owner, instead of having your work income go straight into your own personal bank account, roll it through the company account like other employees. By doing this, your records on your business account will stay up to date and legible.
Single Use Card
Only use your business card for business expenses. If you are a business owner and have a company credit card, make sure that you are only using that card for purchases for your business. This may seem like a tip that everyone already knows, however, we see it more often than you think. Even if it was a one-time situation, it can have an impact come tax time.
In the case that you are questioned come tax time, having a detailed receipts of what you purchased will assist your case. You can also keep your gas receipts and mileage for deductions!
Our team at Hoods Tax & Accounting are here to help with all your tax needs, year round! Everyone knows how stressful tax season can be, that is why we want to help you understand your taxes now!
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