South Carolina State Excise Taxes 2016 - Fuel, Cigarette, and Alcohol Taxes
16.00¢ per gallon
57¢ per pack
$5.42 per gal
$1.08 per gal
77¢ per gal
- What are South Carolina's Excise Taxes?
- South Carolina General Excise Taxes
- South Carolina Alcohol Taxes
What is an Excise Tax?
An excise tax is a tax directly levied on certain goods by a state or federal government. The most prominent excise taxes collected by the South Carolina state government are the fuel tax on gasoline and the so-called "sin tax" collected on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages.
An excise tax is not the same thing as the South Carolina Sales Tax.The South Carolina Sales Tax is collected as a percentage of the final purchase price of all qualifying sales, and is collected directly from the end consumer of the product.
South Carolina's excise taxes, on the other hand, are flat per-unit taxes that must be paid directly to the South Carolina government by the merchant before the goods can be sold. Merchants may be required to attach tax stamps to taxable merchandise to show that the excise tax was paid.
Even though excise taxes are collected from businesses, virtually all South Carolina merchants pass on the excise tax to the customer through higher prices for the taxed goods.
South Carolina per capita excise tax
South Carolina collects an average of $310 in yearly excise taxes per capita, one of the lowest average per capita excise taxes in the country.
South Carolina General Excise Taxes - Gasoline, Cigarettes, and More
South Carolina collects general excise taxes on the sale of motor fuel (gasoline and diesel), cigarettes (per pack), and cell phone service plans. Other general taxes, similar to excise taxes, may be collected on other items including firearms, transportation tickets, tanning salons, gas guzzlers, vehicle sales, and more.
South Carolina Gas Tax48th highest gas tax
The South Carolina excise tax on gasoline is 16.00¢ per gallon, one of the lowest gas taxes in the country. South Carolina's excise tax on gasoline is ranked #48 out of the 50 states. The South Carolina gas tax is included in the pump price at all gas stations in South Carolina.
South Carolina Cigarette Tax41st highest cigarette tax
The South Carolina excise tax on cigarettes is $0.57 per 20 cigarettes, one of the lowest cigarettes taxes in the country. South Carolina's excise tax on cigarettes is ranked #41 out of the 50 states. The South Carolina cigarette tax of $0.57 is applied to every 20 cigarettes sold (the size of an average pack of cigarettes). If a pack contains more then 20 cigarettes, a higher excise tax will be collected.
South Carolina Cellphone Tax24th highest cellphone tax
The average tax collected on cell phone plans in South Carolina is $9.52 per phone service plan, higher then 52% of the other 50 states. South Carolina's average cellphone tax is ranked #24 out of the 50 states. The South Carolina cellphone tax is already included in the service plan price you pay to your service provider, and may be listed as "Misc. taxes and Fees" or "Other" on your monthly bill.
South Carolina Car Tax
South Carolina collects a registration fee and a title fee on the sale or transfer of cars and motorcycles, which are essentially renamed excise taxes. Unlike standard excise taxes, however, the end consumer must pay the tax directly to the South Carolina Department of Transportation and receive documentation (registration and title papers) proving the fees were paid.
South Carolina Alcohol Excise Taxes - Liquor, Wine, and Beer
South Carolina collects special excise taxes on the sale of all types of alcohol, subdivided into specific taxes on wine, beer, and liquor (hard alcohol other then wine and beer). Alcohol taxes are sometimes collectively referred to as "sin taxes", which also include excise taxes on cigarettes, gambling, drugs, and certain other items.
Please note that the IRS also collects a federal excise taxes on alcoholic beverages, which are included separately from South Carolina's alcohol taxes in the final purchase price.
South Carolina Beer Tax7th highest beer tax
The South Carolina excise tax on beer is $0.77 per gallon, one of the highest beer taxes in the country. South Carolina's beer excise tax is ranked #7 out of the 50 states. The South Carolina beer tax is already added to the purchase price of all beer bought in South Carolina, whether in kegs, bottles, or cans.
South Carolina Wine Tax17th highest wine tax
The South Carolina excise tax on Wine is $1.08 per gallon, higher then 66% of the other 50 states. South Carolina's excise tax on wine is ranked #17 out of the 50 states. The South Carolina wine tax is already added to the purchase price of all wine bought in South Carolina.
South Carolina Liquor Tax27th highest liquor tax
The South Carolina excise tax on liquor is $5.42 per gallon, lower then 54% of the other 50 states. South Carolina's excise tax on Spirits is ranked #27 out of the 50 states. In addition to an excise tax on liquor, South Carolina includes a wholesale tax of $5.36 per case. In the tax amount shown here, this amount is converted to a per-gallon equivalent. The South Carolina liquor tax applies to all hard alcohol (alchoholic beverages other then beer and wine), and is already included in the purchase price by the retailer.
South Carolina Excise Tax Deductions & Refunds
Can I deduct my South Carolina Excise taxes?
Unlike the South Carolina Sales Tax, excise taxes are not generally deductible on South Carolina income tax returns or on your federal tax return. However, the IRS occasionally allows certain excise taxes to be deducted for certain tax years.
- Vehicle Tax Deduction
- South Carolina sales and excise taxes on cars or vehicles bought during 2009 may be deducted once from your federal tax return. You cannot deduct excise taxes for vehicles bought during other years.
- Phone Tax Deduction
- You may deduct excise taxes paid on long-distance phone calls between the years of 2003 and 2006 from your federal tax return.
Can I get a South Carolina Excise Tax Refund?
While sales tax refunds are available for goods that are purchased in South Carolina and exported, South Carolina excise taxes paid on goods are generally non-refundable. Incentives may exist allowing certain state of federal excise taxes to be refunded on goods bought for specific uses, but such incentives change frequently.
South Carolina Excise Tax - References
- Tax Foundation, State Excise Tax Collections Per Capita, Updated 2009
- Tax Foundation, Gasoline Excise Taxes, Updated 2012
- Tax Foundation, Cigarette Excise Taxes, Updated 2012
- Tax Foundation, Liquor Excise Taxes, Updated 2011
- Tax Foundation, Beer Excise Tax Rates, Updated 2012
- Tax Foundation, Average Wine Taxes, Updated 2011
- Tax Foundation, Average Cell Phone Taxes, Updated 2010