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South Carolina Tax Resources

Hilton Head / Bluffton SC Relocation Guide - Tax Resources

From Beaufort County Property Tax to SC Income Tax and more, the info below can help navigate getting settled in Beaufort County.

Beaufort County Real Estate Taxes (Real Property)

Real Property consists of all land and the buildings, structures or improvement on the land.

There are several variables in the calculation of annual real estate taxes for any given property in Beaufort County, SC. The county has provided an online calculator – Beaufort County Tax Estimator – to help people determine ballpark property taxes.

Calculate your Estimated Taxes

  • Then, you will be asked to select either a 4% or 6% Assessment Ratio. Only primary residents qualify for 4%, while investment properties, second homes, and the like, require the 6% ratio.
  • Next, you will be asked to select a Millage District from the drop-down menu. You can reference the map of the Tax Districts & Millage Rates below. If you know your address, you can look up the parcel ID, which identifies your district HERE. Search by street address and then look for the Property ID. The Tax District is identified in the Property ID (PIN) by the first set of numbers following R.

Legal Residence Application (4% Exemption)
Real estate taxes automatically revert to 6% ratio at the time of sale. If you are a full time resident, you can apply online for the 4% tax ratio exemption. The Assessor’s office provides a short video on how to fill out the form. Watch it HERE.

The application for Legal Residence can be found HERE.

6% Point of Sale Exemption
If you currently use property acquired as a second home, rental, or a commercial space, and the property was used as either a second home, rental, or commercial space by the seller from whom you purchased the property, then the 6% Exemption likely applies to you.

More detailed information about the 6% Point of Sale Exemption and how to apply can be found HERE.

If you are now using a second home as your primary residence, remember that real estate taxes always revert back to the 6% (second-home) ratio, so you need to apply for the discounted 4% ratio if the property is serving as your primary residence.  Find more information, or apply online HERE.

Homestead Exemption Benefit
The Homestead Exemption is a complete exemption of taxes on the first $50,000 in Fair Market Value of your Legal Residence for homeowners over age 65, totally and permanently disabled, or legally blind. Learn more about the Homestead Exemption HERE.

Personal Property / Vehicle Taxes

All things other than real estate which have value, such as cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, golf carts, airplanes, and items used in a business such as furniture, fixtures, and equipment, are taxed annually and must be registered.

You have 45 days to register your vehicle with the SC Department of Motor Vehicles. In most instances, you will need to use Form 4057.
Find the form and more information on Titling and Registering a vehicle in SC at

Before you transfer your title and registration, you must pay any property taxes with your county treasurer.

Watercraft & Boats/Motors
All motorized boats and watercraft, as well as sailboats, are required to be registered through the SC Department of Natural Resources. For the application process, visit

Paying Taxes

Property Taxes are collected by the office of the Beaufort County Treasurer. The site has easy navigation for help and how to pay your bills.

South Carolina Income Taxes

South Carolina Taxes differentiate from other states as follows:

  • South Carolina 529 Education Plan – residents can contribute to their child’s education plan and take a deduction on their tax return to reduce the state tax liability to zero. It is a dollar for dollar deduction that allows you to save for your child’s college tuition and take advantage of tax savings. This is a no-brainer for a lot of taxpayers. Grandparents can take advantage of the deduction too.
  • At age 65, you receive a deduction for $15,000 dollars. This is an age-based reduction to your state taxes.
  • 44% deduction for long term capital gains. Taxpayers who report long term capital gains are eligible to deduct 44% of the gain from their South Carolina return.

SC State Government Department of Revenue – Information on all types of state taxes, including individual income taxes, electronic filing and refund information, and tax mailing addresses

SC State Government Tax Publications – Guides, Brochures, Manuals