Filing Your 2021 South Carolina State Income Taxes

Filing Your 2021 South Carolina State Income Taxes
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If your South Carolina income warrants filing an individual tax return, the earliest due date for both the return and taxes will be ​April 18, 2022​. The state's website gives you access to several individual income tax services so that you can file and pay on time and reduce the need to pay tax penalties and interest. The site also helps you track important tax deadlines, get contact information and download tax forms and instructions for your situation.

Who Must File South Carolina Income Taxes?

According to South Carolina's tax laws, filing requirements for full-year residents are similar to the federal rules. So, if you make enough to have to file a federal income tax return, expect to file a South Carolina one too. In some cases, you may end up with a state tax refund, so it may be worth filing even if you're not required.

If you're a nonresident or part-year resident, the state wants you to file a return in any situation where you have taxable income relevant to South Carolina. For example, you'd file to report income from investments in the state as well as employment or rental income. This applies even if you didn't need to file a federal tax return.

What Are the Forms to Use?

All South Carolina taxpayers use the SC1040 tax forms with supporting schedules and documents as needed. You'll be able to download a tax packet on the SC Department of Revenue website that has instructions and worksheets that help with completing the SC1040.

The first three pages ask for standard details about your filing status, dependents, taxable income, tax credits and payments and refund preference. Additional documents you might fill out include Schedule NR for nonresidents, Form I-319 for students qualifying for the tuition tax credit and Schedule SC1040TC for general state tax credits.

What Is the Tax Rate in South Carolina?

The state uses ​six​ marginal tax rates where you'll pay varying rates on specific brackets of your income. In addition, the state has exemptions and deductions so that not all your income is taxable. Here are the South Carolina state tax rates in effect for the 2021 tax year:

  • 0 percent​: $1 to $3,070
  • 3 percent​: $3,071 to $6,150
  • 4 percent​: $6,151 to $9,230
  • 5 percent​: $9,231 to $12,310
  • 6 percent​: $12,311 to $15,400
  • 7 percent​: $15,401 and over

What Are the Filing Deadline and Extension Process?

The same due date – ​April 18, 2022​ – applies for your federal return and South Carolina state tax return for the 2021 tax year. You get a few extra days due to the Good Friday holiday falling on the standard tax day of ​April 15​. However, the state gives electronic filers extra time until ​May 1​. You also need to have paid ​90 percent​ or more of any taxes due by the deadline that applies to you.

South Carolina allows filers to have a six-month​ filing extension as long as they make the minimum tax payment. When paying online, you'll have a box to check for an extension at that time. Otherwise, you can fill out the SC4868 extension form, include a money order or check and send it to the South Carolina Department of Revenue. Filers with no tax liability can simply get a federal extension that will carry over to the state return.

What Are the Penalties for Late Filing and Underpayment of Taxes?

Not filing your South Carolina return by its original or extended due date leads to a penalty of ​5 percent​ of your unpaid taxes each month the tax return remains unfiled. This tops out at ​25 percent​ of the taxes owed. In addition, the state charges ​0.5 percent​ of the unpaid tax amount every month (up to ​25 percent​) that the taxes remain unpaid past the original due date.

If your taxes go unpaid, the state may contact you about a payment plan you can set up through MyDORWAY. Depending on the taxes due, you may have anywhere from ​one to four years​ to make monthly installments. Going with this option can help avoid issues like property seizures as long as you comply with the terms.

Where Do I Mail/E-file My South Carolina Return?

While South Carolina's website doesn't have its own tax filing option, you might take advantage of the IRS Free File program available for taxpayers who make no more than ​$72,000​. This allows you to e-file state and federal taxes free through popular online tax preparation providers such as TaxAct and 1040NOW. Some providers require you to be a certain age, qualify for the earned income tax credit and/or earn a lower income.

If you earn too much for Free File, the state suggests researching commercial tax preparation options for electronic filing. If you'd prefer less work, you could instead pay a professional to prepare and file your state and federal income tax returns.

You can use the fillable forms from the revenue department's website to opt for a paper return. When mailing your individual income tax return, the SC Department of Revenue has two possible addresses to use depending on whether you're paying taxes:

  • Tax payment required​: Taxable Processing Center, P.O. Box 101105, Columbia, SC 29211-0105
  • Refund expected or no tax liability​: SC1040 Processing Center, P.O. Box 101100, Columbia, SC 29211-0100

How Do I Pay Taxes Due?

When you use the Free File providers or another online tax service to file your state income tax return, you should get asked at some point to pay taxes using a credit card, direct debit or another payment option. Otherwise, you can use MyDORWAY to pay your South Carolina tax liability from a bank account or card online.

To pay by mail with a check or money order, you can fill out the SC1040-V payment voucher. If filling your tax return by mail, you'll include this voucher and your payment with the tax forms. Otherwise, you can mail just this voucher and your payment to this SC Department of Revenue address: IIT Voucher, P.O. Box 100123, Columbia, SC 29202.

Where Can I Check My South Carolina Refund Status?

The SC Department of Revenue expects a six- to eight-week​ processing time for refunds. However, it cautions that you'll avoid the mailing time and get a quicker tax refund when you choose the direct deposit option versus a debit card or check.

The state's MyDORWAY tool allows you to easily check your South Carolina tax refund status using just your refund amount and Social Security number. Just select the "Where's My Refund?" option to proceed. You won't need an account for this tool.

While you can call ​1-844-898-8542​ to get help with your tax return, the state suggests using this option only in limited situations. For example, you can call if you get alerted of some issue or if many weeks pass and you see no progress with your refund.

What About South Carolina Taxes if You’re Self-employed?

Independent contractors in South Carolina generally complete an individual income tax return and include Form I-335 for self-employment income. However, the state allows you to opt for a 3 percent​ flat tax on your pass-through income rather than use the personal tax rates. Since penalties can apply to underpayments for estimated taxes, you'll want to send the SC Department of Revenue accurate quarterly payments.

What About South Carolina Taxes if You’re a Business?

South Carolina offers specific income tax forms for partnerships and various corporate structures. Corporations pay a 5 percent​ flat income tax compared to ​3 percent​ for pass-through entities like partnerships and sole proprietorships. You can access the state's online services for business tax filing and payments.

Rates and dates in this article are correct as of publication. But check for any changes at South Carolina DOR before you file.