Homeowners and renters are missing out on millions of dollars in tax relief. Use the resources below to learn more.
South Carolina Program Overview
Property Tax-Aide features the Homestead Exemption for Seniors and the Legal Residence Exemption
Homestead Exemption for Seniors
- To qualify, the applicant must own property as primary legal residence and lived in South Carolina for the full year preceding the tax year of the exemption.
- The applicant must be at least 65 of age. If you own real estate jointly with a spouse only one is required to be 65 years of age.
- The program is also available for totally and permanently disabled, legally blind, or surviving spouse of a resident who was eligible for the exemption and died.
- You cannot have applied for a homestead exemption in another county or state.
- Applications must be filed with local tax authority no later than July 15 in order to receive the benefit for that year. Some counties may accept applications all year around. Contact your county assessor to see if this applies in your area.
- Some counties allow electronic filing.
- You do not have to apply annually unless there is a change such as death of eligible owner, change in the deed, rental of home, remarriage of surviving spouse, change in disability status.
- Property must have been approved to receive the 4% legal residence tax assessment ratio (See Legal Residence Exemption Program below)
- If applying based on age, copies of birth certificate or South Carolina Driver’s License, Medicaid card or Medicare card is required.
- Proof of disability includes documentation from state or federal agency.
- Proof of blindness includes certification from an ophthalmologist registered with the South Carolina Commission for the Blind.
Legal Residence Exemption
- The owner of the property must have actually owned and occupied the residence as his legal residence.
- The owner occupying that address for some period during the applicable tax year.
- Only an owner-occupant is eligible to apply for the 4% special assessment.
- Legal residence and not more than 5 acres that is owned by the applicant.
- To be filed after the deed of the property has been recorded. Application made before the first penalty date for the payment for the tax years for which the owner first claims eligibility.
- Once the application for legal residence has been approved, no further application is necessary while the property continues to meet the eligibility requirements.
- Claims for exemptions must be received within 2 years from the date taxes were paid.
- A copy of the owner-occupant’s most recently filed South Carolina individual income tax return, first three pages redacted and the first two pages of federal income tax return, redacted. A copy of other state tax returns, if filed, is also required.
- Copies of South Carolina motor vehicle registrations for all motor vehicles registered in the name of the owner-occupant and spouse with the same address as the legal residence.
- Other proof required by the assessor necessary to determine eligibility for the assessment ratio allowed by this item.
Contact the assessor in the county for information and application. You can find the contact information for your local assessor on the South Carolina Tax Assessors webpage
Property Tax-Aide has independently selected the property tax relief programs featured on this website that we think are the most relevant and beneficial to older adults. It is not an exhaustive list of all property tax relief programs available in each state. Please consult your local tax agency for a comprehensive listing of property tax relief programs in your area.