Overview of South Carolina Taxes
South Carolina has a progressive income tax system. Tax rates cover a wide spectrum with the top rate being the 13th highest nationwide and the bottom rate being the country’s lowest.
This calculator reflects the 2018 federal withholding tax changes.
Click here to learn more about how the Trump Tax Plan will affect you.
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Jennifer Mansfield, CPA Tax
Jennifer Mansfield, CPA, JD/LLM-Tax, is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 30 years of experience providing tax advice. SmartAsset’s tax expert has a degree in Accounting and Business/Management from the University of Wyoming, as well as both a Masters in Tax Laws and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. Jennifer has mostly worked in public accounting firms, including Ernst & Young and Deloitte. She is passionate about helping provide people and businesses with valuable accounting and tax advice to allow them to prosper financially. Jennifer lives in Arizona and was recently named to the Greater Tucson Leadership Program.
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South Carolina Paycheck Calculator
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South Carolina Paycheck Quick Facts
How Your South Carolina Paycheck Works
Whether you've just relocated to South Carolina to start a new job or you've lived here your whole life, you're going to pay FICA, federal and state income taxes out of each paycheck.
Two areas of withholding that take a chunk out of your paycheck are Social Security and Medicare taxes (combined these are FICA taxes). Each pay period, 6.2% of your income goes toward Social Security taxes and 1.45% toward Medicare. Your employer matches those amounts to double the total contribution.
While employers usually cover half of workers’ FICA taxes, you might find yourself responsible for paying the entire sum yourself under certain circumstances. This holds true for self-employed workers in the state of South Carolina. Without an employer to contribute, you’ll be responsible for all FICA taxes.
When you start a new job or have a major life change, like getting married or having a child, you have to fill out a new W-4 form. It’s your employer’s job to make sure that all of your income withholding matches up with the information you have included on this form about your marital filing status, number of dependents and any extra allowances you plan to claim.
Keep in mind that withholding amounts have changed to 2018 because of President Trump's new tax plan. The IRS released new withholding guidelines in January, to reflect the tax plan and taxpayers should have seen changes to their paychecks, to reflect the new tax plan, starting in February 2018. For the time being, you do not need to fill out a new W-4. Your employer will use the withholdings on your current form.
If you take advantage of employer-sponsored health or life insurance, any premiums you pay on these will be deducted from your paycheck, as well.
South Carolina Median Household Income
|Year||Median Household Income|
There’s more to South Carolina than spending the weekend on the coast or exploring historic Charleston. South Carolina enjoys the lowest bottom state income tax rate of any state.
South Carolina levies a progressive state income tax. If you’ve recently moved from one of the seven states with no state income tax, paying state taxes may be a new experience for you. Like many, you may experience a hit to your paycheck that’s larger than you anticipated.
Taxpayers in the state of South Carolina fall into one of six income tax brackets. These brackets are subject to increasing tax rates with rising income level. Earners making up to $2,930 in taxable income won't need to pay any state income tax as the bottom tax rate in South Carolina is 0%. Taxable income of $14,650 or above is subject to South Carolina's top tax rate of 7%. Although there are six progressive brackets, most filers will pay the top rate on at least some of their income. All filers are subject to the same income tax brackets in the Palmetto State regardless of marital status.
Property taxes in South Carolina remain low. Mortgage rates also fall below national average, which can make the Palmetto State a great option to buy a home. If you are looking to refinance or purchase a home with a mortgage, visit our South Carolina mortgage guide to understand the details of mortgages in the state.
Income Tax Brackets
|South Carolina Taxable Income||Rate|
|$0 - $2,930||0.00%|
|$2,930 - $5,860||3.00%|
|$5,860 - $8,790||4.00%|
|$8,790 - $11,720||5.00%|
|$11,720 - $14,650||6.00%|
How You Can Affect Your South Carolina Paycheck
One way you can affect your take-home pay and resulting cash flow in South Carolina is through the number of allowances you decide to claim during the year. You can control this aspect through the information recorded on the W-4 form you submit at the beginning of a new job.
Claiming more allowances means you’ll have less money withheld for taxes. You’ll have more of your income in your pocket throughout the year for use toward investments, expenses or savings. However, the risk you face with this scenario is the possibility of owing money to the IRS come April.
Should you decide that the possibility of owing money to the IRS at the end of the year is a reality you don't want to face, you're certainly not alone. Claiming fewer allowances means you'll experience more income tax withheld throughout the year. Opting for fewer allowances leaves you more likely to receive a refund at the end of the year instead of owing a large tax bill. The downside with this option is reduced accessibility to your income throughout the year.
If you anticipate having to pay in lot in taxes in South Carolina, you can also consider putting more of your money into pre-tax accounts. The money you put into a 401(k) or 403(b) retirement account, is deducted from your paycheck before taxes are applied. So by increasing your contribution to an account like this, you are lowering your taxable income which could help you save in taxes.
Similarly, if your employer offers them, you can make use of a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) in an attempt to reduce your taxable income. The money you put into these accounts can be used to pay certain medical-related expenses like copays or some prescriptions. But be aware that the funds you put into a HSA or FSA will have an expiration date and if you don’t use them in time, you’ll lose them.
South Carolina Top Income Tax Rate
|Year||Top Income Tax Rate|
Most Paycheck Friendly Places
SmartAsset's interactive map highlights the most paycheck friendly counties across the country. Zoom between states and the national map to see data points for each region, or look specifically at one of the four factors driving our analysis: Semi-Monthly Paycheck, Purchasing Power, Unemployment Rate, and Income Growth.
Methodology Our study aims to find the most paycheck friendly places in the country. These are places in the country with favorable economic conditions where you get to keep more of the money you make. To find these places we considered four different factors: semi-monthly paycheck, purchasing power, unemployment rate and income growth.
First, we calculated the semi-monthly paycheck for a single individual with two personal allowances. We applied relevant deductions and exemptions before calculating income tax withholding. To better compare withholding across counties we assumed a $50,000 annual income. We then indexed the paycheck amount for each county to reflect the counties with the lowest withholding burden.
We then created a purchasing power index for each county. This reflects the counties with the highest ratio of household income to cost of living. We also created an unemployment rate index that shows the counties with the lowest unemployment. For income growth, we calculated the annual growth in median income over five years for each county and indexed the results.
Finally, we calculated the weighted average of the indices to yield an overall paycheck friendliness score. We used a one half weighting for semi-monthly paycheck and a one-sixth weighting for purchasing power, unemployment rate and income growth. We indexed the final number so higher values reflect the most paycheck friendly places.
Sources: SmartAsset, government websites, US Census Bureau 2016 5-Year American Community Survey, MIT Living Wage Study, Bureau of Labor Statistics