Overview of South Carolina Taxes
South Carolina has a progressive income tax system. Tax rates cover a wide spectrum, with a top rate of 7% and a bottom rate of 0%.
|FICA and State Insurance Taxes||--%||$--|
|State Disability Insurance Tax||--%||$--|
|State Unemployment Insurance Tax||--%||$--|
|State Family Leave Insurance Tax||--%||$--|
|State Workers Compensation Insurance Tax||--%||$--|
|Take Home Salary||--%||$--|
- Our Tax Expert
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.
We pay $30 for 30 minutes on the phone to hear your thoughts on what we can do better. Please enter your email if you'd like to be contacted to help.
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email
South Carolina Paycheck Calculator
Photo credit: ©iStock.com/AdShooter
South Carolina Paycheck Quick Facts
How Your South Carolina Paycheck Works
The reason your paychecks never quite add up to your quoted salary or hourly rate is because your employer withholds some money to pay for taxes. No matter which state you work in, you will need to pay FICA taxes and federal income taxes.
FICA taxes include Social Security and Medicare taxes. Each pay period, 6.2% of your income goes toward Social Security taxes and 1.45% toward Medicare. Your employer matches those amounts so that the total contributions to FICA taxes are double what you pay. If you have income in excess of $200,000 you will also need to pay a Medicare surtax of 0.9%. Your employer does not match this.
While employers usually cover half of workers’ FICA taxes, you might find yourself responsible for paying the entire sum if you are self-employed or a contract worker. Luckily, if you do have to pay the full FIC A taxes, you may be eligible to receive the employer portion in return via a tax deduction. For more help with minimizing you tax bite while maximizing your earnings, it’s always helpful to talk with a financial advisor.
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.
Keep in mind that withholding amounts changed in 2018 because of President Trump's new tax plan. You should have seen changes to your paycheck in early 2018. If you haven’t already confirmed that you want to claim the same number of allowances, it’s a good idea to look over your W-4 at the start of the new year.
If you take advantage of employer-sponsored health or life insurance, premiums you pay on these will be deducted from your paycheck, as well. These payments are usually pre-tax, which means they come out before income taxes do. Employer-sponsored retirement plans, like 401(k) plans, are also pre-tax. That means you can save for retirement while simultaneously decreasing your taxable income. Accounts for medical expenses, such as health savings accounts (HSAs) are also pre-tax.
South Carolina Median Household Income
|Year||Median Household Income|
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. (The state updates the brackets each year to account for inflation.) Earners making up to $2,970 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 $14,860 or above is subject to South Carolina's top tax rate of 7%. That’s a relatively low threshold, so most filers will pay the top rate on at least some of their income. All filers are subject to the same income tax brackets regardless of marital status.
Property taxes in South Carolina remain low. Mortgage rates also fall below the 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, visit our South Carolina mortgage guide to understand the details of mortgages in the state.
Income Tax Brackets
|South Carolina Taxable Income||Rate|
|$0 - $2,970||0.00%|
|$2,970 - $5,940||3.00%|
|$5,940 - $8,910||4.00%|
|$8,910 - $11,880||5.00%|
|$11,880 - $14,860||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. If you ever want to make a change, you just need to fill out a new W-4.
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.
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 a big tax bill, 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). The money you put into these accounts is also pre-tax, and it can be used to pay certain medical-related expenses like copays or some prescriptions. But be aware that only $500 can roll over from year to year in an FSA. That means you could lose money if you end the year with more the $500 in your FSA.
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 2017 5-Year American Community Survey, MIT Living Wage Study, Bureau of Labor Statistics