Online Retailers' South Carolina Sales Tax Tops $311.5M in Past Year

Staff Report

Thursday, December 3rd, 2020

According to the South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR), remote sellers and online marketplace facilitators reported collecting more than $311.5 million in South Carolina Sales and Use Tax between November 1, 2019 and October 31, 2020. Sales Tax from remote sellers doubled compared to the same period last year. The number of remote sellers registered with the SCDOR has also significantly increased. 

Remote Seller Sales Tax Data

 

Sales Tax Collected by Remote Sellers

Remote Sellers Registered with the SCDOR

November 1, 2018 – October 31, 2019

$63.9 million

3,800

November 1, 2019 – October 31, 2020

$128.1 million

5,443

Meanwhile, online marketplace facilitators – a person or business facilitating retail sales on behalf of a third party – are reporting $183.4 million in South Carolina Sales Tax for the same 2020 period.

The overall data reflect a national trend of increased online sales.

"This means an additional $311.5 million will be available for South Carolina needs," said SCDOR Director Hartley Powell. "The SCDOR's remote sellers policy and the marketplace facilitator law now ensure that all online retailers collect and remit Sales and Use Tax on all sales, just like brick-and-mortar stores, helping level the playing field and bringing more tax dollars into the state." 

Where these South Carolina Sales Tax dollars go

  • $165.7 million – South Carolina's General Fund

  • $41.3 million – Education Improvement Act Fund

  • $41.3 million – Homestead Exemption Fund

  • The rest is distributed to cities and counties that charge local Sales Tax, including $14.4 million for capital projects, $17.8 million for local option, $15.6 million for schools, $13.7 million for roads, and $1.2 million for tourism development.

The Sales and Use Tax reported by remote sellers and online marketplace facilitators are in addition to regular South Carolina Sales and Use Tax collections.

How did we get here?

South Carolina's Remote Sellers/Marketplace Facilitator Timeline

June 2018

On June 21, 2018, in South Dakota v. Wayfair, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an out-of-state seller with no physical presence in a state can be required to collect and remit Sales and Use Tax in states where they meet certain economic thresholds.

November 2018

The SCDOR subsequently issued a policy requiring that as of November 1, 2018, a remote seller whose gross revenue from sales delivered into South Carolina exceeds $100,000 in the previous calendar year or the current calendar year is responsible for obtaining a retail license and remitting South Carolina Sales and Use Tax.

April 2019

Gov. Henry McMaster signed into law the Marketplace Facilitator Act. The law supported South Carolina's longstanding Sales Tax policy that requires a person or business facilitating retail sales on behalf of other businesses to remit Sales and Use Tax on all retail sales on tangible personal property not otherwise exempt or excluded.

For more information about remote sellers, visit dor.sc.gov/remotesellers.