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South Carolina Sales Tax Exemption of Electricity and Other Fuels

In South Carolina, the sales of electricity and other fuels used for residential purposes are exempt from sales and use tax.

According to South Carolina Revenue Ruling #17-1, this exemption applies specifically to “the gross proceeds of sales, or sales price of: electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, kerosene, LP gas, coal, or any other combustible heating material or substance used for residential purposes.”

In SC Revenue Ruling #92-4, the Department concluded that the following sales of electricity to an apartment complex used exclusively as a residence are exempt from sales tax under Code Section 12-36-2120(33):

  1. Electricity provided to individual apartment units.
  2. Electricity provided to common areas which are integral and necessary to the individual apartment unit’s residential use, such as hallways, parking lots, trash compactors and entrance gates.
  3. Electricity provided to residential apartment amenities, such as laundry facilities, pool and club houses, and tennis courts, if the amenities are (1) used exclusively for domestic purposes, and (2) used only by apartment residents and their non-paying guests.
  4. Electricity provided for use in business related areas of the apartment complex (e.g. office area, maintenance facilities, and repair facilities), if the electricity for the entire apartment complex is centrally metered and billed as such.

The definition of “residential purposes” is provided in the Revenue Ruling.

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