Friday letters: Seniors need to claim SC tax exemption

August 23, 2013 

— Many senior citizens are paying more sales tax than the law requires because they don’t ask for their exemption. People 85 and older were exempted from the 1 percent sales tax that was added by the Legislature in 1984 to pay for the Education Improvement Act.

Paying a 5 percent state sales tax instead of a 6 percent tax can amount to a tidy sum over time, and the Department of Revenue and news media could perform a genuine service by periodically reminding senior citizens of their privilege.

Seniors must ask for the exemption and show an ID proving they are 85 or older. It could be a problem for a new cashier who doesn’t understand the law (S.C. Code 12-26-2620), but it represents a dollar saved by an elderly customer on a $100 purchase.

I cannot find data about how much older South Carolinians have overpaid in sales taxes since 1984, and I haven’t the faintest idea how one goes about claiming the deduction from web sites or mail order. I’ll just mark that up to another complication of high-tech modern life.

John Wrisley

Columbia

The State is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service