South Carolina Tax Nexus

Businesses with nexus in South Carolina are required to register with the South Carolina Department of Revenue and to charge, collect, and remit the appropriate tax.

Generally, a business has nexus in South Carolina when it has a physical presence there, such as a retail store, warehouse, inventory, or the regular presence of traveling salespeople or representatives. However, out-of-state sellers can also establish nexus in the ways described below.

South Carolina nexus for out-of-state sellers

The South Carolina Department of Revenue provides written guidance concerning sales and use tax nexus creating activities in Advisory Opinion 14-4 (February 2016). These include, but are not limited to:

  • Selling tangible personal property to residents in South Carolina (via the telephone, internet, catalog/direct mail, or otherwise) and delivering merchandise to customers in South Carolina in returnable containers
  • Selling tangible personal property to residents in South Carolina (via the telephone, internet, catalog/direct mail, or otherwise) and having an employee visit South Carolina four or more times during the year
  • Selling tangible personal property to residents in South Carolina (via the telephone, internet, catalog/direct mail, or otherwise), making remote sales of tangible personal property to state residents, and holding two or more one-day seminars in South Carolina

Affiliate nexus

If your business has ties to businesses in South Carolina, including affiliates, it may have nexus. Department of Revenue guidelines state that nexus is established when an out-of-state business is affiliated with an entity that sells tangible personal property or services to customers in South Carolina, and the in-state affiliate does either of the following:

  • Sells similar merchandise and uses common trade names, trademarks or logos
  • Accepts returns, takes orders, performs customer service or distributes advertising materials on behalf of the out-of-state business

The department underscores that “developments in this area are constantly taking place” and that the opinion reflects the department’s official position “at this time.”=

See South Carolina Department of Revenue: Nexus FAQ; Sales and Use Tax Nexus; and SC Revenue Ruling #14-4.