The South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR) reminds you to gather your 2020 gas and vehicle maintenance receipts before filing your taxes next year.
The upcoming tax filing season is the third year South Carolinians can claim the Motor Fuel Income Tax Credit on their tax returns. The credit offsets the Motor Fuel User Fee (commonly known as the gas tax), which increases by $0.02 on July 1 every year, in accordance with the South Carolina Infrastructure and Economic Development Reform Act.
According to the South Carolina Department of Transportation, as of November 30, 2020, $502.6 million from increased Motor Fuel User Fee revenues have been deposited in the Infrastructure Maintenance Trust Fund to support road and bridge work across the state.
What is the Motor Fuel Income Tax Credit?
South Carolina taxpayers can claim this Income Tax credit on the lesser of the increase in the Motor Fuel User Fee, which is paid when you purchase gas, or preventative maintenance costs performed during the year. The credit is available for expenses on vehicles registered in South Carolina, in the name of a resident taxpayer, for gas or maintenance work purchased in South Carolina.
As of November 30, more than 79,000 South Carolina returns claimed this credit for the 2020 filing season, with an average credit of $43.05 per return for a total of $3.4 million. The available credit cap increases to $85 million for tax year 2020.
Drivers currently pay $0.24 per gallon in Motor Fuel User Fees. Learn more about Motor Fuel User Fee rates and annual increases at dor.sc.gov/tax/motor-fuel.
How do taxpayers claim the credit?
When taxpayers file South Carolina income taxes in the 2021 filing season, they should use their receipts saved throughout 2020 to calculate their Motor Fuel Income Tax Credit.
- Save all South Carolina receipts of gas purchases and vehicle maintenance expenses, including receipts from the gas pump, credit card statements, or invoices. Since gas pump receipts can become illegible over time, consider photocopying receipts. The receipts should not be sent to the SCDOR, but save them for your records.
- The gas receipts should show the number of gallons purchased in South Carolina. The maintenance receipts should show the car model, amount, and type of work performed in South Carolina.
- When filing income tax returns, claim the credit on the Motor Fuel Income Tax Credit (I-385) form, available at dor.sc.gov/forms and included in many online filing products.
Continue saving receipts from gas purchases and preventative maintenance costs beginning January 1, 2021 to claim the credit in 2022.
For more information about the Motor Fuel Income Tax Credit including Q&As, guidance, and examples regarding the provisions of the tax credit, check out SC Revenue Ruling #17-6.
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