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What is Casual Excise Tax?

Effective July 1, 2017, South Carolina Code Section 12-36-1710(A) imposes a 5% casual excise tax on the issuance of every certificate of title, or other proof of ownership, for every boat, boat with motor permanently attached at time of sale, or airplane, required to be registered, titled, or licensed. The tax rate is 5% of the “fair market value” of the airplane, boat, or boat with a permanently attached motor and will not exceed $500.

The tax rate is 6% of the "fair market value" of a boat motor that is purchased alone (not permanently attached to the boat). The measure of the casual excise tax is fair market value of the item to be licensed, titled or registered. Fair market value is the purchase price less any trade-in allowed, or the value shown in a national publication (NADA) of used values adopted by the SCDOR less any trade-in allowed. The purchaser is liable for the casual excise tax. Department of Natural Resources, and/or the Division of Aeronautics may not issue a license or transfer title until the state sales or use tax has been paid.

Excluded from the casual excise tax are boats, motors or airplanes transferred:

  • to a member of the immediate family (spouse, parents, children, sisters, brothers, grandparents and grandchildren)
  • to a legal heir, legatee or distributes
  • to a partnership, from an individual, upon formation of a partnership
  • to a corporation, from a stockholder, upon formation of a corporation
  • to a motor vehicle or motorcycle dealer licensed under Code Section 56-3-2310 for the purpose of resale
  • to a financial institution for the purpose of resale
  • as a result of repossession to a secured party for the purpose of resale

In addition to the above, the following also are excluded from the casual excise tax:

  • the fair market value of a boat, motor, or airplane transferred to a seller or secured party in partial payment (trade-ins)
  • transfers of airplanes specifically exempted by Code Section 12-36-2120 from the sales or use tax
  • boats, motors, or airplanes, where a sales or use tax has been paid on the transaction necessitating the transfer

Local Taxes: Transfers subject to the casual excise tax are exempt from the 0.5% of 1% sales and use taxes.

How to File

 Sales & Use taxpayers whose South Carolina tax liability is $15,000 or more per filing period must file and pay electronically.

​​​Due Date

This form should be mailed shortly after the purchase is made.