COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina offers several tax breaks to veterans and current military personnel.

Veterans or military personnel in South Carolina may be eligible for tax breaks in three general areas: income taxes, property taxes and other taxes.

“Our veterans, military personnel, and their families are important to our state, and they deserve to be recognized for the sacrifices they made to protect us,” Department of Revenue Director Hartley Powell said. “We are committed to helping all veterans realize the tax benefits they have earned.”

Veterans younger than 65 can claim state income tax exemptions of up to $14,600 of military retirement income for 2019.

Taxpayers must have other earned income to claim the exemption. If they have no other earned income, they can claim a deduction of up to $3,000.

Veterans 65 and older do not have to have other earned income and can claim an exemption of up to $27,000 of military retirement income for 2019.

Several sources of income are excluded from South Carolina income tax, including any federal tax-exempt pension or compensation provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, combat pay and certain benefits that are not included in federal taxable income, retirement income paid by the U.S. government for service in the reserves or National Guard — income received for service in the National Guard or the reserves for customary annual training, weekend drills, and other inactive duty training is generally exempt — and service pay for nonresident military personnel on active duty in South Carolina who are legal residents of other states.

Veterans deemed to have total and permanent service-connected disability qualify for a tax exemption on a home and land on the same parcel, up to five acres, as well as up to two private passenger vehicles owned or leased by a veteran or jointly with a spouse.

Medal of Honor recipients qualify for a tax exemption on a home and land up to one acre that is either titled solely to the recipient or jointly with a spouse as well as two vehicles owned or leased by the recipient.

Former prisoners of war from World War I, World War II, the Korean War or Vietnam War qualify for the same tax exemptions granted to Medal of Honor recipients for home and land.

They also qualify for a tax exemption on up to two private passenger vehicles owned or leased by the former POW or jointly with a spouse.

Surviving spouses for all three types of veterans qualify for tax exemptions on the home if they inherit sole ownership from the deceased spouse. The surviving spouses of POWs and disabled veterans can qualify on up to one vehicle solely owned by them.

For more information, visit the department’s website at dor.sc.gov. Connect with the department on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date news and announcements.

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Government and Poltics Reporter

I cover the city of Florence, the county of Florence, the state legislative delegation of Florence County and surrounding areas, and the federal delegation representing the Pee Dee for the Morning News.

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