Tax tips for veterans, military personnel
With Veterans Day here, the South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR) thanks our veterans and military personnel for their service and wants to remind them of available tax benefits. “Our veterans, military personnel, and their families deserve to be recognized for the sacrifices they made for us,” said SCDOR Director Hartley Powell. “We are committed to helping all veterans and current military personnel understand the state tax benefits available to them.” Military veterans or military personnel in South Carolina may be eligible for tax breaks in three general areas: Income taxes: Deductions in South Carolina: Military retirees under the age of 65 can claim state tax deductions of up to $17,500 of military retirement income for 2020. You must have other earned income to claim this deduction. If you have no other earned income, you can claim a deduction of up to $3,000. Military retirees 65 and older do not have to have other earned income and can claim a deduction of up to $30,000 of military retirement income for 2020. Any retirement deduction and age 65 and older deductions are reduced by any military retirement deduction taken. Income excluded from South Carolina income tax: Any federal tax-exempt pension or compensation provided by the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs Combat pay and certain benefits 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 Service pay for non-resident military personnel on active duty in South Carolina who are legal residents of other states Property taxes: Visit dor.sc.gov/exempt-property to learn how to apply for Property Tax exemptions and for detailed information on other exemptions for veterans. Veterans deemed totally and permanently service-connected disabled qualify for: A tax exemption on a home and land on the same parcel, up to five acres, that is classified as owner occupied and either titled solely to the veteran or jointly with a spouse A tax exemption on 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 A tax exemption on up to two vehicles owned or leased by the recipient Former prisoners of war (POW) from WWI, WWII, the Korean War or Vietnam War qualify for: The same tax exemptions granted to Medal of Honor recipients for home and land up to one acre that is classified as owner occupied and either titled solely to the former POW or jointly with a spouse 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 listed above 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 for exemptions on up to one vehicle solely owned by them. Other taxes: Check with your local government to learn more about specific tax benefits for veterans in your area. Combat zones: Military personnel in a combat zone have 180 days after leaving the combat zone to file their state and federal income tax returns. They also can wait until they are out of the combat zone to pay. When filing by paper or online, military members should indicate that they served in a military combat zone and name the zone. For more information, visit the SCDOR’s website at dor.sc.gov. Connect with the SCDOR on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date news and announcements.