South Carolina Gas Tax refund on car maintenance and gas purchases applies to lesser expense

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) - Now is the time to start saving your car maintenance and gas receipts if you want a bigger refund next year.

South Carolina drivers can file for a tax credit that goes with the state's Gas Tax starting in 2019.

The Gas Tax, which pays for infrastructure, went into effect on January 1, 2018.

The total tax increase of 12 cents will be spread out until 2022.

  • 2018
  • January - June: 2 cents
  • July - December: 4 cents
  • Amount Used for income Tax Credit Purposes: 3 cents
  • 2019 
  • January - June: 4 cents

    July - December: 6 cents

  • Amount Used for income Tax Credit Purposes: 5 cents
  • 2020 
  • January - June: 6 cents

    July - December: 8 cents

  • Amount Used for income Tax Credit Purposes: 7 cents
  • 2021
  • January - June: 8 cents

    July - December: 10 cents

  • Amount Used for income Tax Credit Purposes: 9 cents
  • 2022
  • January - June: 10 cents

    July - December: 12 cents

  • Amount Used for income Tax Credit Purposes: 11 cents
  • 2023: No credit unless reauthorized by the General Assembly.

"So are you keeping your gas receipts?" Asked NewsChannel 6's Stefany Bornman.

"No I don't keep mine," said the driver.

"So you don't care about getting that money back on your taxes?" Asked NewsChannel 6's Stefany Bornman.

"I'm not going to get any money back anyways," he said.

Aiken Tax Service Accountant Sandy Gunter disagrees.

"Is it worth is?" Asked NewsChannel 6's Stefany Bornman.

"Depends on how much you drive," Gunter told WJBF NewsChannel 6. "It could not be a lot of money of if you drive a lot, especially for work, or to and from work it could add up."

Buying new tires, oil changes, all regular vehicle maintenance also count towards your refund.

"So are you saving your gas receipts?" Asked NewsChannel 6's Stefany Bornman.

"Yes I'm saving my gas receipts," said another driver.

Gas prices, in South Carolina, are going up 2 cents in the first half of this year, but by July drivers will pay 4 cents extra at the pump.

However, you will make some of that money back on either what you spend at the pump or the maintenance you do on your car, but the catch is only the lesser of the 2 expenses.

Gunter says for income tax purposes, the price hike is going to be averaged each year. For 2018 that's 3 cents per gallon.

If you're wondering how the state can refund drivers and not lose money, that's because the tax credit only applies to personal cars.

"Well other vehicles don't count. So tractor trailers, campers and not all personal vehicles count." Gunter said. "If you have more than a 10 passengers vehicle that doesn't count. Certain trucks don't count depending on their weight."

The tax break only applies to residents of South Carolina on maintenance services and gas bought in South Carolina.

If you live in Georgia and fill up in South Carolina, you're not going to get this refund.

For more information about the Gas Tax, click here. Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story. 

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