Q: How do I qualify for the Homestead Exemption?
You may be qualified for the Homestead Exemption if you:
- ARE at least 65 years of age on or before December 31st, preceding the tax year in which you wish to claim the exemption
- ARE certified totally and permanently disabled by a state or federal agency
- WERE married to a person who was qualified for the exemption when they died
- ARE a legal resident of South Carolina for at least one year on or before December 31st of the year prior to the exemption, and have been approved to receive the 4% legal residence tax assessment ratio
- WERE a legal resident of South Carolina for one year as of December 31st of the preceding year.
Q: Do I have to apply in person?
For this exemption, the qualifying homeowner can apply in person or by mail. Contact the auditor’s office for more information.
Q: What documents do I need to apply?
You will need to provide proof of eligibility by providing proof of your age or disability.
To prove your age, you may use your:
If applying because of disability or blindness, bring certification from a state or federal agency. The agency must have the proper authority to make the certification.
Q: Do I need to reapply annually?
You do not need to reapply annually unless there is a change which affects the deed to your property.
You do need to advise the Auditor’s Office if:
- You sell or rent your house
- You make changes to the owners listed on the deed
- There is a change in your disability status
- The eligible owner dies (requires reapplication by the surviving spouse)
- The surviving spouse remarries
Q: What if the owner’s residence has more than one unit, a duplex/triplex and only 1 meter? Is the entire building exempt or only one unit?
Since the homestead exemption is based on primary residence requirement, only 1 unit is exempt.
Reduce the ERU rate manually and document which unit is exempted and the date it was added instead of adding the HE flag as that would remove all of the charges.