General

A: You may change your mailing address in-person at any one of our office locations or online.

A: All of the property taxes due are included in your property tax bill and collected by the Beaufort County Treasurer’s Office.

A: You may obtain a copy of your original property tax bills through our online Tax Bill Lookup service. You may download, save or print a copy of your original tax bill by searching your name or other account information. You should note that these bills will not include any changes made to your account after the bills have been printed.


Property Tax Bills

A: Real property and mobile homes are valued by the Beaufort County Assessor’s Office and the taxes are calculated by the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office. Personal property and motor vehicles are valued and the taxes calculated by the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office. All residential and commercial property in Beaufort County is taxed at a 6% assessment rate. An exception is an owner-occupied legal residence which may qualify for the 4% Special Assessment Ratio. Tax amounts are based on the value of the property being taxed and the millage being applied. If you have questions regarding your assessment ratio, real property or mobile home value, contact the Beaufort County Assessor’s Office at 843-255-2400. If you have questions about the value of your personal property or motor vehicle, or the taxes you are being charged, contact the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office at 843-255-2500.

A: The Property Identification Number (PIN) is the parcel number assigned to your property and an identifier by which Beaufort County Departments can look up your property's records. Every PIN will begin with an alpha character such as "R" for real property, "M" for mobile home, "MV" for motor vehicle, or "WC" for watercraft, followed by numeric characters. For real property (those PINs which begin with an "R"), the first three numeric characters will indicate the district in which that parcel lies. A Parcel District Map can assist you in identifying where a parcel is located.

A: Real and personal property tax bills are disseminated the beginning of November and are due by January 15th of the following calendar year. Motor vehicle tax bills are disseminated by the 15th of the month preceding the month of renewal.

A: This generally occurs when a property transfer takes place just prior to or after the property tax bills have been disseminated. You may pay the outstanding taxes due and a receipt will be issued to you.

A: While real estate taxes are often pro-rated between a buyer and seller at closing, the Treasurer’s Office disseminates one tax notice to the primary owner of record at the time the property tax bills are created. You should contact your closing attorney to see how you should handle the notice for the year in which the property was purchased but we would advise paying the outstanding taxes to avoid late payment penalties.

A: The tax bill will automatically be mailed to the primary owner of record, unless it is requested by a financial institution. If you received a green Courtesy Tax Notice, the financial institution indicated at the bottom of your notice requested your bill. If you do not wish for them to pay your bill you must contact the financial institution.

A: The accuracy of your mailing address is dependent upon our office receiving notification of any address changes. If you need to correct or update your mailing address you may do so online or in-person.


Making a Payment

A: Real and personal property taxes are due by January 15th. Motor vehicle taxes are due by the last day of your registration renewal month.

A: No, South Carolina State Statute does not allow for grace periods for property tax payments. Tax payment deadlines and any associated delinquent penalties and fees are established and applied in accordance with South Carolina State Statute §12-45-180. Penalties and fees will only be waived if the County has made an error on the account in question. A request for penalty waiver may be made online or by mail.

A: Taxes may be paid online using a major credit card, debit card, or electronic check. A convenience fee will be charged of 2.50% for credit and debit cards, and $1.25 for an electronic check.

A: Checks should be made payable to the Beaufort County Treasurer's Office and contain your name, address, phone number and the RevObjID found on your tax bill.

A: The Beaufort County Treasurer’s Office accepts all major credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Convenience fees of 2.50% for credit cards and debit cards, and $1.25 for an electronic check, are charged. Certain entities, such as a government or educational institution, are permitted to pass expenses related to processing payment processing on to the customer. For other types of entities, such as a grocery store, the cost of processing credit and debit card payments are included in the cost of the items or services being sold. The alternative to Beaufort County on the processing expense is for the processing expense to be paid for through ad valorem taxes. This alternative would mean that all taxpayers are paying for this payment option whether they utilize it or not.

A: No, South Carolina State Statute §12-45-430 prohibits partial payments. The only exception is if you are an approved participant in the Installment Tax Program, which is administered by the Treasurer’s Office in accordance with South Carolina State Statute 12-45-75.

A: The Treasurer’s Office cannot accept partial payments as dictated by South Carolina State Statute §12-45-430. Although any owner can obtain a copy of the original tax bill online or in-person, one tax notice is mailed to the primary owner, typically the first owner listed on the property deed, and it is at the discretion of the owners as to how to pay. Multiple checks would be accepted as long as the total amount paid satisfies the taxes due and they are submitted together with the tax bill remittance slip.

A: Identify the type of tax bill you would like to pay (real and personal property, motor vehicle, or installment property tax) and select the appropriate mailing address listed on our Payment Options page. Please note that the Treasurer's Office uses a lockbox service it is therefore important that the correct mailing address is used or your payment may not be received successfully or processed timely.

A: Yes, you may call 800-830-9996 to access our automated phone payment system. Credit card, debit card, savings account and checking accounts are accepted methods of payment.

A: In an effort to obtain the best banking services at the lowest cost, the Treasurer’s Office conducted a Request for Proposal in accordance with Beaufort County Purchasing policies. The winning proposal included the services of a high-speed processing center only available in Charlotte. This processing center reduces staff time and costs, reduces errors, and shortens the processing time of your payment. All other services are support or provided by local banking branches.


Tax Reductions and Value Appeals

A: The first way is to review the property value listed on your tax bill to ensure you are in agreement with the value listed. Property value drives the calculation of taxes. Additionally, below are some of the exemptions and special assessment rations you may be able to receive.

  • The Special Assessment Ratio (also known as the 4% Legal Residence), granted to taxpayers using their Beaufort County property as their primary residence.
  • Agricultural Special Assessment, granted to taxpayers using their property for agricultural purposes
  • Exemptions granted by the South Carolina Department of Revenue, granted for certain medical disabilities, taxpayers who are disabled veterans and other similar circumstances
  • The Homestead Exemption, granted to taxpayers who are over 65, or have been certified totally and permanently disabled by a State or Federal Agency, or are legally blind
  • Active Duty Military Exemption, granted to active duty military stationed within Beaufort County whose State of record is not South Carolina

A: You may contact the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office at 843-255-2500 for information on potential exemptions or discounts.

A: For information on potential exemptions or discounts on personal property and motor vehicle taxes you may contact the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office at 843-255-2500. For potential exemptions or discounts on real property and mobile homes you may contact the Beaufort County Assessor’s Office at 843-255-2400.

A: If you occupy your property and it is your legal residence you may be eligible for the 4% Special Assessment Ratio. To apply you must complete the Special Assessment Ratio Application and submit it to the Beaufort County Assessor’s Office. If you have additional questions you may contact the Assessor’s Office at 843-255-2400.

A: If you have been a legal resident of South Carolina for at least one year and are over 65 years of age, or have been certified totally and permanently disabled by a State or Federal Agency, or legally blind, or hold fee simple title or partial title to your property, you may be eligible for the Homestead Exemption. To apply you may contact the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office at 843-255-2500.

A: Real property and mobile homes are valued by the Beaufort County Assessor’s Office and the taxes are calculated by the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office. Personal property and motor vehicles are valued and the taxes calculated by the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office. To appeal the value of your real property or mobile home, you may do so online or in-person with the Assessor’s Office. To appeal the value of your personal property or motor vehicles, you may do so online or in-person with the Auditor’s Office.


Motor Vehicles

A: A 120 Day Vehicle Tax Notice are for the property taxes on the vehicle you recently purchased, which are not paid at the time of purchase. When a South Carolina resident purchases a new vehicle from a South Carolina dealership and the dealership registers the vehicle with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV), the new vehicle owner will receive a license plate and decal prior to paying the property taxes. A 120 Day Vehicle Tax notice is for the property taxes associated with the receipt of that license plate and decal.

A: Motor vehicle taxes are due by the last day of your renewal month. If paid late, while there are no additional penalties or fees applied by Beaufort County, you will be driving a vehicle with an expired decal and may incur penalties and fees from the South Carolina of Motor Vehicles.

A: Before registering a motor vehicle with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, drivers are required to pay property taxes on the vehicle. Below are the steps to for registering a vehicle.

  • Contact the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office with your vehicle information so a tax bill can be created.
  • Your bill will not be available to pay online for 48 hours so you may wait and pay online or come to the Treasurer’s Office immediately to pay your bill.
  • Bring your paid tax receipt to any South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) field office to register your vehicle.

A: Beaufort County does not charge late fees or penalties on vehicles. However, there may be a late registration fee charged by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV). Once the vehicle taxes have been paid, SCDMV will send you a bill for any late fees and accepts payment at any of their local field offices or online.

A: If you have your paid tax receipt, you may bring it to any South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) field office and they will provide you with your decal and registration. Or SCDMV will send your decal and registration by postal mail within 3-10 business days to the address listed in their records.

If you do not receive your decal you may take your paid property tax receipt to any SCDMV field office or call 803-896-5000.

A: First bring proof of sale to the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office and then to any South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) field office. You may apply with the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office for a pro-rated refund if you sell your vehicle or move outside of Beaufort County after paying your vehicle taxes.

A: If you are 64 years of age or older and not already receiving the discount, you may be eligible for a registration fee discount. You can apply for the discount by completing South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicle Form 4027-A (Affidavit for Person 64 Years of Age or Older) and bringing it to any South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) field office.

A: If you are stationed in Beaufort County but South Carolina is not your State of record you may be exempt from paying these property taxes. Contact the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office with your LES.


Watercraft

A: No, boat trailers used for personal use are not taxed in South Carolina. Boats and outboard motors with a fair market value of $500 or more are taxable.

A: South Carolina State Statute does not allow for the proration of property taxes. For the purposes of property taxation, the owner as of January 1st of the prior calendar year is listed as the property owner. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources provides the Auditor's Office a record of owners and their mailing address every year.

A: You may do so through the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

A: There are two main reasons to update your address with DNR. First, each year DNR provides the County with a listing of watercraft owners and their mailing addresses. The County uses the information provided by DNR for taxation of the watercraft, including an owner’s mailing address. Failing to update your mailing address may result in not receiving your tax bill or your watercraft registration. Second, DNR uses your address to determine the appropriate County in which your watercraft is subject to taxation. An out of date address could result in you being taxed incorrectly.

A: Taxes follow the property being taxed and in order to register your watercraft with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, payment of all taxes is required. You may look up taxes due on a watercraft online or by inquiring with our office.

A: You must register your boat or motor with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and may do so online.

A: As the seller, you are required to notify the S.C. Department of Natural Resources of the sale so the boat or motor can be inactivated with you as the owner.

A: A boat that is used as a primary or secondary residence, is eligible for the mortgage interest deduction on a federal tax return, and has a bathroom, sleeping and cooking facilities, is eligible to be taxed as a residence. The property will be valued in the same manner as motor vehicles are for property tax purposes.

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