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Remote sellers’ sales tax collection doubles in S.C.

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Remote sellers and online marketplace facilitators collected $311.5 million in South Carolina sales and use tax between Nov. 1, 2019 and Oct. 31, 2020, with sales tax from remote sellers doubling compared to the same period last year.

Remote sellers collected $128.1 million in sales tax for the period ending Oct. 31, 2020, according to the S.C. Department of Revenue, compared to $63.9 million for the period ending Oct. 31, 2019. The number of remote sellers registered with the department also grew, from 3,800 to 5,443.

Online marketplace facilitators, or a person a business facilitating retail sales on behalf of a third party, reported $183.4 million in S.C. sales tax for the period ending Oct. 31, 2020.

“This means an additional $311.5 million will be available for South Carolina needs,” Hartley Powell, SCDOR director, said in a news release. “The SCDOR’s remote sellers policy and the marketplace facilitator law now ensure that all online retailers collect and remit sales and use tax on all sales, just like brick-and-mortar stores, helping level the playing field and bringing more tax dollars into the state.”

In May, found states’ tax collection from online sellers had surged between 25% and 100% during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In South Carolina, the majority of the taxes — $165.7 million — will go to the state’s general fund, according to the SCDOR. The Education Improvement Act Fund and the Homestead Exemption Fund will each receive $41.3 million, with the rest distributed to cities and counties that charge local sales tax, including: $14.4 million for capital projects, $17.8 million for local option, $15.6 million for schools, $13.7 million for roads, and $1.2 million for tourism development.

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