S.C. Code Regs. 117-337.2 - "Prepared Meals or Food" Defined

Current through Register Vol. 45, No. 9, September 24, 2021

(A) "Prepared meals or food" is food for immediate consumption (based on the type of food and the type of location selling the food) and is not eligible for the exemption under Code Section 12-36-2120(75), but is subject to the full state sales and use tax rate.

"Prepared meals or food" are meals or food sold by a business, or from an identifiable location within a business, which advertises, holds itself out to the public (e.g., offers hot food or the ability to heat food, provides seating, or provides utensils with the meal or food), or is perceived by the public as being engaged in the sale of ready-to-eat food or beverages to customers for their immediate consumption on or off the premises. Such a business, or identifiable location within a business, may be mobile or immobile and may or may not provide seating accommodations for its customers. For example, "prepared meals or food" includes, but is not limited to (a) meals or food sold by a restaurant, cafeteria, lunch wagon or cart, lunch counter, cafeteria, ice cream stand, tavern, night club, or other similar places or businesses engaged in the business of selling prepared meals or food for immediate consumption, (b) meals prepared and delivered by a meal delivery service; (c) meals sold to or at congregate meal sites; (d) meals or food sold at a grocery store, convenience store or any other similar store for the purpose of eating at or near the store, such as meals or food sold with eating utensils (e.g., plates, knives, forks, spoons, cups, napkins) provided by the seller, (e) meals or food sold at hotels, motels, or other places furnishing accommodations; (f) meals or food sold at newsstands, gift shops, and snacks bars located in offices or other public or commercial buildings; (g) meals or food sold at movies theaters, opera houses, fairs, carnivals, stadiums, auditoriums, amphitheaters, or similar entertainment or sports facilities; and (h) food sold through vending machines.

(B) Exception: If a store, or an identifiable location within a store, advertises, holds itself out to the public (e.g., offers hot food or the ability to heat food, provides seating, or provides utensils with the meal or food), or is perceived by the public as being engaged in the sale of ready-to-eat food or beverages to customers for their immediate consumption on or off the premises and also sells food that is prepared for home consumption, sold for home consumption, and is not the type of food intended for immediate consumption, then such "home consumption" food is not considered "prepared meals or food" and would be "eligible food" exempt from the state sales and use tax under Code Section 12-36-2120(75), provided it is not one of the foods listed above in Regulation Regulation117-337.1(B)- Items (1) through (10).

The following are examples of this exception:

(A) A grocery store has a deli/bakery that provides tables, chairs, benches, booths, counters or an area where customers may consume food in or near the store. In addition to other items, this deli/bakery area sells loaves of baked bread (the bread it is not hot at the time of sale).

The sales at retail of the loaves of bread are exempt from the state sales and use tax under Code Section 12-36-2120(75), provided the sale is not for a party or gathering held at the store or delivered to a location other than a private residence.

(B) A coffee shop sells individual slices of cake to be eaten with the coffee and other drinks sold at the shop. The shop also sells entire sheet cakes.

The sale at retail of the sheet cake is exempt from the state sales and use tax under Code Section 12-36-2120(75), provided the sale is not for a party or gathering held at the shop or delivered to a location other than a private residence.

(C) Some sales of meals or food may be exempt from the sales and use tax under other exemption provisions. For example, Code Section 12-36-2120(10) provides exemptions from the sales and use tax for (1) meals or foodstuff used in furnishing meals to school children within school buildings on a nonprofit basis; (2) meals or foodstuff provided to elderly or disabled persons at home by certain nonprofit organizations; (3) prepared or packaged foodstuff sold to nonprofit organizations for the homeless and needy; or (4) meals or prepared or packaged foodstuff sold to public and nonprofit organizations for congregate or in-home service to the homeless, needy, disabled adults over eighteen years of age or persons over sixty years of age (provided the meals or packaged foodstuffs in this item (4) are eligible for purchase with USDA food coupons). Code Section 12-36-2120(41) exempts from the sales and use tax tangible personal property, including meals or food, sold by certain nonprofit organizations.

Notes

S.C. Code Regs. 117-337.2

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