S.C. Code Regs. 117-337.3 - General Rules

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

(A) Sales of "Eligible Food" by Grocery, Convenience and Similar Stores Authorized to Accept Food Stamps:

Sales of "eligible food" by a grocery, convenience or similar store authorized to accept food stamps shall be deemed to be for home consumption and exempt from the state sales and use tax under Code Section 12-36-2120(75).

However, if the store has an identifiable location 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, then all sales of food from that identifiable location shall be deemed to be for immediate consumption and subject to the sales tax at the full state rate, unless the sale falls within the exception noted above in Regulation Regulation 117-337.2. For example, if a neighborhood grocery store also has a lunch counter, then sales from that lunch counter are for immediate consumption and subject to the tax at the full sales tax rate. If the lunch counter also sold entire sheet cakes, then the sale at retail of a sheet cake would be 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 by the store to a business or institution.

(B) Sales of "Eligible Food" by Grocery and Other Stores Not Authorized to Accept Food Stamps:

Sales of "eligible food" by a grocery, convenience or similar store not authorized to accept food stamps but which is engaged in the retail sale of all sorts of canned foods and dry goods (e.g., tea, coffee, spices, sugar, and flour), and may also be engaged in the retail sale of fresh fruits and vegetables and fresh and prepared meats, fish, and poultry, shall be deemed to be for home consumption and exempt from the state sales and use tax under Code Section 12-36-2120(75).

However, if the store has an identifiable location 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, then all sales of food from that identifiable location shall be deemed to be for immediate consumption and subject to the sales tax at the full state rate unless the sale falls within the exception noted above in Regulation Regulation 117-337.2. For example, if a convenience store has an area where a customer can get a hot dog or sandwiches that are intended for immediate consumption (including ones intended to be heated in a microwave), then the sale of the hot dogs and sandwiches are for immediate consumption and subject to the full state rate. Any chips or drinks (whether fountain drinks or bottled drinks) sold with that hot dog or sandwich at the lunch counter are also for immediate consumption and subject to the full state rate.

(C) Sales of "Eligible Foods" to or by Vending Machine Operators for Sale through Vending Machines:

Sales of "eligible food" to or by vending machine operators for sale through vending machines are for immediate consumption and subject to the sales tax at the full state rate.

(D) Sales of "Eligible Food" to Institutions:

Sales of "eligible food" to the SC Department of Corrections, city or county jails, hospitals, nursing homes, and colleges for use in providing meals to the prisoners, patients, or students are sales to institutions who, under the sales and use tax law, are the users or consumers of such food in carrying out their primary functions of incarcerating convicts, providing medical care or providing an education. As such, sales of such food are not for home consumption and are subject to the sales tax at the full state rate.

(E) Sales of "Eligible Food" Prepackaged with a Non-Eligible Item

Sales of "eligible food" that is prepackaged with a non-eligible item, or sales in which a single price is established for a combination of an "eligible food" and a non-eligible item, are subject to the tax at the full state rate.

For example, if a grocery store advertises and sells a basket containing fruit and a bottle of wine, the exemption under Code Section 12-36-2120(75) is not applicable. The full state rate applies.

(F) "Eligible Food" Purchased with Food Stamps:

"Eligible food" purchased with food stamps from a retailer authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture to accept food stamps are exempt from the sales and use tax.

Notes

S.C. Code Regs. 117-337.3

The following state regulations pages link to this page.



State regulations are updated quarterly; we currently have two versions available. Below is a comparison between our most recent version and the prior quarterly release. More comparison features will be added as we have more versions to compare.