What is the Homestead Exemption benefit?

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In South Carolina, the Homestead Exemption is a complete exemption of taxes on the first $50,000 in Fair Market Value of your Legal Residence for homeowners who are either on their 66th birth year or older, 100% totally and permanently disabled, or legally blind. This will save you on average around $200 to $300 annually. If a written application for the exemption is received after July 15th, the exemption can only be granted for the succeeding tax year and would not be retroactively applied to the previous tax year even if the qualifications were met.

In 2007, legislation was passed that completely exempts school operating taxes for all owner-occupied legal residences that qualify per State Law §12-43-220. The Homestead Exemption credit continues to exempt all the remaining taxes for the first $50,000 of value for all purposes except for school operating taxes, which are already exempted by the 2007 legislation described above.

The Homestead Exemption is not to be confused with the Legal Residence (primary residence) exemption. Please refer to the article "Difference between Legal Residence and Homestead" for more information.


If you are either on your 66th birth year or older, are 100% totally and permanently disabled, or are legally blind, you may be eligible for the Homestead Exemption if you meet additional criteria. Please refer to one of the following articles if you are:
Applying based on age
Applying based on disability
Applying due to being legally blind 


If you do not meet the qualifications based on age, disability, or blindness, but you are the surviving spouse of a qualified or potentially qualified Homestead recipient, you may still be eligible for the Homestead benefit. Please refer to the following article for more information: Applying as a surviving spouse


The Homestead Exemption normally needs to be applied for only once. However, you may need to reapply when one of the following occurs:

  • Change in disability status
  • Change in ownership, such as placing the property in a Trust or updating the deed
  • Qualifying applicant is deceased
  • Home is refinanced
  • Rental of your home
  • Remarriage of the surviving spouse
  • Moving from one residence to another within Beaufort County
  • Removal of your Legal Residence (4%) tax ratio

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