Beaufort County real property taxes are payable in arrears annually at the end of the calendar year. The tax bills are normally mailed by the Beaufort County Treasurer’s Office in November and are due and payable upon receipt of the tax bill. The real property taxes are past due on January 16 of the following year (2022 real property taxes are past due on January 16, 2023) and will begin incurring late penalties if not timely paid. If the closing occurs in the late fall, the Beaufort County Treasurer may send the current year’s tax bill to the seller and not to you. NOTE: If you have not received a Beaufort County property tax bill by early December, you can obtain a copy of the property tax bill online (see below).
If your closing takes place prior to November 1, the current year’s property taxes will be prorated using an estimate (if the actual tax information is not available) for the current year’s taxes. You will be given a credit at closing for the seller’s portion of the current year’s real property taxes from January 1 to the closing date. You are responsible for paying the tax bill for year of closing. If the property was rental property in the year of the closing, there will also be rental property taxes. The rental property taxes are due and payable the same time as the real property taxes. Once the current year’s property tax bills are available (normally mid-November), the current year’s property taxes will be prorated and collected and paid at closing.
If you do not receive a tax bill by December 1, you can go online to request a duplicate property tax bill. You will need the PIN number or the Alternate number or AIN. The PIN is usually shown on the first page of the Deed (for example: R550 011 000 0025 0000). The website is www.beaufortcountytreasurer.com and use Tax Bill Look Up. You are advised to place the AIN or the PIN number on the payment check.
Special Instructions for those purchasing property from permanent residents of Beaufort County: If the seller is a Primary Resident of Beaufort County, the property will most likely be taxed at the 4% Primary Residence rate instead of the normal 6% assessment residence. The property taxes on these closings are prorated using 4% assessment since the status of the property will not change the year of closing. If the property you purchased is not to be your primary residence, the real property taxes beginning the year after closing will be taxed based on a 6% assessment.
Please note that if you intend to occupy the property as your primary residence as of the year of closing, you should apply for the 4% assessment at your earliest convenience after closing by picking up and completing the Legal Residence Exemption Application (4%) at the one of the Beaufort County Tax Assessor Offices on Hilton Head Island, Bluffton or Beaufort or going online (www.beaufortcountysc.gov/assessor – under Forms or apply online at the top) or calling 843-255-2400.
Also, if you are over the age of 65 and a permanent resident, you can apply for the Homestead Exemption which will further reduce your property taxes. You must apply for this exemption at one of the Auditor Offices located on Hilton Head Island, Bluffton or Beaufort.
Assessable Transfer of Interest: Under current South Carolina law, upon the purchase of a property (an Assessable Transfer of Interest), the tax Assessor will re-assess the property to reflect the current value of the property. This means that a property purchased in 2022 for substantially more than the current assessed value of the Property (Market Value for tax purposes) may be revalued for property tax purposes resulting in higher property taxes for the subsequent year.