Resident based property tax exemption (4%) fraud is a serious issue that affects every taxpayer in Beaufort County. The Legal resident based exemption was created as a benefit for homeowners who live in Beaufort County South Carolina and make it their permanent and legal residence. When someone is receiving an exemption to which he or she is not entitled, law-abiding property owners must make up the difference in lost tax revenue by paying higher taxes.
If you know of anyone who is claiming the legal resident (4%) exemption on a property that he or she is not primarily residing in, and the property is rented, vacant or used for commercial purposes or a vacation home, we urge you to make a report to our office by calling the Assessor’s Office at 843-255-2400 or by completing the information below. In the interest of expediency, it is extremely helpful and time saving to an investigation if we speak to you personally, but in the end you may remain anonymous if you prefer by not providing your name or contact information.
Resident Exemption Fraud is subject to a penalty of 100% of the tax amount paid at 4% AND 100% of the tax amount at 6%. Penalties for Resident Exemption Fraud may apply to multiple tax years.
Please remember that the status of a property on December 31st each year is used to determine the property’s value and exemption status for the following tax year. That means if a property owner has a resident exemption and sells the property, the exemption will remain on the property for the entire calendar year, and will be removed the next year. Although there will still be an exemption on the property after the sale, it is NOT the new owner’s exemption.