ABOUT SCATE

What is SCATE?

Under the South Carolina Agricultural Tax Exemption (SCATE) program, the South Carolina Department of agriculture is issuing cards to individuals eligible to receive agriculture sales tax exemptions under South Carolina state law.

When is the new SCATE card being implemented?

  • Farmers can apply for the SCATE card starting February 1, 2022.
  • Retailers can begin accepting the SCATE card as proof of exemption starting in February 2022.
  • Retailers should no longer accept the SCDOR’s Agriculture Exemption Certificate (ST-8F) after April 1, 2022.

 

APPLYING AND RENEWING

What information do I need to apply for a SCATE card?

In addition to basic personal and business information (name, address, etc.), you will need your business income tax number (FEIN) or Social Security number (SSN), an email address, and your credit card or checking account information.

How much does a SCATE card cost?

A SCATE card costs $24 and is good for three years.

Why is there a fee for the SCATE card?

The fee covers the costs of administering the program, including printing, mailing, communications, personnel, and transaction fees.

Can I apply in person or by mail?

You can only apply for a SCATE card through our online portal at scatecard.com. Payments must be made by credit/debit card or ACH/e-check. There is no paper application. We cannot fill out your application for you. We cannot accept paper checks or cash.

Clemson and SC State Cooperative Extension offices may assist you in completing a SCATE card application online. Check with your nearest Extension office for details.

A list of Clemson Extension offices can be found here.

What if I don’t have an email address?

Many services offer free email service, including Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo. Sign up for an email address before applying for your SCATE card. Public libraries across the state can help you establish an email account.

What if I move to a new address or change my name or my business name? Do I need to notify you?

We encourage you to keep your information up to date in the SCATE system. Use the password emailed to you when you completed your SCATE application to log in and update your information.

I applied but haven’t received my card. What should I do?

If it’s been at least 30 days but no more than 45 days since you applied, please call 803-734-2210 or email scate@scda.sc.gov.  After 45 days, there will be a $5 fee for a replacement set of cards.

How do I replace a lost or stolen card?

Go to scatecard.com and click the option titled “Update your information or request a replacement card.”  A replacement card costs $5.

I want to update my information or request a new card, but I don’t have my SCATE ID or password. What should I do?

Your SCATE card number can be found on the SCATE card itself or the application confirmation email. Go to scatecard.com and click “Forgot my password” to retrieve your password by email.  If you do not have your SCATE Card ID and Password, please call 803-734-2210 or email scate@scda.sc.gov.

My agricultural business closed. Can I get a refund?

Refunds will only be given for multiple payments on accounts or if a duplicate account has been created. No refunds will be given because a farm is sold or is no longer operating.

Can I just keep using the old paper form?

Beginning April 1, 2022, the SCATE card will be the only way to obtain agricultural sales tax exemptions.

How long is the SCATE card good for?

SCATE cards expire three years from the date of issue. Make sure to renew your card before the expiration date printed on the front. The system will send an email to the email address on file letting you know it’s time to renew.

Receiving a replacement card does not change the expiration date associated with your original SCATE card. Your replacement card will expire three years from the date that your original card was issued.

 

ELIGIBILITY AND EXEMPTIONS

Is the tax law changing? Can I still get the same exemptions as before?

South Carolina’s sales tax laws have not changed. The only thing that has changed is the way buyers demonstrate they are eligible for certain agriculture tax exemptions. After April 1, 2022, buyers must present a SCATE card in order to receive agriculture tax exemptions.

What ag products are exempt from sales tax?

These are exempt items, per the SC Department of Revenue:

  • Feed used for the production and maintenance of poultry and livestock;
  • Insecticides, chemicals, fertilizers, soil conditioners, seeds or seedlings, or nursery stock, used solely in the production for sale of farm, dairy, grove, vineyard or garden products or in the cultivation of poultry or livestock feed;
  • Containers* and labels used in:
    • preparing agricultural, dairy, grove or garden products for sale; or
    • preparing turpentine gum, gum spirits of turpentine and gum resin for sale.
  • Fuel used in farm machinery and farm tractors;
  • Farm machinery and their replacement parts and attachments, used in planting, cultivating or harvesting farm crops, including bulk coolers (farm dairy tanks) used in the production and preservation of milk on dairy farms, and machines used in the production of poultry and poultry products on poultry farms, when such products are sold in the original state of production or preparation for sale. This exemption does not include automobiles or trucks;
  • Fuel used exclusively to cure agricultural products;
  • Natural and liquefied petroleum gas and electricity used exclusively in the production of poultry, livestock, swine and milk;
  • Electricity used to irrigate crops;
  • Building materials, supplies, fixtures and equipment for the construction, repair or improvement of or that become part of a self-contained enclosure or structure specifically designed, constructed, and used for the commercial housing of poultry or livestock.

* For purposes of this exemption, containers mean boxes, crates, bags, bagging, ties, barrels, and other containers.

If you have questions about agriculture exemptions and taxes not addressed here, you can contact SCDOR at FarmExemption@dor.sc.gov. The relevant section of the South Carolina Code of Laws can be viewed here.

Do I have to meet a certain agriculture income threshold to qualify for exemptions?

South Carolina law does not require producers to generate a certain level of income from agriculture to qualify for sales tax exemptions.

I don’t file a Schedule F. Can I still get a SCATE card?

The IRS Schedule F (Form 1040) details profits and losses from farming, and is a simple way for the state to determine that you are eligible for agriculture sales tax exemptions. If you don’t file a Schedule F and report farm income on your tax return, you may still be eligible for agriculture sales tax exemptions. The application contains a field for non-Schedule F filers to explain their farming activities.

Will the new SCATE card be accepted by online retailers?

If exempt items are purchased online for delivery in South Carolina, then the online retailer should honor the South Carolina agriculture exemption.

Will the new SCATE card be accepted by out-of-state retailers?

If the farmer receives the purchased items outside of South Carolina, then the items are subject to tax and/or exemptions allowed by the other state. In this case, the SCATE card would not be applicable.

If the farmer receives the delivery of purchased items when in South Carolina, then South Carolina tax and exemptions are applicable. In this case, the SCATE card could be used.

RETAILERS

Can retailers check someone’s SCATE status?

Yes. Click “Check SCATE status” on the SCATE webpage, then put in the card number to check whether they are an active SCATE participant.