South Carolina provides guidance on the manufacturing exemption.

The South Carolina Department of Revenue outlines the department’s opinion on what items are considered exempt from sales and use tax for purposes of manufacturing in Revenue Ruling 04-7 by referencing a few cases and providing specific examples. This advisory opinion addresses the issues and subsequent questions caused by the decisions made during 2003 in Springs Industries, Inc v SCDOR (99-ALJ-17-0153-CC) and Anonymous Taxpayer v SCDOR (02-ALJ-17-0350-CC). The Springs case is referenced because it changed the qualification standard for what is considered to be used in manufacturing from items that are “used directly” in the manufacturing process to items that are “integral and necessary” to the manufacturing process. This means that the exemption no longer applies strictly to machinery on the production line but now includes chemicals (as parts), conveyances, and quality control and other machines used as a function of the manufacturing process to the effect that it is an “ongoing, continuous activity.” The Anonymous case is referenced in relation to the case Hercules Contractors and Engineers, Inc v SC Tax Commission (1984) to clarify that buildings do not functions as machines and are not exempt for manufacturing purposes. The issues addressed by means of specific taxability examples include: (1) chemicals, greases, oils, lubricants and coolants; (2) classification of machines used in manufacturing, maintenance, or storage; (3) conveyances; (4) manufacturing buildings; (5) administrative machines, furniture, equipment and supplies; and (6) protective clothing. In summary, a machine would be deemed exempt if it “is used at a manufacturing facility,” and is considered “integral and necessary to the manufacturing process and the product being manufactured is being manufactured ‘for sale.'” (Revenue Ruling 04-7, South Carolina Department of Revenue, April 21, 2004)

Posted on May 15, 2004