Holding on to gas receipts could help earn a tax rebate

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Thursday, January 10, 2019
News 12 @ 6 O’clock / NBC 26 at 7

NORTH AUGUSTA, SC (WRDW/WAGT) -- You may have noticed a slight bump at the pump again this year. South Carolina upped the gas tax from 18 to 20 cents per gallon.

You can get a refund if you saved your receipts but you could hit a snag.

It's not just whether you're saving those gas receipts.

The formula the state uses to figure out how much money you get back, if any, involves a few more documents that you are responsible for.

Betty Harrison has been working to save her money ever since South Carolina's gas tax went up.

The Beech Island resident says she keeps her paper receipts.

"I've been saving them every time I've gassed up; I've put them aside."

"I have plenty of receipts at home in a box and I make sure I keep them separate from anything and everything else."

She hopes her gas receipts will get her a big rebate this tax season.

But Bonnie Swingle with the Department of Revenue says your tax credit is either based on car maintenance or gas.

"The credit is going to be based on the lesser of the two; either the number of gallons purchased or the maintenance costs," says Bonnie Swingle, SC Department of Revenue.

For example, even if you spent a ton on gas but got a new car you might be out of luck.

"Maybe you didn't have to have any maintenance performed on it...so the lesser of the two is going to be $0.00. So this credit may not apply to you this year," Swingle explains.

In order to get that rebate, you fill out an I-385 form on your tax returns.

You take the number of gallons you purchased, or the amount you spent on maintenance, and multiply it by 63.4%...or .634.

That's the number the department came up with this year.

"That's something to think about now.”

Harrison says she's not sure she's saved all her maintenance receipts so she's got some searching to do.

"Once I talk with my tax consultant, which is during income tax, I'll know exactly which avenue to take," Harrison says.

Swingle mention that credit might not apply to you this year but that's no reason you can't start saving those receipts for a credit next year right now.

The tax will be increased two cents every year until 2022 so you 've got plenty of time.