MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – As of 2017, you can fill out form I-385 as a taxpayer to claim a refundable credit for the lesser of the increase in South Carolina motor fuel user fee paid during the tax year, or preventative maintenance costs you incurred during the tax year.
Myrtle Beach tax attorney Jackson Turner-Vaught says you might get between $6 and $15 back in the gas tax refund, but that’s only if you meet every requirement for it.
“Tax time is right around the corner,” said Turner-Vaught. That means opportunity for refunds, including the South Carolina Refundable Motor Fuel Income Tax Credit, available again this year, that began in 2017. But, is it worth it?
“I don’t know if they did a, a very effective job, because it does help, but not a whole lot,” said Turner-Vaught.
He says unless you keep every gas receipt and car maintenance record, it isn’t worth it, and even then, depending on which tax preparer you go to, your refund could be less than the average amount because of how much the I-385 form costs.
“If you are, like a big chain tax preparer, then they typically charge by the form. If you are an individual mom and pop preparer, you might have flat fees that are, you know, you just charge the same fee for everybody,” replied Turner-Vaught.
For some tax preparers, those forms can cost upwards of $50 each, which could significantly lower your chances of getting a big refund.
“You have to save all of your fuel receipts for the entire year. Those fuel receipts have to show gallons purchased, not just how much gas you bought, but gallons purchased. You also need receipts on all of your maintenance,” he said.
If a preparer tells you that they don’t need all the receipts you saved and that they will take your word for how many gallons of gas you purchased, Turner-Vaught says still save them, in case you are audited.