City of Aiken Hospitality Tax
We will update this graph on a monthly basis to reflect the amount collected as well as the amount spent. The budget for the Hospitality Tax is based on an estimated collection amount of $100,000 per month. The Council-approved Hospitality Tax budget will be used for a number of visitor- and tourism-related expenditures including upkeep and expenses at Citizens Park and Rye Patch, building improvements at the H.O. Weeks Center and the Smith-Hazel Recreation Center, a new roof at Smith-Hazel Recreation Center and the resurfacing of tennis courts at the H.O. Weeks Center.
Effective June 1, 2015, the City of Aiken began collecting a 1% Hospitality Tax. These taxes are to be collected by your business and remitted to the City of Aiken. The tax is to be remitted to the City of Aiken by the 20th of each month with the tax being based on the previous month’s gross receipts. A penalty of 5% of the unpaid tax will be levied for each month or portion thereof after the due date until paid. The first collection of this tax will be due July 20, 2015 based on your June, 2015 collections. Please remember payments are due prior to the 20th of each month to avoid any penalty. The ordinance passed by City Council on 5/11/2015 defines the hospitality tax as follows: The Hospitality Tax: A uniform tax equal to one percent (1%) is hereby imposed on the gross proceeds derived from the sale of prepared meals and beverages sold in establishments, or sales of prepared meals and beverages sold in establishments licensed for on-premises consumption of alcoholic beverages, beer, or wine, and is imposed on every person engaged in the business of furnishing food and beverage services, whether dine in or take out, within the City of Aiken. In addition, the local hospitality tax shall be imposed on all food and beverages prepared or modified by convenience stores, fast food service outlets, or grocery stores within the City of Aiken.
- If your company collects South Carolina sales tax on prepared food or beverages, then the City of Aiken 1% hospitality tax will apply also.
- If your company holds an ABC beverage license for serving alcoholic beverages, then the City of Aiken 1% hospitality tax will apply to the sale of beverages.
- In the instance of nursing homes and related facilities, prepared meals served to the residents of the facility are not subject to the hospitality tax, unless they are subject to South Carolina sales tax. Food sold to your employees or visitors is subject to the City of Aiken 1% hospitality tax, if they are subject to the South Carolina sales tax.
Subject to Tax
- Produce Cut, Sliced, Cored, or Prepared in Store
- Cored Pineapple
- Sliced Melons
- Peeled Pineapple
- Salads Made in Store
- Sandwiches/Subs prepared on site
- Bakery items cooked/baked on site
- Coffee brewed in Store
- Canned & Bottle Beverages sold as part of a meal for in store consumption
- Seafood steamed/cooked on site
- Grilled hamburger and hot-dogs
- Packaged dinners cooked on site (Thanksgiving Dinner)
- Fountain Drinks
- Any food prepared (not in its original state)on site by employee or contractor
- Any foods cooked on site
- Any prepared foods or meals that are subject to SC sales tax
- Any served beverage, inclusive of beer, wine, and liquor, are subject to the hospitality tax
Not Subject to Tax
- Cold, Canned Drinks In Vending Machines Located in Deli
- Cold, Bottled Drinks in Vending Machines Located in Deli
- Drinks in Small Coolers Located in Deli
- Consolidating fruit into a basket (fruit basket)
- Repackaged Ready to Consume Meats and Cheese
- Repackaged Ready to Consume Deli Salads
- Items Repackaged for Immediate Consumption
- Prepackaged Items Consolidated into a Larger Container to Make One Package (Gift Basket)
- Deli Turkey and Ham Dinners cooked off site and consolidated into one (Thanksgiving Dinner)
- Bakery items heated
- Ready to eat prepackaged food customer reheats on site (Customer is making the food consumable)
This list is not intended to be all inclusive but to serve as a guide of the most common items that may or may not be subject to the hospitality tax. Please also note that this fee is collected by the City of Aiken and not the South Carolina Department of Revenue. All payments are to be sent to City of Aiken, PO Box 2458, Aiken, SC 29802 by the 20th of each month to avoid penalty. If your business only does an occasional event inside the city limits, you will have an option of paying a one-time tax. You will need to collect the tax during the event you are working and remit it to the City of Aiken within five (5) business days. An example of this would be a non-resident caterer doing a wedding reception or a food vendor selling at a weekend craft show. If your business will be responsible for collecting and remitting this tax, you will need to request and complete a Application for Hospitality Tax Account application and return it to us immediately. We will set up your account so that notices can be mailed to you. Please remember that these notices are mailed only as a reminder and do not excuse you from remitting this tax in a timely manner. The application will also contain different categories that are available for remitting this tax. Please choose the one that will apply to your business based on your volume of collections. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Nathan Campbell at 803-642-7642. We appreciate your help in the collection of this tax. Thank you for your time and assistance with this matter and please let us know if we may be of any assistance to you.