How to earn money back at the pump in 2018

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – If you want to save money after the two cent gas tax increase, you should start saving your gas receipts.

Residents of South Carolina who pay taxes in the state will be able to benefit whether they're a full-time or part-time resident. Even those who aren't filing tax returns are still eligible.

It's also important to save your preventative maintenance records as well for things like oil changes and tires.

The credit you receive back will depend on how much you spend on your preventative maintenance compared to the number of gallons of gas you get, multiplied by the 2018 credit rate.

Here's an example: if you spend $200 on preventative maintenance in 2018, you should compare that to the number of gallons of gas you purchase. If you purchase 500 gallons of gas this year, multiply that by the 2018 credit rate of .03. That number comes out to be $15, which is less than the $200 you spend on preventative maintenance. In this hypothetical situation, $15 is how much you will get back for this credit.

"The one thing that I found unique when I was looking at this is it's vehicles. So, it's automobiles, but it's also for those people that have motorcycles. Motorcycles qualify for this credit as well," said CPA James McIlrath. "And then the unique thing is it is a refundable credit, so even if I don't owe any tax, I'm still eligible to receive that reimbursement."

Each taxpayer will be able to earn credit on up to two vehicles. If you and your spouse drive two cars each, for example, you could earn up credit on a total of four vehicles.

McIlrath said the forms for this on the 2018 tax year won't be online until next year. Therefore, you'll have all year to start save your receipts and get ready for next tax season. If the receipt is printed on thermal paper, it's a good idea to make copies in case the print fades. If you're using credit card statements, you need to make sure that shows the number of gallons of gas you purchased.

According to McIlrath, once the form is submitted, it depends on how long it takes the South Carolina Department of Revenue to process the return. If you electronically file, however, it usually only takes about two to three weeks to get back.

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