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Streamlined Sales Tax  


Free Reseller Permit Replaces Resale Certificate From The Department Of Revenue

Effective since January 1, 2010, the resale certificate has been replaced with a reseller permit issued by the Department of Revenue. Reseller permits are free and will be issued to businesses that make wholesale purchases. The permits allow businesses to purchase items or services for resale without paying retail sales tax. Read the Special Notice, or learn more at the Department of Revenue website.

    Why the change to Streamlined Sales Tax?

Washington businesses that collect sales tax are losing sales to out-of-state retailers that do not charge sales tax.

These retailers have a competitive advantage over traditional brick-and-mortar businesses located in Washington. The brick-and-mortar businesses often serve as showrooms for online and mail order sellers. Consumers may look at major purchase items in a local area store, but order elsewhere to avoid paying sales tax.

A national effort, the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement, simplifies and standardizes the way each state taxes goods so it is easier for online and mail order retailers to collect sales tax.

In order to join this national effort, Washington had to change its method for collecting local sales tax.


What will change for Washington retailers?

Under current law, retail sales tax is collected based on the location from which merchandise is shipped or delivered. Substitute Senate Bill 5089 changes that.

On July 1, 2008, Washington retailers delivering goods to customers within the state must start collecting sales tax based on where the customer receives the merchandise-the destination of the sale. This is called "destination sourcing".

Destination sourcing is a change for businesses that deliver merchandise within the State of Washington. There will not be any change to over-the-counter sales where customers take home goods directly from the store location in Washington, and there is no change for sales to out-of-state consumers.


Some businesses will not see any change

If your business does not deliver goods-customers who pick up products directly from your place of business-you will continue to do business as usual. Sales not affected by this change are:

  • Wholesale sales
  • Most services
  • Sales of motor vehicles, trailers, semi-trailers, aircraft,
    watercraft, modular homes, and manufactured and mobile homes

• Partnership with the Washington State Department of Revenue

The Washington State Department of Revenue is working directly with business merchants and associations, chambers of commerce, and rotary clubs throughout the state affected by this change. Informational as well as educational tools and resources are being developed throughout the coming year to help businesses make the transition to destination sourcing with ease come July 1, 2008.

This will include:

  • Comprehensive web resources
  • Informational mailings
  • Workshops and tutorials sponsored by the Department of Revenue
  • Business forums
  • Other assistance

After July 1, 2008, small businesses that make a certain percentage of deliveries outside their home jurisdiction and gross less than $500,000 per year may be eligible to receive up to $1,000 in tax credits (to offset any necessary changes to their accounting, point-of-sale, or other systems) or two years of complimentary service from companies authorized to assist them with destination based retail sales tax collections and reporting - certified service providers.


Where to go for available tools and resources if your business will be affected by the Streamlined Sales Tax change:

Comprehensive information is available on the
Washington State Department of Revenue's website at: http://dor.wa.gov

  • Online tutorial
  • Examples
  • Questions and answers
  • Local sales and use tax rate flyers

Online Tax Rate Lookup Tool (GIS)

  • Address lookup
  • Map lookup
  • Downloadable database (by state or county)

Workshops and Vendor Fairs

  • Spokane: September 12th
  • Sea-Tac: October 17th
  • Vancouver: November 8th
  • Register online at http://dor.wa.gov under "Workshops & Education"

Personal assistance


Contact Information:

Tukwila Finance Dept.
6200 Southcenter Blvd.
Tukwila, WA 98188

Phone: 206 433-1835
Fax: 206 433-1833
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Email the Finance Dept.