Washington Consumer Tax Laws
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed June 20, 2016
All states collect some variety of consumer taxes, such as liquor and gambling taxes, to help pay for schools, infrastructure needs, and other shared state resources. Most states, including Washington, also levy sales tax on retail transactions.
Washington State Retail Sales Tax Laws
Retail sales tax is Washington's principal tax source. Businesses making retail sales in Washington collect sales tax from their customers on tangible personal property items and some services.
What Services Must I Pay Taxes On In Washington?
You will have to pay sales tax on services such as installation, repair, cleaning, altering, improving, construction, and decorating. Other services include improving real or personal property, amusement and recreational activities, lawn maintenance, and physical fitness activities.
Exceptions To The Sales Tax Requirement
In some limited circumstances, a consumer may not have to pay Washington state's retail sales tax. Here are some exceptions.
- Groceries and prescription drugs;
- Sales to nonresidents;
- Federal government sales;
- Interstate and foreign sales;
- Manufacturers' machinery and equipment exemption;
- Sales to Indians or Indian tribes;
Are Retail Sales to Tribal Members Subject to Sales Tax?
Retail sales tax is not imposed on sales to Native Americans if the tangible personal property is delivered to the member or tribe on Indian lands or if the sale takes place in Indian land. Contact a tax attorney specializing in Tribal or Indian law to learn more.
Had a victorious night out at the poker room or Indian gaming casino? Fantastic. Now, you'll have to pay taxes on your winnings. Gambling taxes are levied at the local level (through city and/or country jurisdictions).
The highlights of Washington's consumer tax laws are listed in the following chart. See FindLaw's Tax Law section for more articles and resources.
|Sales Tax||6.5% §82.08.020 (as high as 9.6% with local surtax)|
|Cigarette Tax||$3.025 per pack of 20 §§82.24.020, 027|
|Marijuana Tax||44% (total effective rate)|
|Gasoline Tax per Gallon||55.9¢ §82.36.025|
|Use Tax||6.5% §82.12.020|
|Liquor Tax||Beer $8.08 per barrel; table wine 22.67¢ per liter, fortified wine 45.11¢ per liter; Additional tax on sales of wine and beer at 7% of basic tax rates §§66.24.210, 290; 82.02.030|
|Gambling Tax||Counties, cities, city-counties, and towns may tax within their jurisdiction §9.46.110|
Note: Washington State tax and gambling laws are constantly changing -- contact a Washington tax attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Research the Law
- Washington Law
- Official State Codes - Links to the official online statutes (laws) in all 50 states and DC.
Washington Consumer Tax Laws: Related Resources
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