Most tangible personal property is subject to sales tax. However, some necessities like food, clothing and medication are not taxable in some states. And sometimes states consider things like digital goods (eBooks, music, movies) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) taxable even though they can’t be touched or held.
Here’s how Washington taxes the most commonly sales tax exempt items:
Washington is a destination-based sales tax sourcing state. This means that when you make a taxable sale to a customer in Washington, you should charge the sales tax rate at the buyer’s ship-to address.
I didn’t collect any Washington sales tax this period. Do I still need to file a return?
Yes. You should still file a “zero” return with the state even if you didn’t collect any sales tax over the taxable period.
What is the penalty for filing and/or paying Washington sales tax late?
The penalty for failing to file Washington sales tax is 5% of the tax due. This increases to 15% if not paid by the due date of the late filing notice to 25% if not paid within 30 days following the due date of the notice. The penalty is a minimum $5.
The penalty for failing to pay Washington sales tax is 9% of tax due. This increases to 19% if not paid by the end of the month following the due date, and increases to 29% if not paid by the second month following the due date. The penalty is a minimum $5.
Most Washington taxpayers are required to pay electronically. Failing to pay electronically is 10% of the amount of tax that should have been paid electronically.
Can I get an extension on filing my Washington sales tax return?
Yes. Washington provides a sales tax extension of 30 days in some cases, provided the taxpayer requests the extension before the sales tax filing due dates.
Reasons extensions may be granted include:
Computer system failure and/or problems that keep an online return from being filed
Lost, destroyed, or stolen business records
Natural disasters such as fire, floods or earthquakes
Washington does not grant extensions based on recession, poor economy, poor cash flow or business slowdowns.
You can apply for a Washington sales tax extension in My DOR, sending a secure email, or by calling the Washington Department of Revenue at 360-705-6705.
How often will I be required to file and pay sales tax in Washington?
Washington requires sales taxpayers to file and remit either monthly, quarterly or annually. The state determines how often you are required to file sales tax based on your estimated gross income and your business type.
Washington sales tax due dates
Washington Monthly Sales Tax Filing Due Dates
All Washington monthly sales tax filers are required to file and pay online.
Filing Due Date
February 27, 2023
March 27, 2023
April 25, 2023
May 25, 2023
July 25, 2023
August 28, 2023
September 25, 2023
October 25, 2023
November 27, 2023
December 26, 2023
January 25, 2024
Washington Quarterly Sales Tax Filing Due Dates
All Washington quarterly sales tax filers are required to file and pay online.