Third-Party Warranty Services Create Nexus in Washington

An out-of-state wholesaler of vehicle chassis did not create nexus in Washington for business and occupation (B&O) tax purposes with respect to one type of chassis it sold because all chassis sold were delivered to body shops outside of Washington to be incorporated into vehicles that were then delivered by the body shops to dealers in Washington. According to the sample sales invoices provided by the wholesaler, all of the chassis were received outside of Washington. Accordingly, the sales of the chassis occurred outside Washington and were, therefore, not subject to Washington B&O tax. However, the wholesalerdid create nexus in Washington with respect to another type of chassis it sold because warranty services were offered by the wholesaler through a third-party in Washington.Rule 193(102)(d)(vii)(B) expressly includes “[b]eing available to provide services associated with the product sold (such as warranty repairs, installation assistance or guidance, and training on the use of the product), if the availability of such services is referenced by the seller in its marketing materials, communications, or other information accessible to customers’ as an activity establishes nexus. The wholesaler and affiliates shared the same web site and there was no distinction between them in terms of offering of products and services. (Determination No. 15-0279, Washington Department of Revenue, January 31, 2016)

Posted on February 22, 2016