Washington Converts Nonresident Exemption to Remittance Program

Effective July 1, 2019, Washington has converted its sales and use tax exemption for purchases by nonresidents into a remittance program. Individuals claiming the nonresident exemption must now pay state and local sales tax to the seller at the time of purchase then request a remittance (refund) from the Washington Department of Revenue (DOR). The request must include proof of the person’s status as a nonresident at the time of the purchase, along with the following information and documentation required by the DOR:

  • A description of the item purchased
  • The sales price of the item
  • The amount of sales tax paid on the item
  • The date of purchase
  • The name of the seller and physical address where the sale took place
  • Copies of sales receipts showing the qualified purchases

Beginning January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, a person may request a remittance for state sales taxes paid between July 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019. Beginning January 1, 2021, a person may request a remittance during any calendar year for purchases made during the immediately preceding calendar year only.

The remittance request and other required documentation must be provided in a form and manner as prescribed by the DOR. Only one remittance request may be made by a person per calendar year, and the total amount of the remittance request must be at least $25. The DOR will deny requests for a remittance that are less than $25. The exemption only applies to the state portion of the sales tax.

A person making fraudulent statements to the DOR is guilty of perjury. A person that obtains a remittance by providing counterfeit identification or sales receipts is liable for repayment of the remittance, including interest and a civil penalty equal to the greater of $100 or the amount of the remittance. Any person assisting someone in obtaining a remittance through false identification or receipts is jointly and severally liable. A person who received a sales tax refund from the seller and a remittance on the same purchase must immediately repay the remittance to the DOR or is liable for a civil penalty equal to the greater of $100 or the amount of the remittance. Any person committing any of these violations is ineligible to receive further remittances. (Ch. 423 (S.B. 5997), Laws 2019)

Posted on October 16, 2019