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:
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)