Washington Requires Businesses to Charge and Collect Sales Tax for Reusable Carryout Bags

The Washington Department of Revenue has issued a special notice regarding the collection of sales tax on reusable bags purchased by customers. Beginning October 1, 2021, single use plastic bags and non-compliant paper carryout bags are banned in the state. Additionally, if retailers provide compliant reusable bags, they are required to charge 8 cents for each one. Therefore, the purchase of bags is part of the selling price of the goods and must be included in sales tax collection. It must also be reported under the retailing business and occupation (B&O) tax, but the retailer can take a deduction for the bag charge under the Compliant Carryout Bag Charge resulting in the retailer not having to pay B&O tax on the charge. Additionally, the retailer retains the bag charge. Beginning January 1, 2026, the charge for compliant reusable film plastic bags increases to 12 cents per bag. (Washington Department of Revenue Special Notice, effective October 1, 2021)

Posted on September 29, 2021