Revenue issues alert on changes to a sales tax exemption

Jun 19, 2019
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Written by Washington Retail
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Qualified nonresident shoppers in Washington State will no longer be entitled to point-of-sale sales tax exemptions as of July 1 of this year.

Instead, those same shoppers may request a sales tax rebate from the Department of Revenue for the state portion of the sales they paid. No refund will be available for the local portion of the retail sales tax paid, according to a recently-released Revenue special notice.

People qualified for sales tax exemptions are residents of a state (other than Washington), United State possession or qualified Canadian province or territory that imposes a sales tax or similar tax – such as a value-added tax – of less than 3 percent. A list of those eligible is here.

Nonresidents can request refunds beginning Jan. 1, 2020 for purchases made between July 1 and Dec. 31 of this year.

The state Legislature changed the process for this sales tax exemption earlier this year. Washington Retail opposed the change and argued that sales would be lost here if qualified residents such as those from sales-tax-free Oregon would no longer have an incentive to immediately save money when shopping at a store in Washington State.