Tribes get retail sales tax exemption

Mar 31, 2022
Written by WR Communications

Effective tomorrow, April 1, the Department of Revenue (DOR) will recognize the preemption of retail sales tax related to purchases of tangible retail goods and services directly used in the tribal fishing, hunting, and gathering activities of qualified purchasers.

Qualifying tribes and their citizens may purchase sales tax-exempt goods and services used in their fishing, hunting, and gathering activities anywhere in Washington, regardless of where delivery of the item or performance of the service occurs, Indian Country or not.

For a recognized tribe or member to make a sales-tax-free purchase from a retail business, they must provide the retailer a completed DOR form which can cover purchases for up to one year. The retailer may verify the purchaser’s information by either looking at a copy of their tribal identification card, tribal fishing card, or any documentation issued by the tribe on tribal stationery.

Sellers will not be held liable for any uncollected sales tax if they accept a Tribal Fishing, Hunting, and Gathering form in good faith for retail sales of qualified goods or services made to a qualified purchaser.

Neither the Department of Revenue nor the State of Washington have created any new rights or expanded, extended, affected, or enlarged the scope of any existing rights beyond the context of potential tax liability. This expansion of the sales tax exemption is limited and only relates to sales involving goods and services directly used in tribal fishing, hunting, and gathering activities.

See the DOR website for additional details.