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What is the State and Local Retail Sales Tax?

Sales tax is collected for the benefit of multiple taxing authorities.  Each taxing authority such as the state of Washington, cities, and regional authorities (such as the Regional Transit Authority) can add to the sales tax charged.  The total tax is collected and then distributed to each of the taxing authorities.  Section II helps the state get the tax dollars to the proper authority.

arrow Helpful Hints for Reporting Sales and Use Tax

Here is an example to show how the taxes collected in Seattle are distributed:

The Local Sales & Use Tax Rates & Changes lists all the rates within the state of Washington by county.  If you’re looking for Seattle, go to King County, and then find Seattle.  The location code for Seattle is 1726 and the combined tax rate is 9.6%.  The 9.6% sales tax rate is collected and then distributed as follows: 


    • 6.5% goes to the state of Washington.
    • 2.7% goes to the City of Seattle.
    • 0.4% goes to the Regional Transit Authority (RTA).


These 3 rates add up to the 9.6% combined rate for the city of Seattle.


Line 7

State Retail Sales Tax

  1. Write the Gross Amount. This amount must be the same as the gross amount on line 6.

  2. You may qualify for deductions. Write the total deductions on line 7 under Deductions. Deductions must be itemized on the deduction detail sheet, page 4.

  3. On page 2, subtract the Deductions from the Gross Amount and write the total under Taxable Amount.

  4. Multiply the Taxable Amount by the rate shown and enter that number under Tax Due.

Lines 8 -10

Local Retail Sales Tax

  1. Write the location code(s) and rate(s) in the appropriate boxes for each location where retail sales took place. For location codes and rates, refer to the List of Local Sales and Use Tax Rates & Changes, or use the Tax Rate Lookup Tool (GIS) to search for a specific address.

    Note: If you have more than two locations, please report all information on the Local Retail Sales Tax Addendum (pdf).

  2. Write your taxable amount for each location in the Taxable Amount boxes.    

  3. Total the Taxable Amounts and write this amount in the Total Taxable box. This amount must be the same as line 7, Taxable Amount.

  4. Multiply each taxable amount by the local rate. Write the amount(s) in the Tax Due City or County box. Do not include Motor Vehicle Sales/Leases, King County Food & Beverage, or Litter taxes here.



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