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Section II  State Sales and Use Tax

What is the State Sales and Use 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 and III help the state get the tax dollars to the proper authority.
  • Use Tax applies to the value of all articles used by taxpayer in his business (as opposed to being sold to a customer) on which no Washington sales tax has been paid.
  • Here is an example to show how the taxes collected in Seattle are distributed:
    The List of Local Sales & Use Tax Rates & Changes lists all the rates within the state of Washington.  It is arranged by county, so for the Seattle example, go to King County, and then find Seattle.  Seattle is location code 1726.  The 9.5% sales tax rate in Seattle is collected and then distributed as follows:  6.5% goes to the state of Washington,  2.1% will go to the City of Seattle, and .9% will go to the Regional Transit Authority.  These 3 rates add up to the 9.5% total rate.

Line 18

Retail Sales Tax

  1. Write the gross amount of income in column 1.  This amount must be the same as the gross amount on Line 17.  (If you are a printer and publisher, or a processor for hire, special instructions apply. Please call for help if necessary.)  
  2. You may qualify for deductions.  Write the total deductions in column 2.   If you have no deductions, write 0 in column 2. Deductions must be itemized on the deduction detail sheet, pages 3 & 4.
  3. Subtract column 2 from column 1. Write this amount in column 3.  This is your taxable amount.
  4. Multiply the taxable amount in column 3 by the tax rate shown in column 4 (.065) and write this amount in column 5.

Line 19

Use Tax/Deferred Sales Tax

  1. Write the value of articles used in column 1.
  2. Multiply the value of articles by the rate shown in column 4 (.065).  Write the total in column 5.
  3. Total the tax due amounts in column 5, lines 18 and 19, and write this amount in the Total State Sales & Use Tax box.


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