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Below are rule and interpretive statement actions. For information regarding how these rules and interpretive statements may affect you, email us or call 1-800-647-7706. Also, see more information regarding the Department's rule making process, including rule making currently in progress and how to participate.


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Rules:
WAC - Washington Administrative Code

Interpretive Statements:
ETA - Excise Tax Advisory
PTA - Property Tax Advisory

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

May 2016

ETA 3043.2016 explains the public utility tax deduction provided by RCW 82.16.053 to qualifying power and light businesses.
RCW 82.16.053 requires that the Department determine the state average electric power rate each year and inform taxpayers of this rate. This rate is used by the power and light businesses to compute the amount of the deduction. The revised ETA 3043 updates the information to provide the rate to be used for the period of July 2016 through June 2017.

WAC 458-16A-100 (Rule 16A-100) Senior citizen, disabled person, and one hundred percent disabled veteran exemption—Definitions contains definitions of the terms used for the senior citizen, disabled person, and one hundred
percent disabled veteran exemption from property taxes. Rule 16A-100 has been updated to narrow the meaning of “annuity” to more closely fit the traditional meaning of that term; replace the definition of “excess levies” with a reference to
a definition for that term contained in WAC 458-19-005; and revise the definition of “pension” to clarify that pensions triggered by a person’s disability are included within the meaning of that term.

Amendments to ten rules in chapter 458-53 WAC are as follows: WAC 458-53-020; 458-53-030; 458-53-050; 458-53-070; 458-53-080; 458-53-100; 458-53-140; 458-53-160; 458-53-200; and 458-53-210. The following three rules are not being repealed or amended and will remain the same: WAC 458-53-095, 458-53-105, and 458-53-135. These rules describe procedures for determination of indicated ratios of real and personal property for each county to accomplish the equalization of property values. Procedures in this chapter are designed to promote uniformity and equity in property taxation throughout the state.

WAC 458-20-101 Tax registration and tax reporting explains the process of submitting a business license application to become registered with the Department of Revenue as well as reporting requirements. The rule has been amended to:

  • update terms and formatting;
  • update non-reporting status requirements;
  • identify information required to process a business license application, such as social security number and federal employer identification number of the owner(s);
  • remove references to seasonal tax reporting accounts as they no longer apply; and
  • clarify when a change in ownership or location requires a new business license application.

April 2016

WAC 458-20-19404 (Rule 19404) Financial institutions - Income apportionment explains how financial institutions must apportion gross income when they engage in business both within and outside the state. RCW 82.04.460(2) provides that the Department adopt a rule for the
apportionment of income of financial institutions that is consistent with the model adopted by the Multistate Tax Commission (MTC). Rule 19404 has been amended to remain consistent with the MTC’s change in its model method of apportionment
for financial institutions that becomes effective January 1, 2016. There are no changes from the previous emergency rule filed December 28, 2015 under WSR 16-02-010.

Updates WAC 458-07-010 Valuation and revaluation of real property - Introduction, and WAC 458-07-015 Revaluation of real property to incorporate legislative changes from SSB 5275, Sec. 102 through Sec. 104, 2015 Regular Session (Chapter 86, Laws of 2015). WAC 458-07-020 Revaluation of real property – Multiyear counties is repealed. Further, language contained in repealed rule WAC 458-07-020 is transferred to WAC 458-07-015 at new subsection (5), with clarifying language that the revaluation is “after a value is certified for the current year.”

ETA 3114.2016 explains the application of the substantial underpayment penalty. The ETA has been amended to update terminology consistent with the language found in WAC 458-20-100 Informal administrative reviews.

ETA 3133.2016 announces the withdrawal of certain published determinations, or Washington Tax Decisions (WTDs), that should no longer be followed. The ETA has been amended to update terminology consistent with the language found in WAC 458-20-100 Informal administrative reviews.

March 2016

WAC 458-20-260 (Rule 260) Oil spill response and tax administration explains the provisions of chapter 82.23B RCW which imposes an oil spill response tax and an oil spill administration tax. Rule 260 has been amended to include that the same taxes imposed on crude oil or petroleum products received at a marine terminal also apply, effective July 1, 2015, on the same type of products received at a bulk oil terminal. Definitions for “bulk oil terminal” and “tank car” have been added, and existing definitions have been updated based on Chapter 274, Laws of 2015.

WAC 458-20-13601 has been revised based on chapter 5, Laws of 2015 3rd Special Session (ESSB 6138)
to add:

  • To the definition of “manufacturer” a person that is engaged in the development of prewritten computer
    software that is not transferred to purchasers by means of tangible storage media; and
  • The definitions of an affiliated group and an ineligible person. Exemptions provided by RCW
    82.08.02565 and 82.12.02565 do not apply to an ineligible person, which includes an affiliated group,
    effective August 1, 2015, unless the machinery and equipment was first used by the taxpayer in
    Washington before August 1, 2015.

 

WAC 458-20-169 has been revised due to 2015 legislation to:

  • Reflect the use tax exemption increase for tangible personal property for values of less than $10,000 to
    values of less than $12,000 as provided by RCW 82.12.225 (Chapter 32, Laws of 2015 3rd Special Session
    (ESB 6013));
  • Add information pertaining to the new B&O tax exemption (RCW 82.04.755 (Chapter 15, Laws of 2015
    (ESHB 1060)) for grants received to fund certain education programs as provided by RCW 70.93.180(1)(b)(ii); and
  • Delete reference to resale certificates, as resale certificates were replaced by reseller permits effective
    January 1, 2010.

 

WAC 458-20-272 has been revised due to 2015 legislation to:

  • Add information on the new studded tire fee of $5.00, passed during the 2015 3rd
    Special Session (Chapter 44 (2ESSB 5987)); and
  • Revise the title of the rule to Tire fee—Studded tire fee-Core deposits or credits.

 

ETA 3003.2016 explains the tax reporting responsibilities of persons providing Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong classes. It has been updated with a header to explain that the ETA is only valid for tax reporting periods through December 31, 2015, and instructs the reader to refer to RCW 82.04.050 or dor.wa.gov for tax reporting requirements beginning January 1, 2016.

ETA 3104.2016 clarifies the distinction between physical fitness services and therapeutic activities and instructional lessons in physical fitness. It has been updated with a header to explain that the ETA is only valid for tax reporting periods through December 31, 2015, and instructs the reader to refer to RCW 82.04.050 or dor.wa.gov for tax reporting requirements beginning January 1, 2016.

ETA 3167.2016 clarifies the distinction between nontaxable charges and taxable charges often associated with sport activities and sporting events. It has been updated with a header to explain that the ETA is only valid for tax reporting periods through December 31, 2015, and instructs the reader to refer to RCW 82.04.050 or dor.wa.gov for tax reporting requirements beginning January 1, 2016.

ETA 3122.2016 addresses the application of the manufacturers’ machinery and equipment (M&E) exemption to design and product development.  It has been updated to explain that certain software developers are eligible for the sales and use tax exemptions for M&E pursuant to Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill (ESSB) 6138, Part III.

February 2016

WAC 458-20-102 Reseller permits. This rule provides information pertaining to reseller permits issued by the Department.
The Department has revised Rule 102 to remove outdated information and terminology. In addition, a reference to WAC 458-20-192 Indians – Indian country, and an example explaining that services performed on foreclosed properties are retail sales, has been added.

WAC 458-20-167 Educational institutions, school districts, student organizations, and private schools provides guidance on the business and occupation (B&O) tax and retail sales and use tax reporting responsibilities of educational institutions, school districts, student organizations, private schools, and persons operating nursery schools, preschools, or providing child care.
Rule 167 has been revised to incorporate legislative changes from:

  • HB 1550 (Chapter 169, Laws of 2015) that simplifies the taxation of amusement, recreation, and physical fitness services;
  • ESHB 2075 (chapter 535, Laws of 2009) relating to the taxation of certain products and services provided or furnished electronically.

 

WAC 458-20-228 Returns, payments, penalties, extensions, interest, stays of collection. Proposal incorporates the legislative changes from ESSB 6138, Sec. 401 (Chapter 5, Laws of 2015) that increases the penalties for late payments as follows:

  • Five percent to nine percent;
  • Fifteen percent to nineteen percent; and
  • Twenty-five percent to twenty-nine percent.
    Clarifying language was also added throughout, including changing “section” to “rule,” updating legislative cites to statutory cites, and updating formatting.

 

Updates WAC 458-18-020 Deferral of special assessments and/or property taxes—Qualifications for deferral to incorporate legislative changes enacted in the 3rd Special Session of 2015, specifically: SSB 5186, Sec. 3 (Chapter 30, Laws of 2015).

Updates WAC 458-14-026 Assessment roll corrections agreed to by taxpayer and WAC 458-16A-140 Senior citizen, disabled person, and one hundred percent disabled veteran exemption—Exemption described—Exemption granted—Exemption denied—Freezing property values to incorporate legislative changes from SSB 5275, 2015 Regular Session (Chapter 86, Laws of 2015).

WAC 458-20-22802 Electronic filing and payment,WAC 458-20-254 Recordkeeping, WAC 458-20-267 Annual reports for certain tax adjustments,WAC 458-20-277 Certified service providers—Compensation, and WAC 458-20-27701 Model 2 volunteer sellers—Compensation

Proposal incorporates the legislative changes from SSB 5275, 2015 Regular Session (Chapter 86, Laws of 2015). Changes are made concerning:

  • Sec. 309 defining the term “tax” for chapter 82.32 RCW;
  • Sec. 310 concerning recordkeeping and examination requirements; and
  • Sec. 401 concerning the taxability matrix.
    Clarifying language added throughout, including changing “section” to “rule,” updating legislative cites to statutory cites, and formatting updates.

 

WAC 458-20-100 Informal administrative reviews. This rule, previously titled “Appeals,” explains the procedures for administrative review of actions of the Department or of its officers and employees in the assessment or collection of taxes. The Department is amending this rule to clarify that the Department’s administrative review is an informal review by the Department, and not an independent review such as that conducted by the Board of Tax Appeals or the Thurston County Superior Court. In addition, the amended rule describes a more streamlined and efficient administrative review process.

WAC 458-20-183 explains the tax reporting instructions for persons who provide amusement, recreation, and physical fitness services. RCW 82.04.050 is the statute that explains the taxability of these same activities and services. The statute was significantly amended in 2015 due to legislation (House Bill 1550) which changed the taxability of many of these activities and services. The Department will begin the standard rulemaking process in 2016 to reflect these changes, but until the final rule is adopted the Department wants the public to be aware that many of the tax reporting instructions in Rule 183 are only valid through December 31, 2015.

WAC 458-20-15503 Proposal incorporates changes from SSB 5275, Sec. 310 (Chapter 86, Laws of 2015) concerning recordkeeping and examination requirements. Clarifying language was also added throughout by changing “section” to “rule.”

January 2016

WAC 458-20-261 This rule discusses the various commute trip reduction incentives available. Rule 261 is being revised to recognize passage of Second Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5987, chapter 44 , Laws of 2015, which extends the commute trip reduction credit expiration date from June 30, 2017 to July 1, 2024. Other changes include:
Allowing carryover credits to be used for tax reporting periods through December 31, 2016;

  • Requiring all credits approved after June 30, 2015 be used for tax reporting periods within the calendar year they are approved by Department of Revenue;
  • Lowering the maximum credit a taxpayer can receive per year to $100,000;
  • Providing a maximum 15 day extension to apply for the credit for circumstances beyond the control of the taxpayer; and
  • Requiring taxpayers to apply for the credit electronically, and claim the credit on their return electronically.

 

ETA 3187.2016 clarifies what “operationally complete” means when used in the following Chapters of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW): 82.60 RCW; 82.63 RCW; 82.74 RCW; and 82.75 RCW.  The ETA explains the importance of identifying the “operationally complete” date, and provides information pertaining to filing annual surveys, when an investment project has more than one manufacturing line, and the use of an investment project for a non-qualifying use.

ETA 3198.2016 This ETA addresses the taxation of income from sales of home service contracts and mixed service contracts, and the use of parts and repair services covered under such contracts.

WAC 458-20-210 Sales of tangible personal property for farming-Sales of agricultural products by
farmers
explains the application of business and occupation, retail sales, and use taxes to the sale and/or use of
feed, seed, fertilizer, spray materials, and other tangible personal property for farming. The rule also explains the application
of the same taxes to the sales of products by farmers. Revisions are supported by chapter 6, Laws of 2015 (ESSB 6057 Part
XI) and chapter 86, Laws of 2015 (SSB 5275 Section 202).

WAC 458-20-210 (Rule 210) has been revised to include:

  • Eligible apiarists in the definition of farmer;
  • Honey bee products as an agricultural product;
  • Definition of who is an eligible apiarist;
  • Definition of what are honey bee products;
  • Expanded B&O tax exemption on wholesale sales to include bee pollination services to
  • farmers;
  • Language pertaining to the requirements of new tax preferences (RCW 82.32.808);
  • Updated expiration date for RCW 82.04.4266 and RCW 82.04.4268 to July 1, 2025; and
  • An exemption certificate for RCW 82.08.900 and 82.12.900 (Anaerobic digesters) will no
    longer be issued by the Department. Persons claiming exemptions may complete a Farmers’
    Certificate for Wholesale Purchases and Sales Tax Exemptions found on the Department’s
    web site.
    The following has been removed from Rule 210:
  • The subsection “Machinery, equipment, and structures used to reduce emissions from field
    burning” as exemptions provided by RCW 82.08.840 and 82.12.840 expired in 2011; and
  • The Department issues an exemption certificate for RCW 82.08.890 and 82.12.890 upon
    receipt of application. (Effective June 12, 2014, persons claiming exemptions may complete
    and use a Farmers’ Certificate for Wholesale Purchases and Sales Tax Exemptions in lieu of
    the Department issued certificate.)

 

Updates WAC 458-19-070 and WAC 458-19-075 to incorporate 2015 legislation:
ESHB 2263 (Chapter 24, Laws of 2015), creating, funding, and imposing tax for Cultural Access Program; and
2ESSB 5987 (Chapter 44, Laws of 2015), creating, funding, and imposing tax for Regional Transit Authority.
WAC 458-19-070 Five dollars and ninety cents statutory aggregate limit calculation explains the prorationing process used
to establish a consolidated levy rate when the assessor finds the statutory aggregate levy rate exceeds five dollars and
ninety cents per thousand dollars of assessed value.
WAC 458-19-075 Constitutional one percent limit calculation explains how to determine if the constitutional
one percent limit is being exceeded and the sequence in which levy rates will be reduced or eliminated if exceeded.

 

WAC 458-20-13501 Timber harvest operations The Department is proposing revision to WAC 458-20-13501 to:

  • Define log transportation businesses and indicate that effective August 1, 2015, a reduced PUT rate is available to
    most log transportation businesses (RCW 82.16.020, Chapter 6, 2015 Laws 3rd Special Session);
  • Update and add statute references;
  • Update definition for “small harvester” to match RCW 84.33.035;
  • Update reporting requirements on timber purchases including the extended expiration date of July 1, 2018, as
    provided by RCW 84.33.088; and
  • Revise language pertaining to “services furnished jointly” to correspond with the statute and Puget Sound v Dep’t of
    Revenue, 158 Wash. App. 616 (2010).

 

WAC 458-20-176 Commercial deep sea fishing - Commercial passenger fishing - Diesel Fuel explains the business and occupation (B&O) tax, sales tax and use tax
responsibilities of those engaged in commercial deep sea fishing and suppliers selling to those persons. Rule 176 has been
revised to:
 Include information pertaining to RCW 82.04.4269 that allows a B&O tax exemption for value of product or
proceeds of sales for manufactured seafood products that remain in a raw, raw frozen or raw salted state at the
completion of the manufacturing by that person or when the same is sold to buyers that transport the seafood
products out of the state of Washington. This exemption, not previously discussed in the rule, has been extended to
July 1, 2025. Chapter 6, 2015 Laws 3rd Special Session (ESSB 6057).
 Add an introduction and references to other rules that may be helpful to readers.
 Remove verbiage pertaining to and the example of the “Diesel Fuel Exemption Certificate” as no longer needed.
Qualified buyers should use the Buyers’ Retail Sales Tax Exemption Certificate found on the Department’s website.