Capital Gains Excise Tax generates $896 million for education, school construction

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Jan. 17, 2024 – First-year returns for the capital gains excise tax have exceeded early forecasts, bringing in more than $896 million slated for education and school construction.

Since taxpayers began filing capital gains tax returns early in 2023:

  • $937,461,292 has been collected.
  • 3,895 returns have been filed.
  • $41.8 million of the total collected in overpaid taxes has been returned due to overpayment.
  • Additional statistical data available here.

Revenue collected by the tax each fiscal year is earmarked for education, with the first $500 million going to the education legacy trust account, and the remainder deposited into the common school construction account.

Revenue collections have not yet been finalized. Many taxpayers received filing extensions in April and were required to complete their filings and payments in October. A number of those returns are still being processed in addition to those that have been amended since filing.

About capital gains

The capital gains tax is a 7% excise tax on the sale or exchange of long-term capital assets such as stocks, bonds, business interests, or other investments and tangible assets. For tax year 2022 (taxes due in April 2023), the tax applied after a standard $250,000 deduction of capital gains. That deduction amount was raised for tax year 2023 to $262,000 of capital gains.

The tax only applies to individuals and to gains allocated in Washington state. Individuals could be liable for the tax if they have an ownership interest in a pass-through or disregarded entity that sells or exchanges long-term capital assets.

Tax year 2023 returns are due at the same time taxpayers file their federal tax returns - April 15.

For more information about the capital gains tax visit Revenue’s website.


The Department of Revenue is Washington state’s primary tax agency, nationally recognized as a trusted leader in tax administration and customer service. Revenue administers nearly 60 categories of taxes that help fund vital public services. It also oversees programs that return money to the public, including the Working Families Tax Credit and Unclaimed Property.