Are you required to collect sales tax on all your food sales?
If your prepared food sales are greater than 75 percent of your total food sales, then you are required to collect sales tax on all of your food sales, with the exception of sales of packages containing four or more servings.
Please note that you can choose to collect sales tax on all your food sales, then you are not required to perform the following calculations.
Information and tools regarding 75 percent rule
- Special Notice - Is prepared food more than 75 percent of your total food sales?
- Prepared Food Calculator (.xlsx)
- Excise Tax Advisory 3184.2013 - Applying the 75 percent Test Computation to Multiple Business Establishments
Other resources for sellers of food and drinks
- Spirits sales
- Reseller Permit
Effective July 28, 2019, restaurant licensees can add an endorsement to sell Soju in 375 ml bottles to customers. Although Soju is a spirit, the customer is charged retail sales tax on opened bottles when the restaurant pours the first drink and leaves the bottle at the table. The restaurant’s customer has the opportunity to take any remaining Soju off premise, if the bottle is properly recapped by the restaurant.
Spirts taxes are collected by the distributor on sales of Soju to the restaurant.
Washington Administrative Codes (WACs)
- 458-20-119 Sales by caterers and food service contractors
- 458-20-124 Restaurants, cocktail bars, taverns and similar businesses
- 458-20-244 Food and food ingredients
Additional Special Notices
- Personal Chefs (Issued January 2013)
- King County Food & Beverage Tax Expires (Issued July 25, 2011)
- Restaurants Providing Complimentary Meals to Employees (Issued May 24, 2011)
- Taxability of Soft Drinks (Updated October 31, 2012)
- "Prepared Food" Tax Changes (Issued May 29, 2007)
- Litter Tax Exemptions for Prepared Food and Beverages (Issued June 16, 2005)
- Dietary Supplements - Sales Tax Changes (Issued April 16, 2004)
- Retailers of Fountain Drinks: B&O Tax Credit for Syrup Tax Paid (Issued April 14, 2006)
- Sales of Bakery Items (Issued April 7, 2004)
Excise Tax Advisory
- Meal Assembly Kitchens (ETA 3168.2011)