Use tax

Use tax is a tax on the use of goods or certain services in Washington when you have not paid sales tax. Goods you use in this state are subject to either sales or use tax, but not both.

You owe use tax on items you use for business or personal purposes. This includes:

  • items you use for your business including display fixtures, equipment, point of sale systems and security cameras

  • merchandise you give to friends, employees and others

  • merchandise you use yourself

    However, you do not owe use tax on merchandise you donate to nonprofits without any intervening use (RCW 82.12.02595). You must keep documentation supporting the donation in your records.

Items for display

You do not owe use tax on merchandise you use for display while it is held for sale. You must collect and report sales tax applies when you sell the item.

Gift-wrapping and packaging supplies

You do not owe use tax on gift-wrapping and packaging supplies you use to wrap merchandise. You may buy these items with a reseller permit without paying sales tax.