US government sales

Sales made directly to the United States government are exempt from retail sales and lodging taxes. However, sales made to individual federal employees (including members of the military) are not exempt, even if they will receive reimbursement from the federal government.

Acceptable payment types

To qualify for the exemption you must keep records showing you received one of the following payment types:

  • Qualified U.S. government credit card (only blue Travel, gray Tax Advantage Travel, gold Integrated cards, and centrally billed purchase cards can be used for lodging).
  • Check from the United States payable directly to the lodging business.
  • United States voucher.
  • Electronic funds transfer made by the United States.

Additional record requirements

If you receive payment by qualified credit card you must also keep the following information in addition to a receipt:

  • Federal employee’s name.
  • Type of agency card (e.g. travel or integrated).
  • Expiration date of credit card.
  • Name of credit card company.
  • The sixth digit of the card for Travel or Tax Advantage Travel cards:
    • For Travel cards this must be a 6, 7, 8, 9, or 0.
    • For Tax Advantage Travel cards this must be a 5.
  • The first four digits of the card for centrally billed purchase cards:
    • For Visa cards this must be 4614 or 4716.
    • For Mastercard this must be 5565 or 5568.

Business and occupation (B&O) tax

You must pay B&O tax on gross income from sales to the United States government. The retail sales and lodging tax exemptions do not extend to B&O tax.


WAC 458-20-166(5)(f)

WAC 458-20-190