Use tax is a tax imposed on the use of personal or medical goods in Washington when the goods were acquired without paying sales tax. It is computed at the same rate as the sales tax. Unless specifically exempt by law, all personal goods purchased or used in this state are subject to either the sales tax or use tax, but not both, regardless of where or from whom the property is purchased.
There are many instances where sales tax may not be collected by the seller. In those cases, including the examples listed below, the purchaser must pay use tax directly to the state.
- Catalog purchases from an out-of-state seller
- Internet purchases from an out-of-state seller
- Inventory withdrawals for use by the business
The following equipment and supplies are subject to use/deferred sales tax if sales tax was not previously paid:
- Equipment and supplies such as nail clippers, scissors, scalpels, and sterile silicon tubing used for laboratory purposes.
- Any personal or medical goods consumed while performing any activity taxable under the service and other activities B&O tax. Examples include masks, synthetic gloves, toilet paper, bandages, cotton gauze, and items sent home with patients.
- Computer equipment, prewritten software, and maintenance contracts that include updates to prewritten software.