Employee meals

Are employee meals subject to tax?

Complimentary meals that a restaurant provides to the employees of the restaurant are not subject to sales tax, B&O tax, or use tax.

This exemption from sales tax, use tax and business and occupation (B&O) tax is only for meals provided without a specific charge to restaurant employees and does not apply to meals provided to other employees that work outside of the restaurant.

Sales of meals to employees where there is a specific charge remain subject to sales tax and retailing B&O tax.

A “meal” means one or more items of prepared food or beverages other than alcoholic beverages.

References: RCW 82.04; RCW 82.08; RCW 82.08.9995; RCW 82.12