Fare income

Income received by taxicab drivers (and taxicab owners operating their own taxicabs) for transporting passengers or property is subject to the public utility tax (PUT) under either the motor or urban transportation classifications. These classifications are defined in RCW 82.16.010 and outlined below.

Persons subject to public utility (PUT) are exempt from payment of this tax for any reporting period in which the gross taxable amount reported under the combined total of all PUT tax classifications does not equal or exceed the maximum exemption for the assigned reporting period.

Per RCW 82.16.040, the PUT exemption amounts are for taxpayers reporting:

Monthly… $2,000 per month
Quarterly… $6,000 per quarter
Annually… $24,000 per annum

The amount subject to the PUT is the full value of cash, credit card charge slips, taxi scrip and account vouchers received for providing the taxicab service. (There are no deductions allowed for dispatching and cashiering services.)

Urban Transportation: Operation of any motor vehicle by which persons or property are moved for hire within five miles of the city limits or entirely within the city limits.

Motor Transportation: All other operations of any motor vehicle by which persons or property are moved for hire.

For further clarification of the five mile requirement, and what qualifies as urban transportation, please refer to the Department’s Trucking Guide.

People engaged in both urban and motor transportation are taxable under the motor transportation classification unless they have segregated their income in their records.
WAC 458-20-180

The PUT is reported on the Public Utility Tax Addendum of the excise tax return.

The current tax rate for Urban Transportation is .00642. The current tax rate for Motor Transportation is .01926.

Use our Motor & Urban Transportation Lookup Tool to determine which tax applies, based on the starting and ending address.