Penalty waivers

En español: Exenciones de sanciones

Русский язык: Отмена штрафов

普通话: 罚金豁免

한국어: 벌금 면제

Tiếng Việt: Miễn tiền phạt

How do I know if my return is on time?

  • Monthly returns are due on the 25th of the following month.
  • Quarterly returns are due the end of the month following the tax quarter. (i.e. The Quarter 1 (Jan, Feb, Mar) return is due April 30.)
  • Annual returns are due April 15 of the following year. (e.g. The Annual 2019 tax return is due April 15, 2020)

If the due date falls on a weekend or legal holiday, the Department of Revenue (DOR) extends the due date to the next business day.

For more information, see our Filing due dates.

Note: If you are a mandatory Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) participant, please check the EFT due dates chart to determine when the state’s bank must receive your payment.

What is my penalty if I file or pay a return late?

The law requires DOR to assess a 9% late penalty if the tax due on a return filed by a taxpayer is not paid by the due date. Late penalties of 19 to 29% proceed as follows:

  • 19% penalty due after the last day of the month following the return's due date;
  • 29% penalty due after the last day of the second month following the return's due date.
  • Note: The minimum penalty for late payment is $5.

Does the department grant penalty waivers?

Yes, DOR has the authority to waive delinquent or late return penalties under limited circumstances:

  • The first circumstance is when the underpayment of tax, or the failure to pay any tax by the due date, happened because of circumstances beyond the taxpayer’s control. For more information, see WAC 458-20-228. Lack of funds, being unaware that taxes are due, or not receiving the return in the mail are generally not considered circumstances beyond the taxpayer’s control, and would not qualify for this type of penalty waiver.
  • When a taxpayer has filed and paid (on time) all tax returns required for 24 months prior to the period in question, the department has the authority to waive a penalty even when the late filing was not the result of a circumstance beyond the taxpayer’s control. This type of penalty is only available for one return within a 24-month period.

How do I request a penalty waiver?

If your return payment is late and you feel you have a qualifying situation, you may request consideration for a penalty waiver. You should submit a request in writing with the late return and tax payment. If you file electronically, there is a box to check to request a penalty waiver. You may also Contact us to request a penalty waiver by mailing a letter or sending a secure message.

Note: The taxpayer has the burden of proving that the penalty waiver request is valid.