Paper currency sold for any purpose other than legal tender is a sale of tangible personal property. The sale is subject to either wholesaling or retailing business and occupation (B&O) tax. When retailing B&O tax applies, retail sales tax also applies on the gross selling price, including the face value.
Paper currency sold or exchanged as legal tender is exempt from retailing B&O tax and retail sales tax.
Coins and precious metal bullion
Gross income from sales of precious metal bullion (gold bars, processed nuggets, etc.) and monetized bullion (coins, etc.) are generally exempt from wholesaling and retailing B&O tax and retail sales tax. This applies even if the bullion is sold for more than face value.
"Precious metal bullion" is any processed, smelted or refined precious metal valued on its content, not form (RCW 82.04.062).
Precious metals include:
- "Monetized bullion" is a coin or other forms of money made from metal and used as an exchange medium under the laws of a government (RCW 82.04.062).
Sales of bullion for manufactured items such as jewelry or works of art are taxable. Retailing B&O tax and retail sales tax would apply on such sales to consumers.
Commissions from sales of precious metal bullion, monetized bullion and paper currency are subject to service and other activities B&O tax.
For more information, see WAC 458-20-248.