Spirits (hard liquor) sales tax

What is the spirits sales tax?

The spirits sales tax is a tax on the selling price of spirits in their original container. The term "spirits" includes any beverage containing alcohol obtained by distillation, including wines with more than 24 percent alcohol by volume.

What is the spirits sales tax rate?

The tax rate for sales to consumers is 20.5 percent

The tax rate for on-premises retailers such as restaurants, bars, etc., is 13.7 percent.

Since spirits purchases made by licensed on-premises retailers are for resale, their wholesale spirits purchases have a lower spirits sales tax rate.

Note: The regular retail sales tax does not apply to sales of spirits unopened in the original container; however, it does apply to sales of spirits by the drink (glass). RCW 82.08.150

How do I pay the tax?

If you sell spirits, you will collect the spirits sales tax from your customer and remit it to the Department of Revenue on your excise tax return. You are to remit the tax monthly and file it electronically using My DOR. If you have a waiver to file a paper return, report the sales on the Spirits Sales Tax Addendum.

For more information on the sale of spirits in Washington State, visit our Privatizing spirits sales in Washington State page.