Common nonresident exemptions

All nonresidents may be exempt from sales tax based on one of the following:

  • The type of item sold (for example, vehicles and trailers, watercraft, or farm machinery).
  • Where it was received by the customer (delivery and receipt outside Washington are interstate or foreign sales).
  • Who the customer is (for example, a wholesale business or the U.S. Government).

Qualified nonresidents may be able to request a refund of the state portion of sales tax paid on purchases they made in Washington. See the State Sales Tax Refund for Qualified Nonresidents for more details.

Documentation requirements

Use any links provided to find the correct exemption form for your purpose.

As a buyer, it is important to present to the seller, at the time of purchase, the correct exemption form for the item you are purchasing to avoid paying retail sales tax.

As a seller, when the proper exemption forms are provided to you, you need to keep the documentation to justify why you did not collect retail sales tax.

Type of item sold:

When filing your excise tax return, the deduction for Qualified Nonresident Sales is no longer available. If sales of the listed items were made to nonresidents with an exemption form use the new deduction for Instate sales of motor vehicles, etc. to nonresidents found in the retail sales tax deduction page.

Where the item was received by the buyer

  • Items shipped out-of-state and received by the buyer out-of-state.

When filing your excise tax return for items that were delivered out-of-state, use the Interstate and Foreign Sales deduction found in the retail sales tax deduction page.

Who the customer is


  • When the buyer is going to resell the item, the sale is exempt from retail sales tax. These sales should be reported under the Wholesaling tax classification if proper documentation is received.
  • To document the wholesale nature of the sale, your buyer must provide you with a reseller permit or other form such as the Multi-State Tax Exemption Certificate.

U.S. government

  • A sales tax exemption is allowed for purchases made by the federal government when purchases with an approved US government credit card. For more information on approved US government credit cards, see the Special Notice “How to document your United States government credit card purchases.
  • Sales made using this exemption are reported under the Retailing and Retail Sales Tax classifications with a deduction for Sales to US government from retail sales tax.

ICC or Motor Carrier permit holder

  • A sales tax exemption is allowed for certain purchases by motor carriers who operate in interstate and foreign commerce. In order to qualify for the exemption, the purchaser must give the seller an exemption certificate at the time of purchase. See section 4 of the Buyers’ Retail Sales Tax Exemption Certificate.
  • Sales made using this exemption are reported under the Retailing of Interstate Transportation Equipment tax classification and no deduction is needed.