The Washington (WA) state sales tax rate is currently 6.5%. Depending on local municipalities, the total tax rate can be as high as 9.5%.
Other, local-level tax rates in the state of Washington are quite complex compared against local-level tax rates in other states. Washington sales tax may also be levied at the city/county/school/transportation and SPD (special purpose district) levels.
Washington sales tax is one of the most challenging states to monitor and maintain due to the complex levels of local and special purpose taxes. Maintaining accuracy for this state is demanding and time consuming.
Amazon.com is headquartered in Washington State, where it also owns and operates several fulfillment centers and customer service centers. This physical presence, or nexus, creates a sales tax obligation for Amazon and many sellers participating in Amazon’s Seller Central and Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) programs.
All businesses making retail sales of taxable tangible personal property and services in Washington must collect sales tax. As a Streamlined Sales Tax state, Washington encourages businesses without a sales tax obligation to register with the state and collect. Additional information.
How to Register
Businesses required to collect sales tax must register with the Washington Department of Revenue. Online applications are usually processed within a few days, while the processing of paper applications submitted by mail can take up to three weeks. However, paper applications are recommended for certain activities. Business Licensing Guide.
Businesses selling into multiple states may register with the Streamlined Sales Tax Project.
How to File and Pay
Monthly and quarterly Washington sales and use tax returns must be filed online through the Department of Revenue’s online filing tool. Annual filers are encouraged to file online. Zero returns (no sales tax due) are required. Additional information.
The Department of Revenue will notify registered businesses of their filing frequency (monthly, quarterly, or annual), which is based on annual estimated income.
Due dates vary according to filing frequency:
- Monthly returns are due by the 25th of the month following the reporting period.
- Quarterly returns are due by the last day of the month following the reporting period.
- Annual returns are due by January 31 of the following year.
Avalara Sales and Use Tax Products for Washington
AvaTax – AvaTax is a powerful, online sales tax compliance solution that provides all businesses with a level of sales tax automation that until now has been available only to Fortune 500 companies. AvaTax’s transaction-based service model and seamless integration into business applications gives you rapid access to all jurisdiction assignments and real-time sales tax calculations. Cutting-edge technologies and superior processing logic can manage even the most complicated tax issues, such as situs, nexus, tax tiers, tax holidays, exemptions, certificate management and product taxability rules.
TrustFile - Avalara TrustFile provides detailed sales tax reporting for online sellers. Allowing businesses to know exactly where, when and how much to file. Ecommerce business owners can use TrustFile to determine whether or not they are collecting the right amount of sales tax in each individual state, and then store a record of their sales tax history securely in the cloud for free.