How to file a sales tax return in Washington Washington: Sales Tax Handbook


How to file your sales taxes in Washington

Once your business has a Washington sales tax license and begins to make sales, you are required to start collecting sales taxes on behalf of the Washington government and filing regular sales tax returns. This page will help you understand the basics of your tax collection and filing responsibilities.

How To Collect Sales Tax In Washington

If the seller has an in-state location in the state of Washington, they are legally required to collect sales tax at the tax rate where the product is being delivered, as Washington is a destination based sales tax state. This means that a business located in Washington who makes a sale is required to charge sales tax at the rate of the buyer's own local sales tax.

If the seller's location is out of state, then the state of Washington still requires the seller to charge sales tax based on the buyer's location. This means that a seller located in Texas making a sale to a buyer located in Washington would charge the sales tax at the buyer's local rate.

Sales Tax Collection Discounts In Washington

While many states allow merchants to keep a small percentage of the sales tax they collect as a collection discount, or compensation for the work put in collecting the tax on behalf of the state, Washington does not currently allow this.

Your Washington Sales Tax Filing Requirements

To file sales tax in Washington, you must begin by reporting gross sales for the reporting period, and calculate the total amount of sales tax due from this period.

The state of Washington provides taxpayers with two options for both filing and paying Washington sales tax. You can either file online at the Washington Department of Revenue and remit your payment using their online system, or you may file by mail using various forms.

Tax payers should be aware of a late filing penalty; as a 15% penalty is due after the final day of the month after the return's due date, and if filing is not completed by the final day of the following month, the penalty percentage due rises to 25%. The minimum penalty for a late payment is five dollars.

The state of Washington also requires every seller who owns a sales tax permit to file a sales tax return on the required day, even if it is a "zeroed-out" tax return, and there is nothing to report.

Your Washington Sales Tax Filing Frequency & Due Dates

Your business's sales tax return must be filed by the 25th of the month following reporting period for monthly filers, for other filing periods on the last day of the month following reporting period. For a list of this year's actual due dates, see our calendar of Washington sales tax filing due dates.


Where To File Your Washington Sales Tax Return:

Filing Your Washington Sales Tax Returns Online

Washington supports electronic filing of sales tax returns, which is often much faster than filing via mail.

All monthly and quarterly filers are required to both file and pay electronically.

Washington allows businesses to make sales tax payments electronically via the internet.

Electronic payments are required for taxpayers who are filing returns each month, or by the quarter.

You can process your required sales tax filings and payments online using the official Washington DOR website, which can be found here . You should have received credentials to access your Washington DOR account when you applied for your Washington sales tax license.

Filing Your Washington Sales Tax Returns Offline

While it is highly recommended that you file online using the Washington DOR website, it is possible to file your required sales tax reportings offline using Washington Form RTL 14 A, which you can download and print here . Once you have completed your required reportings, you can mail it to the state at this address:

Washington Sales Tax Filing Address:
State of Washington
Department of Revenue
PO Box 47464
Olympia, WA 98504-7464

Please note that if you file your Washington sales taxes by mail, it may take significantly longer to process your returns and payments.

Simplify Washington sales tax compliance! We provide sales tax rate databases for businesses who manage their own sales taxes, and can also connect you with firms that can completely automate the sales tax calculation and filing process. Click here to get more information.

  Back to Washington Sales Tax Handbook Top
** This Document Provided By SalesTaxHandbook **