Sales tax exemptions on sales of vehicles and trailers, watercraft, and farm machinery or implements have different requirements. See the links at the bottom of this page for more information.
Effective April 1, 2013, British Columbia (BC) replaced its Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) with a provincial sales tax. This does not change the fact that BC residents do not qualify for the nonresident sales tax exemption when shopping in Washington State.
Retailers that provide the exemption to BC residents are liable for any uncollected sales tax if audited.
A sales tax exemption exists for certain nonresidents of Washington State on purchases of tangible personal property, digital goods, and digital codes, that will be used only outside of this state. This exemption is only available to residents of states, United States possessions, or
Canadian provinces where:
- There is no retail sales tax, use tax, value added tax, or gross receipts tax on retailing activities, or similar generally applicable tax, or
- The retail sales tax, use tax, value added tax, or gross receipts tax on retailing activities, or similar generally applicable tax is less than three percent.
Sellers are not required to make tax-exempt sales
Sellers are not required to make tax-exempt sales to nonresidents. However, sellers who choose to make tax-exempt sales must meet the requirements provided below under "Instructions to Sellers."
This exemption is only available at the time of purchase. Sellers are not required to make such exempt sales. If the seller chooses to collect the sales tax, buyers can not request a refund from the Department.