The state of Washington raises a good part of its revenue through Washington sales tax. However, certain business transactions qualify for a Washington tax exemption. Those seeking to get an exemption on business purchases must generally register for a Washinton seller’s ID number. They can then use Washington tax exempt forms to obtain a Washington sales tax exemption on purchases made for resale and certain other business transactions.
Complete any required business filings with the Washington Secretary of State. The state requires certain kinds of business entities, such as limited liability partnerships and limited liability companies, to register at the state level. This includes nonprofit corporations. Always do this first before anything else when starting a business that is registered with the Washington Secretary of State. You will use the official business name when registering for Washington sales taxes and claiming exemptions on those taxes.
Check to see if you need a federal employer identification number. This EIN number is the number that operates sort of like a social security number for businesses. It is used when reporting federal taxes but is also used on state business documents. You can find out how to register for an EIN over at the Internal Revenue Service website at IRS.gov. Search for “EIN” with the search engine at the top of each page.
Register as a business seller in Washington. This is basically a Washington sales tax account. You will get a sales tax ID number to use when sending in sales taxes to the state. As a registered seller, you can then use Washington tax exempt forms when purchasing items to get a Washington tax exemption on sales tax.
To get this number and other related Washington business numbers, fill out a “Master Business Application” with the Washington State Department of Licensing at Dol.wa.gov/business/file.html. You have several options for filing to collect and remit Washington sales tax. Just read about all of the options on that page.
After you get registered through the Department of Licensing and the Washington Department of Revenue (this is part of the master application), you can then use Washington tax exempt forms to get a tax exemption on sales taxes.
First, download the Washington “Buyers’ Retail Sales Tax Exemption Certificate” at Dor.wa.gov/docs/forms/excstx/exmptfrm/buyersretailtxexmptcert_e.pdf. Read through this to see if your business purchases qualify under this Washington tax exemption form.
Second, open up the “Exemption Forms” page at Dor.wa.gov/content/getaformorpublication/formbysubject/forms_exempt.aspx. There are multiple general and specialized types of Washington tax exempt forms and resale certificates on this page. Choose the one that applies to your purchase. Fill it out and give it to the seller when making a purchase that qualifies for a Washington sales tax exemption.
Washington Department of Revenue Sales Tax Exemption Forms