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Washington State Sales Tax Exemption for Nonresidents

  • Nov 11, 2014 | Gail Cole

 Certain nonresidents are eligible from an exemption from sales tax in Washington.


Washington Department of Revenue reminds that recreational marijuana is not exempt.

Purchases of tangible personal property, digital goods and digital codes that will be used only outside of Washington are exempt from sales tax for residents of the following:

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon
  • American Samoa
  • Alberta, Canada
  • Northwest Territories, Canada
  • Nunavut, Canada
  • Yukon Territory, Canada

It should be noted that persons who are dual residents of any of the above listed areas and Washington State are not eligible for the exemption. And if a resident of NH buys a book at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and starts reading in the terminal, sales tax is owed on that purchase. If the book is not read until the plane leaves the ground (and state airspace?), it is exempt.

The sales tax exemption does not apply to the following sales:

  • Lodging (hotels, motels)
  • Repair services (parts may be exempt)
  • Laundry or dry cleaning services
  • Automobile towing or parking
  • Amusement and recreational activities (bowling, charter fishing, golf, …)
  • Personal services (dating services, tanning, tattooing, …)
  • Meals or refreshments prepared for immediate consumption
  • Abstract, title insurance, escrow services
  • Articles sold to members of the military stationed within Washington; nonresident students attending schools in the state any other nonresident temporarily residing in Washington.

Nonresidents must also pay retail sales tax on purchases of “marijuana, useable marijuana, and marijuana infused products, including marijuana concentrates.”

Sellers are required to document exempt sales to eligible nonresidents. Specific retail sales tax exemptions and documentation requirements exist for sales of farm machinery or implements, motor vehicles and trailers, watercraft. Additional information.

Create, validate, store and manage sales tax exemption and reseller certificates in the cloud. Learn more.

Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.