Avalara Taxrates > Blog > Sales Tax News > The State of Virtual Currency in Washington State - Avalara

The State of Virtual Currency in Washington State

  • Feb 4, 2015 | Gail Cole

 Sales tax applies to taxable sales in Washington even when payment is in virtual currency.

Businesses in Washington State Department of Revenue reminds that retail sales tax and Retailing B&O tax apply to taxable sales of tangible personal property, digital products and certain services even when payment is in virtual currency.

The rate of tax is “measured by the amount accepted in terms of dollars,” which is generally the advertised sales price. The department provides the following example: If a customer pays 0.134 bitcoin for a widget advertised as costing $50, the measure of tax is $50.

If sales tax isn’t collected by the retailer at the time of sale, the buyer is responsible for remitting use tax “on the same taxable value as would apply for retail sales tax.”

Measure of tax not affected by virtual currency fluctuation

The measure of tax remains $50 even if “the virtual currency value fluctuates before the business redeems it.”

Pay taxes with real money

Virtual currencies such as Bitcoin may be gaining in popularity, but they are still not an acceptable form of payment for taxes. Additional information.

Simplify sales tax for all transactions by moving transaction tax management to the cloud. Learn more.

photo credit: MamaDeFuego via photopin cc


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.