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Motivation by Sales Tax Exemption

 One more reason to race: registration fees are sales tax exempt in Washington.

If you toy with the idea of entering a race but balk at the expense or the effort it entails, perhaps Washington State’s new policy will be just the motivation you need.

Effective January 1, 2016, Washington retail sales tax does not apply to registration fees for biking, racing and running events. Retail sales tax applied to registration fees for races held prior to that date.


In the event retail sales tax was collected on registration fees for races occurring on or after January 1, 2016, the tax must be either refunded to participants or remitted to the Washington State Department of Revenue.

Race organizers who have already remitted tax to the department may still refund race participants, and in turn be refunded by the department, provided they furnish proof that sales tax was refunded to the participant. To learn more about requesting a retail sales tax refund from the Department of Revenue, see Apply for a tax refund.

Race swag

Washington retail sales tax still applies to items sold at race events, such as bags, hats and t-shirts. B&O tax is also owed on the gross sales proceeds. Additional information.

Keep it simple

Automate sales tax compliance.

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.