Washington Online Sales Tax Now Law

1,100 retailers collecting taxes

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Online shoppers who are residents of the state of Washington will now have to start paying sales tax on purchases made on the Internet.

Starting today Washington joins 18 other states that require some online retailers to collect sales tax. About 1,100 ecommerce retailers have agreed to collect taxes in exchange for the state not going after them for back taxes.

Last year Washington passed the law to require online retailers to collect sales tax. The new law changes the state’s tax system from origin-based to destination-based. Taxes will be collected based on the location of the buyer, not the location of the seller.

"This is a very important step,"Mark Johnson, vice president of government affairs for the Washington Retail Association, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "It’s a major changing of our tax structure."

Brick-and-mortar stores support the online sales tax saying that it allows for fairer competition with ecommerce businesses.

Most smaller businesses do not support the new tax law. They will have to implant new software in order to identify Washington’s 350 taxing districts. They are also concerned about the law becoming national, as they would then be required to sift through thousands of tax codes and file returns throughout the year for each code.


Washington Online Sales Tax Now Law
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  • Randy

    This is one of the more stupid laws ever devised. It’s really a way to keep us smaller people from going online and doing e commerce. I simply cannot afford to even try to keep up with the inane variations of tax collections or purchase the necessary software to track the sales tax. My little e book and used books ales can’t even be a possible threat to brick and morter stores. Collect Tax when I sell instate using my location? Fine, no problem. Destination taxing is just a way to make money for SOFTWARE SCALPERS with the blessing of the State of Washington. There simply isn’t any other reason to use destination taxation. NONE. I’ve already seen two book sellers on Amazon THAT WILL NOT SELL USED books to Washington State residents. I guess I won’t be selling to WA State residents, either.

  • http://danielleparsons.com Danielle Parsons

    This is a case of government gone wild. I operate a small business and entrepreneurship is what created America. Washington State is currently running in surplus every year and our Governor was smart to propose a rainy day fun for hard economic times.

    My small business is finally growing close to the point of break even every month and now the state government expects me to start collecting taxes?

    I am a disabled veteran that lost my job to outsourcing and entrepreneurship was the answer to finding a way to survive in this expensive state. We are already taxed enough here. I am paying close to $200 per month in property taxes.

    Both of the companies I represent as a distributor are based outside of Washington State. I can actually just set up accounts for any local customers with both of these companies and then this solves my having to deal with implementing a local sales tax.

    If I did not have a way around this tax, I would no longer be bringing in enough income each month to cover my expenses. In my opinion, any tax that discourages small business owners and entrepreneurship is WRONG!

    I think this issue will end up being challenged in court. I saw a story about Amazon versus New York State. Amazon has no physical prescence in NY State so why should they collect sales tax for NY State?

  • John Lopez

    So sad…another thorn in the side of Americans who continue to lose their competitive advantage. 

    I am so glad I live outside her borders with my online sales shop so that I do NOT have to charge my WA customers this stupid tax.  And if they go after me, who cares!  I move my site to a new server, my merchant account is in another country, and my assets are not within their jurisdiction.   Good Luck Bureauratz!   TRANSLATION?  I WIN and nice hard workging U.S.A. CITIZENS LOSE, AGAIN! 

    Any more stupid rules you guys want to put forth?  I could use more business!

    America?  I love her but come on guys…..give yourself a chance to compete again!  I am rooting for you…….gotta go, my phat bank account is calling.

  • Guest

    How in the name of all that is Good is destination taxation going to help anything.  I guess i could start selling only outside the USA then there would be no destination taxation.  That’s making it more difficult to sell within the USA.  OMG! i can’t imagine this being successful.

  • Guest

    How is the state of Washington going to know about the sales from businesses outside their state? Are consumers reporting purchases?

  • Guest

    Gov’t officials sitting around thinking this crap up. It’s not what the people want and if voted no one with go with crap. Fix your own budgets and cut the no good programs – the state makes enough make it work good god. I would love to see the public vote on this… they all would look like idiots. Do your JOB!

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