(1) Definitions. As used herein the term "vending machines" means machines which, through the insertion of a coin will return to the patron a predetermined specific article of merchandise or provide facilities for installing, repairing, cleaning, altering, imprinting, or improving of tangible personal property of or for consumers. It includes machines which vend photographs, toilet articles, cigarettes and confections as well as machines which provide laundry and cleaning services.
(2) The term "amusement devices" means those devices and machines which, through the insertion of a coin, will permit the patron to play a game. It includes slot and pinball machines and those machines or devices which permit the patron to see, hear or read something of interest.
(3) The term "service machines" means any coin operated machines other than those defined as "vending machines" or "amusement devices." It includes, for example, scales and luggage lockers, but does not include coin operated machines used in the conduct of a public utility business, such as telephones and gas meters; also excluded are shuffleboards and pool games.
(4) Business and occupation tax. Persons operating vending machines are engaged in a retailing business and must report and pay tax under the retailing classification with respect to the gross proceeds of sales.
(5) Persons operating amusement devices, except shuffleboard, pool, and billiard games, are taxable under the service and other business activities classification on the gross receipts therefrom.
(6) Persons engaged in operating shuffleboards or games of pool or billiards are taxable under the retailing classification on the gross receipts therefrom and are responsible for collecting and reporting to the department the retail sales tax measured by the gross receipts therefrom.
(7) Persons operating service machines are taxable under the service and other business activities classification upon the gross income received from the operation of such machines.
(8) When coin operated machines are placed at a location owned or operated by a person other than the owner of the machines, under any arrangement for compensation to the operator of the location, the person operating the location has granted a license to use real property and will be responsible for reporting and paying tax upon his gross compensation therefor under the service classification.
(9) Where the owner of amusement devices which are placed at the location of another has failed to pay the gross receipts tax and/or retail sales tax due, the department may proceed directly against the operator of the location for full payment of all tax due.
(10) Retail sales tax. The retail sales tax applies to the sale of merchandise through vending machines and persons owning and operating such machines are liable for the payment of such tax. (However, see WAC 458-20-244
for vending machine sales of food.) For practical purposes such persons are authorized to absorb the amount of the tax on the individual sales and to pay directly to the department the retail sales tax on the total amount received from such machines.
(11) Effective March 11, 1986, on all retail sales through vending machines the tax need not be stated separately from the selling price or collected separately from the buyer. (See RCW 82.08.050
.) The seller may deduct the tax from the total amount received in the machines to arrive at the net amount which becomes the measure of the tax.
(12) Where a vending machine is designed or adjusted so that single sales are made exclusively in amounts less than the minimum sale on which a 1¢ tax may be collected from the purchaser, and the kind of merchandise sold through such machines is not sold by the operator over the counter or other than through vending machines at that location, the selling price for purposes of the retail sales tax shall be 60% of the gross receipts of the vending machine through which such sales are made. This 60% basis of reporting is available only to persons selling tangible personal property through vending machines.
(13) In order to qualify for the foregoing reduction in the measure of the retail sales tax, the books and records of the operator must show for each vending machine for which such reduction is claimed: (a) The location of the machine, (b) the selling price of sales made through the machine, (c) the type and brands of merchandise vended through the machine and (d) the gross receipts from that machine. The foregoing records may be maintained for each location, rather than for each machine, in cases where several machines are maintained by the same operator at the same location, provided that all of such machines make sales exclusively in amounts less than the minimum sale on which a 1¢ tax may be collected. The reduction will be disallowed in any instance where sales made through vending machines in such amounts are not clearly and accurately segregated from other sales by the operator and the burden is on the operator to make sales under such conditions and to maintain such records as to demonstrate absolute compliance with this requirement.
(14) Every operator or owner of a vending machine, before taking a deduction from gross sales through certain vending machines, shall file with the department annually an addendum to his application for registration with the department, on a form provided by the department, which form shall contain the following information:
(a) Number of vending machines in his ownership making sales under the above minimum.
(b) Value of such sales in the most recent calendar year.
(c) A statement that no sales are made by the owner or operator at any machine location of articles or products sold through such machines, except by vending machines and no provision is made either through the machine or otherwise, for multiple sales under circumstances where the tax may legally be collected from the buyer.
(15) The department will require a bond sufficient to assure recovery of any disallowed discount of tax due in any instance of registration where the department has reason to feel such recovery could be in jeopardy.
(16) Sales of vending machines, service machines and amusement devices to persons who will operate the same are sales at retail and the retail sales tax is applicable to all such sales.
(17) Use tax. The use tax applies to all tangible personal property used by persons making sales through vending machines, upon which the retail sales tax has not been paid, except inventory items resold through such machines.
Revised April 28, 1978.
Effective July 1, 1978.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300. 86-18-022 (Order ET 86-15), § 458-20-187, filed 8/26/86. Statutory Authority: RCW 82.01.060(2) and 82.32.300. 78-07-045 (Order ET 78-4), § 458-20-187, filed 6/27/78; Order ET 73-1, § 458-20-187, filed 11/2/73; Order ET 71-1, § 458-20-187, filed 7/22/71; Order ET 70-3, § 458-20-187 (Rule 187), filed 5/29/70, effective 7/1/70.]