deals with interstate and foreign commerce and is published in four separate parts:
Sales of goods originating in Washington to persons in other states.
Sales of goods originating in other states to persons in Washington.
Imports and Exports: Sales of goods from or to persons in foreign countries.
Transportation, communication, public utility activities, or other services in interstate or foreign commerce.
Business and Occupation Tax, Public Utility Tax
In computing tax there may be deducted from gross income the amount thereof derived as compensation for performance of services which in themselves constitute interstate or foreign commerce to the extent that a tax measured thereby constitutes an impermissible burden upon such commerce. A tax does not constitute an impermissible burden upon interstate or foreign commerce unless the tax discriminates against that commerce by placing a burden thereon that is not borne by intrastate commerce, or unless the tax subjects the activity to the risk of repeated exactions of the same nature from other states. Transporting across the state's boundaries is exempt, whereas supplying such transporters with facilities, arranging accommodations, providing funds and the like, by which they engage in such commerce is taxable.
Examples of Exempt Income:
(1) Income from those activities which consist of the actual transportation of persons or property across the state's boundaries is exempt.
(2) That portion of commissions received by local brokers or commission merchants for interstate or foreign sales which was paid to out-of-state independent agents is exempt.
(3) Income from services rendered by an out-of-state branch or office of the taxpayer regularly maintained outside the state is exempt. (See WAC 458-20-194
Examples of Taxable Income:
(1) Compensation received by persons engaged in business within this state for performance of business activities which are only ancillary to transportation across the state's boundaries is taxable.
(2) Compensation received by merchandise brokers or commission merchants for services rendered within this state to principals engaged in interstate or foreign commerce is taxable.
(3) Compensation received by contracting, stevedoring or loading companies for services performed within this state is taxable.
Persons engaged in stevedoring and associated activities involving the movement of goods and commodities in waterborne interstate or foreign commerce are subject to business tax at the rate .0033 upon the gross proceeds from such activities. Stevedoring and associated activities means all activities of a labor, service, or transportation nature whereby cargo is loaded or unloaded to or from vessels or barges, passing over, onto, or under a wharf, pier, or similar structure, including also the moving of cargo to a warehouse or similar holding or storage yard or area to await further movement in import or export; also the movement to a consolidation freight station to be stuffed, unstuffed, containerized, separated or otherwise segregated or aggregated for delivery or loading on any mode of transportation for delivery to its consignee. Specific activities included in this definition are: Wharfage, handling, loading, unloading, moving of cargo to a convenient place of delivery to the consignee or a convenient place for further movement to export mode; documentation services in connection with the receipt, delivery, checking, care, custody and control of cargo required in the transfer of cargo; imported automobile handling prior to delivery to consignee; terminal stevedoring and incidental vessel services, including but not limited to plugging and unplugging refrigerator service to containers, trailers, and other refrigerated cargo receptacles, and securing ship hatch covers.
Persons engaging in business as an international steamship agent, international customs house broker, international freight forwarder, vessel and/or cargo charter broker in foreign commerce, or international air cargo agent are subject to business tax at the rate .0033 upon gross income with respect to such international activities.
In computing public utility tax, there may be deducted from gross income so much thereof as is derived from actually transporting persons or property or transmitting communications or electrical energy, from this state to another state or territory or to a foreign country and vice versa.
Persons, including dock companies or wharfage companies, are permitted no deduction from gross income of amounts received for services performed in this state consisting of the handling of cargo or freight even though such cargo or freight has moved or will move across the state's boundaries.
No deduction is permitted with respect to gross income derived from activities which are ancillary to transportation across the state's boundaries, such as income received by a wharf company or warehouse company for the storage of goods. The mere ownership or operation of facilities by means of which others engage in foreign or interstate commerce is an activity ancillary to such commerce and any income received therefrom is taxable.
Insofar as the transportation of goods is concerned, the interstate movement of cargo or freight ceases when the goods have arrived at the destination to which it was billed by the out-of-state shipper, and no deduction is permitted of the gross income derived from transporting the same from such point of destination in this state to another point within this state. Thus, freight is billed from San Francisco, or a foreign point, to Seattle. After arrival in Seattle it is transported to Spokane. No deduction is permitted of the gross income received for the transportation from Seattle to Spokane. Again, freight is billed from San Francisco, or a foreign point, to a line carrier's terminal, or a public warehouse in Seattle. After arrival in Seattle it is transported from the line carrier's terminal or public warehouse to the buyer's place of business in Seattle. No deduction is permitted of the gross income received as transportation charges from the line carrier's terminal or public warehouse to the buyer's place of business in Seattle.
The interstate movement of cargo or freight begins when the goods are committed to a carrier for transportation out of the state, which carrier will start the transportation to a point outside the state.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300
. WSR 83-07-033 (Order ET 83-16), § 458-20-193D, filed 3/15/83; Order ET 74-1, § 458-20-193D, filed 5/7/74; Emergency Order ET 74-6, filed 9/30/74 and Emergency Order ET 74-7, filed 10/3/74, effective 1/1/75; Order ET 70-3, § 458-20-193D (Rule 193 Part D), filed 5/29/70, effective 7/1/70.]