458-20-240  <<  458-20-24001 >>   458-20-24003

Sales and use tax deferralManufacturing and research/development activities in high unemployment countiesApplications filed after June 30, 2010.

(1) Introduction.
Chapter 82.60 RCW established a limited sales and use tax deferral program. The purpose of the program is to promote economic stimulation, create new employment opportunities in distressed areas, and reduce poverty in certain distressed counties of the state. RCW 82.60.010.
(a) Deferral program. This deferral program applies to an eligible investment project for sales and use taxes imposed on the construction, expansion, or renovation of qualified buildings or acquisition of qualified machinery and equipment. The program requires the recipient of the deferral to maintain the manufacturing or research and development activity for an eight-year period.
This rule does not address specific requirements of RCW 82.08.02565 and 82.12.02565 that provide statewide sales and use tax exemptions for machinery and equipment used directly in a manufacturing operation. Repayment of tax deferred under chapter 82.60 RCW is not required, and interest and penalties under RCW 82.60.070 will not be imposed, on machinery and equipment that qualifies for exemption under RCW 82.08.02565 or 82.12.02565. For additional information on statewide sales and use tax exemptions for machinery and equipment refer to WAC 458-20-13601.
(b) Program enacted. The legislature first enacted this program in 1985. It has since made major revisions to the program criteria, specifically to the definitions of "eligible area," "eligible investment project," and "qualified building." For applications made prior to July 1, 2010, see WAC 458-20-24001A.
(c) Administration of employment and related programs. The employment security department and the department of commerce administer programs for high unemployment counties and job training and should be contacted directly for information concerning these programs.
(d) Examples. Examples found in this rule identify a number of facts and then state a conclusion. These examples should be used only as a general guide. The tax results of other situations must be determined after a review of all facts and circumstances.
(2) Definitions. For the purposes of this rule, the following definitions apply:
(a) "Acquisition of machinery and equipment" means the machinery and equipment is under the dominion and control of the recipient or its agent.
(b) "Applicant" means a person applying for a tax deferral under chapter 82.60 RCW.
(c) "Certificate holder" means an applicant to whom a tax deferral certificate has been issued.
(d) "Community empowerment zone (CEZ)" means an area meeting the requirements of RCW 43.31C.020 and officially designated as a CEZ by the director of the department of community, trade, and economic development.
(e) "Date of application" means the date of the U.S. Post Office postmark, fax, or electronic transmittal, or when the application is hand delivered to the department. The statute in effect on the "date of application" will determine the program criteria the applicant must satisfy.
(f) "Department" means the department of revenue.
(g) "Eligible area" means:
(i) Beginning July 1, 2010, an eligible area is a county that has an unemployment rate, as determined by the employment security department, which is at least twenty percent above the state average for the three calendar years immediately preceding the year in which the list of qualifying counties is established or updated, as the case may be. RCW 82.60.020.
The department, with the assistance of the employment security department, established a list of qualifying counties effective July 1, 2010. RCW 82.60.120. The list of qualifying counties is effective for a twenty-four-month period and must be updated by July 1st of the year that is two calendar years after the list was established or last updated, as the case may be; or
(ii) A designated community empowerment zone approved under RCW 43.31C.020. RCW 82.60.049.
(h) "Eligible investment project" means an investment project that is located, as of the date the application required by RCW 82.60.030 is received by the department, in an eligible area. "Eligible investment project" does not include any portion of an investment project undertaken by a light and power business as defined in RCW 82.16.010, other than that portion of a cogeneration project that is used to generate power for consumption within the manufacturing site where the cogeneration project is an integral part. It also does not include investment projects that have already received deferrals under chapter 82.60 RCW. RCW 82.60.020 and 82.60.049.
(i) "Industrial fixture" means an item attached to a building or to land. Examples of "industrial fixtures" are fuel oil lines, boilers, craneways, and improvements to land such as concrete slabs.
(j) "Initiation of construction" means the date that a building permit is issued under the building code adopted under RCW 19.27.031 for:
(i) Construction of the qualified building, if the underlying ownership of the building vests exclusively with the person receiving the economic benefit of the deferral;
(ii) Construction of the qualified building when the lessor pays, if the economic benefits of the deferral are passed to a lessee as provided in subsection (3) of this rule; or
(iii) Tenant improvements for a qualified building when the owner/lessor pays, if the economic benefits of the deferral are passed to a lessee as provided in subsection (3) of this rule; or
(iv) Tenant improvements for a qualified building when the lessee pays and receives the benefit of the deferral.
"Initiation of construction" does not include soil testing, site clearing and grading, site preparation, or any other related activities that are initiated before the issuance of a building permit for the construction of the foundation of the building.
If the investment project is a phased project, "initiation of construction" shall apply separately to each phase.
(k) "Investment project" means an investment in qualified buildings or qualified machinery and equipment, including labor and services rendered in the planning, installation, and construction of the project.
(l) "Manufacturing" has the meaning given in RCW 82.04.120. Manufacturing, in addition, includes the activities performed by research and development laboratories and commercial testing laboratories, and the conditioning of vegetable seeds.
For purposes of this rule, both manufacturers and processors for hire may qualify for the deferral program as being engaged in manufacturing activities. For additional information on processors for hire, refer to WAC 458-20-136.
For purposes of this rule, "vegetable seeds" include the seeds of those crops that are grown in gardens and on truck farms and are generally known and sold under the name of vegetable or herb seeds in this state. "Vegetable seeds" include, but are not limited to, cabbage seeds, carrot seeds, onion seeds, tomato seeds, and spinach seeds. Vegetable seeds do not include grain seeds, cereal seeds, fruit seeds, flower seeds, tree seeds, and other similar properties.
(m) "Office" means space used by professional, clerical, or administrative staff. For plant office space to be a qualified building its use must be essential or integral to the manufacturing or research and development operation. Office space that is used by supervisors and their staff, by technicians, by payroll staff, by the safety officer, and by the training staff are examples of qualifying office space. An office may be located in a separate building from the building used for manufacturing or research and development activities, but the office must be located at the same site as the qualified building to qualify. Each individual office may qualify or disqualify only in its entirety.
(n) "Operationally complete" means the project is capable of being used for its intended purpose as described in the application.
(o) "Person" has the meaning given in RCW 82.04.030. "Person" does not include the state of Washington or its institutions. "Person" may be either a lessee or a lessor/owner, who can apply separately for individual investment projects at the same site, if they comply with the other requirements of chapter 82.60 RCW.
(p) "Qualified buildings" means construction of new structures, and expansion or renovation of existing structures for the purpose of increasing floor space or production capacity, used for manufacturing or research and development activities. "Qualified buildings" includes plant offices and warehouses or other facilities for the storage of raw material or finished goods if such facilities are an essential or an integral part of a factory, mill, plant, or laboratory used for manufacturing or research and development. "Qualified buildings" include construction of:
• Specialized sewerage pipes connected to a qualified building that are specifically designed and used exclusively for manufacturing or research and development; and
• Parking lots connected to or adjacent to the building if the parking lots are for the use of workers performing manufacturing or research and development in the building. Parking lots may be apportioned based on qualifying use.
"Qualified buildings" does not include construction of landscaping or most other work outside the building itself, even though the landscaping or other work outside the building may be required by the city or county government in order for the city or county to issue a permit for the construction of a building.
(q) "Qualified employment position" means a permanent full-time employee employed in the eligible investment project during the entire tax year. The "entire tax year" means the full-time position is filled for a period of twelve consecutive months. "Full-time" means at least thirty-five hours a week, four hundred fifty-five hours a quarter, or one thousand eight hundred twenty hours a year.
(r) "Qualified machinery and equipment" means all new industrial and research fixtures, equipment, and support facilities that are an integral and necessary part of a manufacturing or research and development operation. "Qualified machinery and equipment" also includes computers; desks; filing cabinets; photocopiers; printers; software; data processing equipment; laboratory equipment; manufacturing components such as belts, pulleys, shafts and moving parts; molds, tools and dies; operating structures; and all equipment used to control or operate machinery. It also includes machinery and equipment acquired under the terms of a lease by the recipient. "New" as used in this subsection means either new to the taxing jurisdiction of the state or new to the certificate holder.
(s) "Qualifying county" means a county that has an unemployment rate, as determined by the employment security department, which is at least twenty percent above the state average for the three calendar years immediately preceding the year in which the list of qualifying counties is established or updated, as the case may be.
(t) "Recipient" means a person receiving a tax deferral under this program.
(u) "Research and development" means the development, refinement, testing, marketing, and commercialization of a product, service, or process before commercial sales have begun, but only when such activities are intended to ultimately result in the production of a new, different, or useful substance or article of tangible personal property for sale. For purposes of this rule, "commercial sales" excludes sales of prototypes or sales for market testing if the total gross receipts from such sales of the product, service, or process do not exceed one million dollars.
(v) "Site" means one or more immediately adjacent parcels of real property. Adjacent parcels of real property separated only by a public road comprise a single site.
(w) "Warehouse" means buildings or facilities used for the storage of raw materials or finished goods. A warehouse may be located in a separate building from the building used for manufacturing or research and development activities, but to qualify the warehouse must be located at the same site as the qualified building. Warehouse space may be apportioned based on qualifying use.
(3) Who is eligible for the sales and use tax deferral program? A person engaged in manufacturing or research and development activity is eligible for this deferral program for its eligible investment project.
(a) The lessor or owner of the qualified building is not eligible for deferral unless:
(i) The underlying ownership of the buildings, machinery, and equipment vests exclusively in the same person; or
(ii) The lessor, by written contract, has agreed to pass the economic benefit of the deferral to the lessee;
(iii) The lessee that receives the economic benefit of the deferral agrees in writing with the department to complete the annual survey required under RCW 82.60.070; and
(iv) The economic benefit of the deferral passed to the lessee is no less than the amount of tax deferred by the lessor and is evidenced by written documentation of any type of payment, credit, or other financial arrangement between the lessor or owner of the qualified building and the lessee.
For example, the economic benefit of the deferral can be passed through to the lessee when evidenced in writing that the amounts paid to the lessor for construction of tenant improvements are reduced by the amount of the sales tax deferred. Another method of passing the economic benefit is if the lessee receives a credit for tenant improvements or other mechanism in the lease, equal to the amount of the sales tax deferred.
(b) The lessor of the qualified building who receives a letter of intent from a qualifying lessee may be eligible for deferral, assuming that all other requirements of chapter 82.60 RCW are met. At the time of application, the lessor, or another qualifying lessee must provide to the department a letter of intent by the lessee to lease the qualified building and any other information to prove that the lessee will engage in qualified manufacturing or research and development once the building construction is complete. After the investment project is certified as operationally complete, the lessee must actually occupy the building as a lessee and engage in qualified manufacturing or research and development. Otherwise, deferred taxes will be immediately due from the lessor.
The following examples illustrate the application process with lessors and lessees.
Example 1. Prior to the initiation of construction, Owner/Lessor AA enters into an agreement with Lessee BB, a company engaged in qualified manufacturing or research and development. Under the agreement, AA will build a building to house BB's research and development activities, will apply for a tax deferral on construction of the building, will lease the building to BB, and will pass on the economic benefit in the amount of the deferral to BB. BB agrees in writing with the department to complete annual tax incentive surveys. AA applies for the deferral before the initiation of construction that is prior to the date the building permit is issued. AA is entitled to a deferral on building construction costs assuming all eligibility qualifications are met.
Example 2. The following example assumes no deferral on initial construction activity. After the building construction has begun, Lessee CC asks that certain tenant improvements be added to the building. Lessor DD and Lessee CC each agree to pay a portion of the cost of the improvements. DD agrees with CC in writing that DD will pass on the entire value of DD's portion of the tax deferral to CC, and CC agrees in writing with the department to complete annual tax incentive surveys. CC and DD each apply for a deferral on the costs of the tenant improvements they are legally responsible for before the date the building permit is issued for the tenant improvements. The department will approve both applications assuming all eligibility qualifications are met. While construction of the building was initiated before submission of the applications, tenant improvements on a building under construction are deemed to be the expansion or renovation of an existing structure. In addition, lessees are entitled to the deferral only if they are legally responsible and actually pay contractors for the improvements, rather than merely reimbursing lessors for the costs.
Example 3. After building construction has begun but before machinery or equipment has been acquired, Lessee EE applies for a deferral on machinery and equipment. The department will approve the application assuming all eligibility qualifications are met, and EE will be required to complete annual tax incentive surveys. Even though it is too late to apply for a deferral of tax on building costs, it is not too late to apply for a deferral for the machinery and equipment.
(4) What if an investment project is located in an area that qualifies as a high unemployment county and as a CEZ? If an investment project is located in an area that qualifies under more than one type of eligible area, the department will automatically assign the project to the eligible area that imposes the least burden on the taxpayer and with the greatest benefit to the taxpayer. If the applicant elects to be bound by the requirements of the other potential eligible area, the applicant must make a written statement to that effect.
Example 4. On October 1, 2014, a city in a high unemployment county qualifies as a CEZ, and the high unemployment county is on the list as a qualifying county. The CEZ employment requirements are more restrictive than those for qualifying counties. The department will assign the project to the qualifying county designation unless the applicant elects in writing to be bound by the CEZ employment requirements. Refer to subsection (7) of this rule for more information on the application process.
(5) When is apportionment of qualified buildings appropriate? The deferral is allowable only in respect to investment in the construction of a new building or the expansion or renovation of an existing building used in manufacturing or research and development. Where a building(s) is used partly for manufacturing or research and development and partly for purposes that do not qualify for deferral under this rule, apportionment is necessary.
(a) What are the apportionment methods? The deferral is determined by one of the following two apportionment methods. The first method of apportionment is based on square footage and does not require tracking the costs of materials for the qualifying/nonqualifying areas of a building. The second method of apportionment tracks the costs of materials used in the qualifying/nonqualifying areas, and it is primarily used by those industries with specialized building requirements.
(i) First method. The applicable tax deferral is determined by apportionment according to the ratio of the square footage of that portion of the building(s) directly used for manufacturing or research and development purposes bears to the square footage of the total building(s).
Apportionment formula:
Eligible square feet of building(s)
=
Percent of building eligible
Total square feet of building(s)
Percent of building eligible x Total Project Costs = Eligible Costs.
"Total Project Costs" is the cost of multipurpose buildings and other improvement costs associated with the deferral project. Machinery and equipment are not included in this calculation.
Eligible Costs (as determined above) x Tax Rate = Eligible Tax Deferred.
Example 5. A taxpayer is constructing a 10,000 square foot building, of which 8,000 square feet will be eligible for tax deferral. The cost of the project is $1,000,000. The combined sales/use tax rate at this location is 9.2%.
8,000 qualifying square feet
=
80 percent of the
building is eligible
10,000 total square feet
Based on the above apportionment formula, 80% of the building is eligible for deferral. By multiplying the qualifying percentage 80% by the cost of $1,000,000 to determine eligible costs of $800,000. Multiply the eligible cost of $800,000 by the sales/use tax rate of 9.2% to determine a sales/use tax deferral of $73,600.
(ii) Second method. If the applicable tax deferral is not determined by the first method, it will be determined by calculating the cost of construction of qualifying/nonqualifying areas as follows:
(A) Tax on the cost of construction of areas devoted solely to manufacturing or research and development may be deferred.
(B) Tax on the cost of construction of areas not used at all for manufacturing or research and development may not be deferred.
(C) Tax on the cost of construction of areas used in common for manufacturing or research and development and for other purposes, such as hallways, bathrooms, and conference rooms, may be deferred by apportioning the costs of construction on a square footage basis. The apportioned costs of construction eligible for deferral are established by using the ratio, expressed as a percentage, of the square feet of the construction, expansion, or renovation devoted to manufacturing or research and development, excluding areas used in common, to the total square feet of the construction, expansion, or renovation, excluding areas used in common. That percentage is applied to the cost of construction of the common areas to determine the costs of construction eligible for tax deferral. Expressed as a formula, apportionment of the common areas is determined by:
Square feet devoted to manufacturing or research and development, excluding square feet of common areas
 
 
=
Percentage of common areas eligible for deferral
Total square feet, excluding square feet of common areas
Example 6. Taxpayer is planning to build a 10,000 square foot building of which 7,000 square feet will be used for manufacturing and 1,000 square feet will be common area. The remaining portion of the building will not be eligible for any deferral. The cost of the project will be $850,000 for the manufacturing area, $260,000 for the common area, and $140,000 for the remaining portion of the building, for a total cost of construction of $1,250,000. The combined sales/use tax rate at this location is 8.8%.
7,000 square feet devoted to manufacturing, excluding square feet of common areas
 
=
78% of common areas eligible for deferral
9,000 total square feet, excluding square feet of common areas
Based on the apportionment formula: 78% of common area costs are eligible. Multiply the common area costs of $260,000 by 78% to determine that $202,800 of common area costs are eligible for deferral. Therefore the $850,000 for the manufacturing portion of the building plus the $202,800 for common areas total $1,052,800 of eligible project costs. Multiply the eligible project costs of $1,052,800 by the tax rate of 8.8% to determine a sales/use tax deferral of $92,646.
(b) Are qualified machinery and equipment subject to apportionment? Unlike buildings, machinery and equipment cannot be apportioned if used for both qualifying and nonqualifying purposes.
(c) To what extent is leased equipment eligible for the deferral? The amount of tax deferral allowable for leased equipment is the amount of the consideration paid by the recipient to the lessor over the initial term of the lease, excluding any period of extension or option to renew, up to the last date for repayment of the deferred taxes. After that date, the recipient must pay the appropriate sales taxes to the lessor for the remaining term of the lease.
(6) Are there any hiring requirements for an investment project? There may or may not be a hiring requirement, depending on the location of the project.
(a) High unemployment county. There are no hiring requirements for qualifying projects located in high unemployment counties.
(b) Community empowerment zone (CEZ). There are hiring requirements for qualifying projects located in CEZs or in counties containing CEZs. The applicant applies for a deferral of investment that correlates to the estimated number of persons to be hired based on a formula. The applicant will create a position and hire at least one qualified employee for each seven hundred fifty thousand dollars of qualified investment in the project. Refer to subsection (7) of this rule for more information on the application process. The recipient must fill the positions with persons who at the time of hire are residents of the CEZ. The persons must be hired after the date the application is filed with the department. As used in this subsection, "resident" means the person makes his or her home in the CEZ or the county in which the zone is located. A mailing address alone is insufficient to establish that a person is a resident. For example, a "P.O. Box" is not a valid address as it does not establish residence at a physical location where the person actually lives. A street address would be an example of a valid address.
The department has instituted a geographic information system (GIS) to assist taxpayers in determining taxing jurisdiction boundaries, local tax rates, and a mapping and address lookup system to determine whether a specific address is within a CEZ. The system is available on the department's web site at dor.wa.gov. A recipient must fill the qualified employment positions by the end of the calendar year following the year in which the project is certified as operationally complete and retain the positions during the entire tax year. Refer to subsection (12) of this rule for more information on certification of an investment project as operationally complete. If the recipient does not fill the qualified employment positions by the end of the second calendar year following the year in which the project is certified as operationally complete, all deferred taxes are immediately due.
(7) What are the application and review processes? An application for sales and use tax deferral under this program must be made prior to the initiation of construction, prior to taking possession of machinery and equipment, and prior to the filling of qualified employment positions. Persons, applying after construction is initiated or finished or after taking possession of machinery and equipment, are not eligible for the program. When an application for sales and use tax deferral is timely submitted, costs incurred before the application date are allowable, if they otherwise qualify. Applications for persons subject to hiring requirements must include information regarding the estimated total project cost and the qualified employment positions.
(a) How does a taxpayer obtain an application form? Application forms may be obtained at department district offices, by downloading from the department's web site at dor.wa.gov, by telephoning the telephone information center at 800-647-7706, or by contacting the department's special programs division at:
Special Programs Division
Department of Revenue
P.O. Box 47477
Olympia, WA 98504-7477
Email: DORdeferrals@dor.wa.gov.
Applicants must mail, email, or fax applications to the special programs division at the address, email address, or fax number given above. Applications approved by the department under chapter 82.60 RCW are not confidential and are subject to disclosure. RCW 82.60.100.
(b) Will the department approve the deferral application? In considering whether to approve or deny an application for a deferral, the department will not approve an application for a project involving construction unless:
(i) The construction will begin within one year from the date of the application; or
(ii) The applicant shows proof that, if the construction will not begin within one year of application, there is a specific and active program to begin construction of the project within two years from the date of application. Proof may include, but is not limited to:
(A) Affirmative action by the board of directors, governing body, or other responsible authority of the applicant toward an active program of construction;
(B) Itemized reasons for the proposed construction;
(C) Clearly established plans for financing the construction; or
(D) Building permits.
Similarly, after an application has been granted, a deferral certificate is no longer valid and should not be used if construction has not begun within one year from the date of application or there is not a specific and active program to begin construction within two years from the date of application. However, the department will grant requests to extend the period for which the certificate is valid if the holder of the certificate can demonstrate that the delay in starting construction is due to circumstances beyond the certificate holder's control such as the acquisition of building permit(s). Refer to subsection (9) of this rule for more information on the use of tax deferral certificates.
(c) When will the department notify approval or disapproval of the deferral application? The department will verify the information contained in the application and approve or disapprove the application within sixty days. If approved, the department will issue a tax deferral certificate. If disapproved, the department will notify the applicant as to the reason(s) for disapproval.
(d) May an applicant request a review of department disapproval of the deferral application? The applicant may request administrative review of the department's disapproval of an application, within thirty days from the date of notice of the disallowance, pursuant to the provisions of WAC 458-20-100, Appeals. The filing of a petition for review with the department starts a review of departmental action.
(8) What happens after the department approves the deferral application? The department will issue a sales and use tax deferral certificate for state and local sales and use taxes due under chapters 82.08, 82.12, and 82.14 RCW for an eligible investment project. The department will state on the certificate the amount of tax deferral the recipient is eligible for. Recipients must keep track of how much tax is deferred.
(9) How should a tax deferral certificate be used? A tax deferral certificate issued under this program is for the use of the recipient for deferral of sales and use taxes due on each eligible investment project. Deferral is limited only to investment in qualified buildings or qualified machinery and equipment as defined in this rule. Thus, sales and use taxes cannot be deferred on items that do not become part of the qualified buildings, machinery, or equipment. In addition, the deferral is not to be used to defer the taxes of the persons with whom the recipient does business, persons the recipient hires, or employees of the recipient.
The certificate holder must provide a copy of the tax deferral certificate to the seller at the time goods or services are purchased. The seller will be relieved of the responsibility for collecting sales or use tax upon presentation of the certificate. The seller must retain a copy of the certificate as part of its permanent records for a period of at least five years. A blanket certificate may be provided by the certificate holder and accepted by the seller covering all such purchases relative to the eligible project. The seller is liable for business and occupation tax on all tax deferral sales.
(10) May an applicant apply for multiple deferrals at the same project location? The department may not issue a certificate for an investment project that has already received a deferral under chapter 82.60 RCW. For example, replacement machinery and equipment that replaces qualified machinery and equipment is not eligible for the deferral. In addition, if an existing building that received a deferral under chapter 82.60 RCW for the construction of the building is renovated, the renovation is not eligible for the deferral unless the original deferral project is closed and has no more deferral requirements.
(a) If expansion is made from an existing building that has already received a deferral under chapter 82.60 RCW for the construction of the building, the expanded portion of the building may be eligible for the deferral. The expansion must be made for new square footage, either vertically or horizontally. Acquisition of machinery and equipment to be used in the expanded portion of the qualified building may also be eligible.
(b) A certificate may be amended or a certificate issued for a new investment project at an existing facility if all eligibility requirements are met.
(11) May an applicant or recipient amend an application or certificate? Applicants and recipients may make a written request to the special programs division to amend an application or certificate when the original estimates change.
(a) Assuming the project continues to meet all eligibility requirement, grounds for requesting amendment include, but are not limited to:
(i) The project will exceed the costs originally stated;
(ii) The project will take more time to complete than originally stated;
(iii) The original application is no longer accurate because of changes in the project;
(iv) The project location changes (only applicable to machinery and equipment); and
(v) Transfer of ownership of the project.
(b) An application may not be amended if the location of the qualified building changes. Taxes become immediately due if the project location changes after the application has been approved.
(c) The department must rule on the request within sixty days. If the request is denied, the department must explain in writing the basis for the denial. An applicant or recipient may appeal a denial within thirty days under WAC 458-20-100, Appeals.
(12) What are the processes for an investment project? An applicant must provide the department with the estimated cost of the investment project at the time the application is made. Following approval of the application and issuance of a tax deferral certificate, a certificate holder must notify the department, in writing, when the value of the investment project reaches the estimated cost as stated on the tax deferral certificate.
(a) What should a certificate holder do if its investment project reaches the estimated costs but the project is not yet operationally complete? If an investment project has reached its estimated costs and the project is not operationally complete, the certificate holder may request an amended certificate stating a revised amount on which the deferral taxes are requested along with an explanation for the increase in estimated costs. Requests must be mailed, emailed, or faxed to the department.
(b) What should a certificate holder do if its investment project reaches the completion date but the project is not yet operationally complete? If an investment project has reached the completion date and the project is not operationally complete, the certificate holder may request an amended certificate stating a revised completion date along with an explanation for the new completion date. Requests must be mailed, emailed, or faxed to the department prior to the expiration date on the certificate.
(c) What should a certificate holder do when its investment project is operationally complete? The certificate holder must notify the department in writing when the investment project is operationally complete. The project is operationally complete once it can be used for its intended purpose as described in the application. The department will certify the qualifying costs and the date when the project became operationally complete. The certificate holder of the deferral must maintain the manufacturing or research and development activity beginning the year the project is operationally complete and the following seven calendar years. It is important to remember that annual tax survey reporting requirements begin the year following the operationally complete date, even though the audit certification may not be complete. For information on submitting annual surveys, see subsection (13) of this rule.
Example 7. Taxpayer estimated a project end date of June 2015, but the project was actually operationally complete in November 2014. Taxpayer must submit the 2014 annual tax incentive survey by April 30, 2015. Taxpayer is responsible for notifying the department when the project is operationally complete regardless of the estimated completion date. If the 2014 annual tax incentive survey is not submitted timely, taxpayer will be assessed 12.5% of the deferred sales/use tax for this project.
Example 8. Taxpayer estimated a project end date of May 2014, but the project was actually not operationally complete until December 2014. Taxpayer must submit the 2014 annual tax incentive survey by April 30, 2015. Taxpayer is responsible for notifying the department when the project is operationally complete regardless of the estimated completion date. If the 2014 annual tax incentive survey is not submitted timely, taxpayer will be assessed 12.5% of the deferred sales/use tax for this project.
(i) If all or any portion of the project does not qualify, the recipient must repay all or a proportional part of the deferred taxes. The department will notify the recipient of the amount due and the due date.
(ii) The department must explain in writing the basis for not qualifying all or any portion of a project. The decision of the department to not qualify all or a portion of a project may be appealed under WAC 458-20-100, Appeals, within thirty days.
(13) Is a recipient of a tax deferral required to submit annual surveys? RCW 82.32.585 requires each recipient of a tax deferral to complete an annual tax incentive survey, every year, by April 30th for eight years following the year in which the project is operationally complete, regardless if the department has audited the project. If the economic benefits of the deferral are passed to a lessee as provided in RCW 82.60.025, the lessee must agree in writing to complete the annual tax incentive survey and the applicant is not required to complete the annual tax incentive survey. If the survey is not submitted by the due date, or any extension under RCW 82.32.590, the recipient of the tax deferral or lessee, if required to submit, will be billed 12.5% of the deferred tax amount. For example, the deferral project is operationally complete in 2014. The recipient is required to submit the 2014-2021 annual tax incentive surveys that are due by April 30, 2015-2022, respectively. For more information on the requirements to file annual tax incentive surveys refer to WAC 458-20-268.
(14) Is a recipient of a tax deferral required to repay deferred taxes for reasons other than not submitting the annual tax incentive survey? Repayment of tax deferred under chapter 82.60 RCW is waived, as long as all eligibility requirements are met, except as provided in RCW 82.60.070 and this subsection (14).
The following describes the various circumstances under which repayment of the deferral may occur. Outstanding taxes are determined as of December 31st of each year by reference to the following table. No proration is allowed for completing a partial year of the deferral use requirement.
Repayment Year
 
Percentage of
Deferred Tax Waived
1
(Year operationally complete)
0%
2
 
0%
3
 
0%
4
 
10%
5
 
15%
6
 
20%
7
 
25%
8
 
30%
Any action taken by the department to disqualify a recipient for tax deferral or assess interest will be subject to administrative review pursuant to the provisions of WAC 458-20-100, Appeals. The filing of a petition for review with the department starts a review of departmental action.
(a) Failure of investment project to satisfy general conditions. If based on the recipient's annual tax incentive survey or other information, including that submitted by the employment security department, the department finds that an investment project is not eligible for tax deferral for reasons other than failure to create the required number of qualified employment positions, including failure to continue qualifying activity, the department will declare the amount of deferred taxes outstanding to be immediately due. There is no proration of the amount owed under this subsection. No penalties or interest will be assessed on the deferred sales or use taxes; however, all other penalties and interest applicable to excise tax assessments may be assessed and imposed.
(b) Failure of investment project to satisfy required employment positions conditions. If based on the recipient's annual tax incentive survey or other information, the department finds that an investment project has been operationally complete and has failed to create the required number of qualified employment positions the amount of taxes deferred will be immediately due. There is no proration of the amount owed under this subsection. No penalties or interest will be assessed on the deferred sales or use taxes; however, all other penalties and interest applicable to excise tax assessments may be assessed and imposed.
(15) When will the tax deferral program expire? This tax deferral program is scheduled to expire July 1, 2020. No applications for deferral of taxes will be accepted after June 30, 2020. Businesses wishing to take advantage of this program are advised to apply to the department by April 30, 2020. While the department will make every effort to process applications in a timely manner, the department is allowed sixty days to review applications and issue deferral certificates. Applications received after April 30, 2020, may not be processed in time for the business to receive a deferral certificate and would not be eligible for the program. In addition, incomplete applications may be denied or not processed in time for the business to be issued a deferral certificate before July 1, 2020.
(16) Is debt extinguishable because of insolvency or sale? Insolvency or other failure of the recipient does not extinguish the debt for deferred taxes nor will the sale, exchange, or other disposition of the recipient's business extinguish the debt for the deferred taxes.
(17) Does transfer of ownership terminate tax deferral? Transfer of ownership does not terminate the deferral. The deferral is transferred, subject to the successor meeting the eligibility requirements of chapter 82.60 RCW, for the remaining periods of the deferral. Any person who becomes a successor to such investment project is liable for the full amount of any unpaid, deferred taxes under the same terms and conditions as the original recipient of the deferral. For additional information on successorship or quitting business refer to WAC 458-20-216.
Any questions regarding the potential eligibility of deferrals to be transferred on the sale of a business, should be directed to the special programs division as provided for in subsection (7)(a) of this rule.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300, 82.01.060(2), and chapter 82.60 RCW. WSR 15-13-109, § 458-20-24001, filed 6/16/15, effective 7/17/15. Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300 and 82.01.060(2). WSR 10-21-052, § 458-20-24001, filed 10/14/10, effective 11/14/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300, 82.01.060(2), chapters 82.04, 82.08, 82.12 and 82.32 RCW. WSR 10-06-070, § 458-20-24001, filed 2/25/10, effective 3/28/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300 and 82.01.060(2). WSR 06-17-007, § 458-20-24001, filed 8/3/06, effective 9/3/06; WSR 04-01-127, § 458-20-24001, filed 12/18/03, effective 1/18/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300. WSR 01-12-041, § 458-20-24001, filed 5/30/01, effective 6/30/01; WSR 88-17-047 (Order 88-5), § 458-20-24001, filed 8/16/88; WSR 87-19-139 (Order 87-6), § 458-20-24001, filed 9/22/87; WSR 86-14-019 (Order ET 86-13), § 458-20-24001, filed 6/24/86; WSR 85-21-013 (Order ET 85-5), § 458-20-24001, filed 10/7/85.]
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