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82.04.040  <<  82.04.050 >>   82.04.051

RCW 82.04.050

"Sale at retail," "retail sale."

(1)(a) "Sale at retail" or "retail sale" means every sale of tangible personal property (including articles produced, fabricated, or imprinted) to all persons irrespective of the nature of their business and including, among others, without limiting the scope hereof, persons who install, repair, clean, alter, improve, construct, or decorate real or personal property of or for consumers other than a sale to a person who:

     (i) Purchases for the purpose of resale as tangible personal property in the regular course of business without intervening use by such person, but a purchase for the purpose of resale by a regional transit authority under RCW 81.112.300 is not a sale for resale; or

     (ii) Installs, repairs, cleans, alters, imprints, improves, constructs, or decorates real or personal property of or for consumers, if such tangible personal property becomes an ingredient or component of such real or personal property without intervening use by such person; or

     (iii) Purchases for the purpose of consuming the property purchased in producing for sale as a new article of tangible personal property or substance, of which such property becomes an ingredient or component or is a chemical used in processing, when the primary purpose of such chemical is to create a chemical reaction directly through contact with an ingredient of a new article being produced for sale; or

     (iv) Purchases for the purpose of consuming the property purchased in producing ferrosilicon which is subsequently used in producing magnesium for sale, if the primary purpose of such property is to create a chemical reaction directly through contact with an ingredient of ferrosilicon; or

     (v) Purchases for the purpose of providing the property to consumers as part of competitive telephone service, as defined in RCW 82.04.065; or

     (vi) Purchases for the purpose of satisfying the person's obligations under an extended warranty as defined in subsection (7) of this section, if such tangible personal property replaces or becomes an ingredient or component of property covered by the extended warranty without intervening use by such person.

     (b) The term includes every sale of tangible personal property that is used or consumed or to be used or consumed in the performance of any activity defined as a "sale at retail" or "retail sale" even though such property is resold or used as provided in (a)(i) through (vi) of this subsection following such use.

     (c) The term also means every sale of tangible personal property to persons engaged in any business that is taxable under RCW 82.04.280(1) (a), (b), and (g), 82.04.290, and 82.04.2908.

     (2) The term "sale at retail" or "retail sale" includes the sale of or charge made for tangible personal property consumed and/or for labor and services rendered in respect to the following:

     (a) The installing, repairing, cleaning, altering, imprinting, or improving of tangible personal property of or for consumers, including charges made for the mere use of facilities in respect thereto, but excluding charges made for the use of self-service laundry facilities, and also excluding sales of laundry service to nonprofit health care facilities, and excluding services rendered in respect to live animals, birds and insects;

     (b) The constructing, repairing, decorating, or improving of new or existing buildings or other structures under, upon, or above real property of or for consumers, including the installing or attaching of any article of tangible personal property therein or thereto, whether or not such personal property becomes a part of the realty by virtue of installation, and also includes the sale of services or charges made for the clearing of land and the moving of earth excepting the mere leveling of land used in commercial farming or agriculture;

     (c) The constructing, repairing, or improving of any structure upon, above, or under any real property owned by an owner who conveys the property by title, possession, or any other means to the person performing such construction, repair, or improvement for the purpose of performing such construction, repair, or improvement and the property is then reconveyed by title, possession, or any other means to the original owner;

     (d) The cleaning, fumigating, razing, or moving of existing buildings or structures, but does not include the charge made for janitorial services; and for purposes of this section the term "janitorial services" means those cleaning and caretaking services ordinarily performed by commercial janitor service businesses including, but not limited to, wall and window washing, floor cleaning and waxing, and the cleaning in place of rugs, drapes and upholstery. The term "janitorial services" does not include painting, papering, repairing, furnace or septic tank cleaning, snow removal or sandblasting;

     (e) Automobile towing and similar automotive transportation services, but not in respect to those required to report and pay taxes under chapter 82.16 RCW;

     (f) The furnishing of lodging and all other services by a hotel, rooming house, tourist court, motel, trailer camp, and the granting of any similar license to use real property, as distinguished from the renting or leasing of real property, and it is presumed that the occupancy of real property for a continuous period of one month or more constitutes a rental or lease of real property and not a mere license to use or enjoy the same. For the purposes of this subsection, it is presumed that the sale of and charge made for the furnishing of lodging for a continuous period of one month or more to a person is a rental or lease of real property and not a mere license to enjoy the same;

     (g) The installing, repairing, altering, or improving of digital goods for consumers;

     (h) Persons taxable under (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), and (g) of this subsection when such sales or charges are for property, labor and services which are used or consumed in whole or in part by such persons in the performance of any activity defined as a "sale at retail" or "retail sale" even though such property, labor and services may be resold after such use or consumption. Nothing contained in this subsection may be construed to modify subsection (1) of this section and nothing contained in subsection (1) of this section may be construed to modify this subsection.

     (3) The term "sale at retail" or "retail sale" includes the sale of or charge made for personal, business, or professional services including amounts designated as interest, rents, fees, admission, and other service emoluments however designated, received by persons engaging in the following business activities:

     (a)(i) Amusement and recreation services including but not limited to golf, pool, billiards, skating, bowling, ski lifts and tows, day trips for sightseeing purposes, and others, when provided to consumers.

     (ii) Until July 1, 2017, amusement and recreation services do not include the opportunity to dance provided by an establishment in exchange for a cover charge.

     (iii) For purposes of this subsection (3)(a):

     (A) "Cover charge" means a charge, regardless of its label, to enter an establishment or added to the purchaser's bill by an establishment or otherwise collected after entrance to the establishment, and the purchaser is provided the opportunity to dance in exchange for payment of the charge.

     (B) "Opportunity to dance" means that an establishment provides a designated physical space, on either a temporary or permanent basis, where customers are allowed to dance and the establishment either advertises or otherwise makes customers aware that it has an area for dancing;

     (b) Abstract, title insurance, and escrow services;

     (c) Credit bureau services;

     (d) Automobile parking and storage garage services;

     (e) Landscape maintenance and horticultural services but excluding (i) horticultural services provided to farmers and (ii) pruning, trimming, repairing, removing, and clearing of trees and brush near electric transmission or distribution lines or equipment, if performed by or at the direction of an electric utility;

     (f) Service charges associated with tickets to professional sporting events; and

     (g) The following personal services: Physical fitness services, tanning salon services, tattoo parlor services, steam bath services, turkish bath services, escort services, and dating services.

     (4)(a) The term also includes the renting or leasing of tangible personal property to consumers.

     (b) The term does not include the renting or leasing of tangible personal property where the lease or rental is for the purpose of sublease or subrent.

     (5) The term also includes the providing of "competitive telephone service," "telecommunications service," or "ancillary services," as those terms are defined in RCW 82.04.065, to consumers.

     (6)(a) The term also includes the sale of prewritten computer software to a consumer, regardless of the method of delivery to the end user. For purposes of this subsection (6)(a), the sale of prewritten computer software includes the sale of or charge made for a key or an enabling or activation code, where the key or code is required to activate prewritten computer software and put the software into use. There is no separate sale of the key or code from the prewritten computer software, regardless of how the sale may be characterized by the vendor or by the purchaser.

     The term "retail sale" does not include the sale of or charge made for:

     (i) Custom software; or

     (ii) The customization of prewritten computer software.

     (b)(i) The term also includes the charge made to consumers for the right to access and use prewritten computer software, where possession of the software is maintained by the seller or a third party, regardless of whether the charge for the service is on a per use, per user, per license, subscription, or some other basis.

     (ii)(A) The service described in (b)(i) of this subsection (6) includes the right to access and use prewritten computer software to perform data processing.

     (B) For purposes of this subsection (6)(b)(ii), "data processing" means the systematic performance of operations on data to extract the required information in an appropriate form or to convert the data to usable information. Data processing includes check processing, image processing, form processing, survey processing, payroll processing, claim processing, and similar activities.

     (7) The term also includes the sale of or charge made for an extended warranty to a consumer. For purposes of this subsection, "extended warranty" means an agreement for a specified duration to perform the replacement or repair of tangible personal property at no additional charge or a reduced charge for tangible personal property, labor, or both, or to provide indemnification for the replacement or repair of tangible personal property, based on the occurrence of specified events. The term "extended warranty" does not include an agreement, otherwise meeting the definition of extended warranty in this subsection, if no separate charge is made for the agreement and the value of the agreement is included in the sales price of the tangible personal property covered by the agreement. For purposes of this subsection, "sales price" has the same meaning as in RCW 82.08.010.

     (8)(a) The term also includes the following sales to consumers of digital goods, digital codes, and digital automated services:

     (i) Sales in which the seller has granted the purchaser the right of permanent use;

     (ii) Sales in which the seller has granted the purchaser a right of use that is less than permanent;

     (iii) Sales in which the purchaser is not obligated to make continued payment as a condition of the sale; and

     (iv) Sales in which the purchaser is obligated to make continued payment as a condition of the sale.

     (b) A retail sale of digital goods, digital codes, or digital automated services under this subsection (8) includes any services provided by the seller exclusively in connection with the digital goods, digital codes, or digital automated services, whether or not a separate charge is made for such services.

     (c) For purposes of this subsection, "permanent" means perpetual or for an indefinite or unspecified length of time. A right of permanent use is presumed to have been granted unless the agreement between the seller and the purchaser specifies or the circumstances surrounding the transaction suggest or indicate that the right to use terminates on the occurrence of a condition subsequent.

     (9) The term also includes the charge made for providing tangible personal property along with an operator for a fixed or indeterminate period of time. A consideration of this is that the operator is necessary for the tangible personal property to perform as designed. For the purpose of this subsection (9), an operator must do more than maintain, inspect, or set up the tangible personal property.

     (10) The term does not include the sale of or charge made for labor and services rendered in respect to the building, repairing, or improving of any street, place, road, highway, easement, right-of-way, mass public transportation terminal or parking facility, bridge, tunnel, or trestle which is owned by a municipal corporation or political subdivision of the state or by the United States and which is used or to be used primarily for foot or vehicular traffic including mass transportation vehicles of any kind.

     (11) The term also does not include sales of chemical sprays or washes to persons for the purpose of postharvest treatment of fruit for the prevention of scald, fungus, mold, or decay, nor does it include sales of feed, seed, seedlings, fertilizer, agents for enhanced pollination including insects such as bees, and spray materials to: (a) Persons who participate in the federal conservation reserve program, the environmental quality incentives program, the wetlands reserve program, and the wildlife habitat incentives program, or their successors administered by the United States department of agriculture; (b) farmers for the purpose of producing for sale any agricultural product; and (c) farmers acting under cooperative habitat development or access contracts with an organization exempt from federal income tax under 26 U.S.C. Sec. 501(c)(3) of the federal internal revenue code or the Washington state department of fish and wildlife to produce or improve wildlife habitat on land that the farmer owns or leases.

     (12) The term does not include the sale of or charge made for labor and services rendered in respect to the constructing, repairing, decorating, or improving of new or existing buildings or other structures under, upon, or above real property of or for the United States, any instrumentality thereof, or a county or city housing authority created pursuant to chapter 35.82 RCW, including the installing, or attaching of any article of tangible personal property therein or thereto, whether or not such personal property becomes a part of the realty by virtue of installation. Nor does the term include the sale of services or charges made for the clearing of land and the moving of earth of or for the United States, any instrumentality thereof, or a county or city housing authority. Nor does the term include the sale of services or charges made for cleaning up for the United States, or its instrumentalities, radioactive waste and other by-products of weapons production and nuclear research and development.

     (13) The term does not include the sale of or charge made for labor, services, or tangible personal property pursuant to agreements providing maintenance services for bus, rail, or rail fixed guideway equipment when a regional transit authority is the recipient of the labor, services, or tangible personal property, and a transit agency, as defined in RCW 81.104.015, performs the labor or services.

     (14) The term does not include the sale for resale of any service described in this section if the sale would otherwise constitute a "sale at retail" and "retail sale" under this section.

[2013 2nd sp.s. c 13 § 802; 2011 c 174 § 202. Prior: 2010 c 112 § 14; 2010 c 111 § 201; 2010 c 106 § 202; prior: 2009 c 563 § 301; 2009 c 535 § 301; prior: 2007 c 54 § 4; 2007 c 6 § 1004; prior: 2005 c 515 § 2; 2005 c 514 § 101; prior: 2004 c 174 § 3; 2004 c 153 § 407; 2003 c 168 § 104; 2002 c 178 § 1; 2000 2nd sp.s. c 4 § 23; prior: 1998 c 332 § 2; 1998 c 315 § 1; 1998 c 308 § 1; 1998 c 275 § 1; 1997 c 127 § 1; prior: 1996 c 148 § 1; 1996 c 112 § 1; 1995 1st sp.s. c 12 § 2; 1995 c 39 § 2; 1993 sp.s. c 25 § 301; 1988 c 253 § 1; prior: 1987 c 285 § 1; 1987 c 23 § 2; 1986 c 231 § 1; 1983 2nd ex.s. c 3 § 25; 1981 c 144 § 3; 1975 1st ex.s. c 291 § 5; 1975 1st ex.s. c 90 § 1; 1973 1st ex.s. c 145 § 1; 1971 ex.s. c 299 § 3; 1971 ex.s. c 281 § 1; 1970 ex.s. c 8 § 1; prior: 1969 ex.s. c 262 § 30; 1969 ex.s. c 255 § 3; 1967 ex.s. c 149 § 4; 1965 ex.s. c 173 § 1; 1963 c 7 § 1; prior: 1961 ex.s. c 24 § 1; 1961 c 293 § 1; 1961 c 15 § 82.04.050; prior: 1959 ex.s. c 5 § 2; 1957 c 279 § 1; 1955 c 389 § 6; 1953 c 91 § 3; 1951 2nd ex.s. c 28 § 3; 1949 c 228 § 2, part; 1945 c 249 § 1, part; 1943 c 156 § 2, part; 1941 c 178 § 2, part; 1939 c 225 § 2, part; 1937 c 227 § 2, part; 1935 c 180 § 5, part; Rem. Supp. 1949 § 8370-5, part.]

Notes:

     Intent -- 2013 2nd sp.s. c 13: "It is the intent of part VIII of this act to provide a sales tax exemption for cover charges to patrons at establishments that provide the opportunity to dance. The intent is to provide tax relief to businesses who have been reporting the income for cover charges under the service and other classification, but not intending to avoid their tax obligation of collecting retail sales tax because of department and taxpayer confusion regarding the appropriate tax treatment of this income. To ensure proper tax reporting in the future by businesses who provide the opportunity to dance, the legislature intends to review the tax preference and its actual fiscal impact on state revenues to determine if the fiscal impact to state revenues reasonably conforms with the fiscal estimate in the fiscal note for this legislation." [2013 2nd sp.s. c 13 § 801.]

     Effective date -- 2013 2nd sp.s. c 13: See note following RCW 82.04.43393.

     Retroactive application -- 2010 c 112: See note following RCW 82.32.780.

     Purpose -- 2010 c 111: "The 2009 legislature enacted Engrossed Substitute House Bill No. 2075 (chapter 535, Laws of 2009), an act relating to the excise taxation of certain products and services provided or furnished electronically. The bill took effect July 26, 2009.

     Engrossed Substitute House Bill No. 2075, at eighty-five pages, was a comprehensive piece of legislation that made major changes to state and local sales and use taxes, as well as the state business and occupation tax. Moreover, Engrossed Substitute House Bill No. 2075 was a complex piece of legislation because of the intricate interrelationship between the sales tax and the business and occupation tax and also because the bill affects the taxation of products and services that involve technologies that are changing rapidly.

     Because of the complexity and length of Engrossed Substitute House Bill No. 2075, it was the legislature's expectation that, in the course of implementing the bill, ambiguities and unintended consequences would be discovered, which, if not corrected, will unsettle expectations. Thus, the legislature further anticipated that it would need to consider legislation in the 2010 legislative session to address these issues.

     Therefore, the purpose of this act is to clarify ambiguities, correct unintended consequences, restore expectations, and conform the law to the original intent of the legislature." [2010 c 111 § 101.]

     Retroactive application -- 2010 c 111: "(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, this act applies both prospectively and retroactively to July 26, 2009.

     (2) Sections 202, 402, and 502 of this act, and those provisions of sections 401 and 501 of this act that eliminate the sales and use tax exemptions in RCW 82.08.02082 and 82.12.02082, apply prospectively only." [2010 c 111 § 902.]

     Effective date -- 2010 c 111: "This act takes effect July 1, 2010." [2010 c 111 § 903.]

     Effective date -- 2010 c 106: See note following RCW 35.102.145.

     Finding -- Intent -- Construction -- Effective date -- Reports and recommendations -- 2009 c 563: See notes following RCW 82.32.780.

     Intent -- Construction -- 2009 c 535: See notes following RCW 82.04.192.

Severability -- 2007 c 54: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [2007 c 54 § 32.]

     Part headings not law -- Savings -- Effective date -- Severability -- 2007 c 6: See notes following RCW 82.32.020.

     Findings -- Intent -- 2007 c 6: See note following RCW 82.14.495.

     Findings -- 2005 c 515: "The legislature finds that:

     (1) Public entities that receive tax dollars must continuously improve the way they operate and deliver service so citizens receive maximum value for their tax dollars; and

     (2) An explicit statement clarifying that no sales or use tax shall apply to the entire charge paid by regional transit authorities for bus or rail combined operations and maintenance agreements that are provided to such authorities in support of their provision of urban transportation or transportation services is necessary to improve efficient service." [2005 c 515 § 1.]

     Effective date -- 2005 c 514: See note following RCW 83.100.230.

     Part headings not law -- Severability -- 2005 c 514: See notes following RCW 82.12.808.

     Effective date -- 2004 c 174: See note following RCW 82.04.2908.

     Retroactive effective date -- Effective date -- 2004 c 153: See note following RCW 82.08.0293.

     Effective dates -- Part headings not law -- 2003 c 168: See notes following RCW 82.08.010.

     Retroactive application -- Effective date -- 2002 c 178: See notes following RCW 67.28.180.

     Findings -- Construction -- 2000 2nd sp.s. c 4 §§ 18-30: See notes following RCW 81.112.300.

     Findings -- Intent -- Effective date -- 1998 c 332: See notes following RCW 82.04.29001.

     Effective dates -- 1998 c 308: "(1) Sections 1 through 4 of this act take effect July 1, 1998.

     (2) Section 5 of this act takes effect July 1, 2003." [1998 c 308 § 6.]

     Effective date -- 1998 c 275: "This act takes effect July 1, 1998." [1998 c 275 § 2.]

     Effective date -- 1997 c 127: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect July 1, 1997." [1997 c 127 § 2.]

     Severability -- 1996 c 148: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [1996 c 148 § 7.]

     Effective date -- 1996 c 148: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect April 1, 1996." [1996 c 148 § 8.]

     Effective date -- 1996 c 112: "This act shall take effect July 1, 1996." [1996 c 112 § 5.]

     Intent -- 1995 1st sp.s. c 12: "It is the intent of the legislature that massage services be recognized as health care practitioners for the purposes of business and occupation tax application. To achieve this intent massage services are being removed from the definition of sale at retail and retail sale." [1995 1st sp.s. c 12 § 1.]

     Effective date -- 1995 1st sp.s. c 12: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect July 1, 1995." [1995 1st sp.s. c 12 § 5.]

     Effective date -- 1995 c 39: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect July 1, 1995." [1995 c 39 § 3.]

     Severability -- Effective dates--Part headings, captions not law--1993 sp.s. c 25: See notes following RCW 82.04.230.

     Construction -- Severability -- Effective dates -- 1983 2nd ex.s. c 3: See notes following RCW 82.04.255.

     Intent -- Severability -- Effective date -- 1981 c 144: See notes following RCW 82.16.010.

     Application to preexisting contracts -- 1975 1st ex.s. c 291; 1975 1st ex.s. c 90: See note following RCW 82.12.010.

     Effective dates -- 1975 1st ex.s. c 291: "This 1975 amendatory act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, the support of the state government and its existing institutions, and shall take effect immediately: PROVIDED, That sections 8 and 26 through 43 of this amendatory act shall be effective on and after January 1, 1976: PROVIDED FURTHER, That sections 2, 3, and 4, and subsections (1) and (2) of section 24 shall be effective on and after January 1, 1977: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, That subsections (3) through (15) of section 24 shall be effective on and after January 1, 1978." [1975 1st ex.s. c 291 § 46.]

     Severability -- 1975 1st ex.s. c 291: "If any provision of this 1975 amendatory act, or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act, or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [1975 1st ex.s. c 291 § 45.]

     Effective date -- 1975 1st ex.s. c 90: "This 1975 amendatory act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, the support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect July 1, 1975." [1975 1st ex.s. c 90 § 5.]

     Effective date -- 1973 1st ex.s. c 145: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, the support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect July 1, 1973." [1973 1st ex.s. c 145 § 2.]

     Effective dates -- 1971 ex.s. c 299: "This 1971 amendatory act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, the support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect as follows:

     (1) Sections 1 through 12, 15 through 34 and 53 shall take effect July 1, 1971;

     (2) Sections 13, 14, and 77 and 78 shall take effect June 1, 1971; and

     (3) Sections 35 through 52 and 54 through 76 shall take effect as provided in section 53." [1971 ex.s. c 299 § 79.]

     Severability -- 1971 ex.s. c 299: "If any phrase, clause, subsection or section of this 1971 amendatory act shall be declared unconstitutional or invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, it shall be conclusively presumed that the legislature would have enacted this 1971 amendatory act without the phrase, clause, subsection or section so held unconstitutional or invalid and the remainder of the act shall not be affected as a result of said part being held unconstitutional or invalid." [1971 ex.s. c 299 § 78.]

     Construction -- Severability -- 1969 ex.s. c 255: See notes following RCW 35.58.272.

     Effective date -- 1967 ex.s. c 149: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, the support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect July 1, 1967." [1967 ex.s. c 149 § 65.]

     Effective date -- 1965 ex.s. c 173: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, the support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect June 1, 1965." [1965 ex.s. c 173 § 33.]

Credit for retail sales or use taxes paid to other jurisdictions with respect to property used: RCW 82.12.035.

"Services rendered in respect to" defined: RCW 82.04.051.