This section explains the application of the business and occupation (B&O), retail sales, and use taxes to manufacturers. It identifies the special tax classifications and rates that apply to specific manufacturing activities. The law provides a retail sales and use tax exemption for certain machinery and equipment used by manufacturers. Refer to RCW 82.08.0256
5, 82.12.02565, and WAC 458-20-13601
(Manufacturers and processors for hire—Sales and use tax exemption for machinery and equipment) for more information regarding this exemption. Persons engaging in both extracting and manufacturing activities should also refer to WAC 458-20-135
(Extracting natural products) and 458-20-13501
(Timber harvest operations).
(2) Manufacturing activities.
explains that the phrase "to manufacture" embraces all activities of a commercial or industrial nature wherein labor or skill is applied, by hand or machinery, to materials so that as a result thereof a new, different, or useful substance or articles of tangible personal property is produced for sale or commercial or industrial use. The phrase includes the production or fabrication of special-made or custom-made articles.
(a) "To manufacture" includes, but is not limited to:
(i) The production or fabrication of dental appliances, devices, restorations, substitutes, or other dental laboratory products by a dental laboratory or dental technician;
(ii) The cutting, delimbing, and measuring of felled, cut, or taken trees;
(iii) The crushing and/or blending of rock, sand, stone, gravel, or ore; and
(iv) The cleaning (removal of the head, fins, or viscera) of fish.
(b) "To manufacture" does not include:
(i) The conditioning of seed for use in planting;
(ii) The cubing of hay or alfalfa;
(iii) The growing, harvesting, or producing of agricultural products;
(iv) The cutting, grading, or ice glazing of seafood which has been cooked, frozen, or canned outside this state;
(v) The packing of agricultural products, including sorting, washing, rinsing, grading, waxing, treating with fungicide, packaging, chilling, or placing in controlled atmospheric storage; and
(vi) The repairing and reconditioning of tangible personal property for others.
(3) Manufacturers and processors for hire.
defines "manufacturer" to mean every person who, either directly or by contracting with others for the necessary labor or mechanical services, manufactures for sale or for commercial or industrial use from his or her own materials or ingredients any articles, substances, or commodities. However, a nonresident of the state of Washington who is the owner of materials processed for it in this state by a processor for hire is not deemed to be a manufacturer in this state because of that processing. Additionally, any owner of materials from which a nuclear fuel assembly is fabricated in this state by a processor for hire is also not deemed to be a manufacturer because of such processing.
(a) The term "processor for hire" means a person who performs labor and mechanical services upon property belonging to others so that as a result a new, different, or useful article of tangible personal property is produced for sale or commercial or industrial use. Thus, a processor for hire is any person who would be a manufacturer if that person were performing the labor and mechanical services upon his or her own materials.
(b) If a particular activity is excluded from the definition of "to manufacture," a person performing the labor and mechanical services upon materials owned by another is not a processor for hire. For example, the cutting, grading, or ice glazing of seafood that has been cooked, frozen, or canned outside this state is excluded from the definition of "to manufacture." Because of this exclusion, a person who performs these activities on seafood belonging to others is not a "processor for hire."
(c) A person who produces aluminum master alloys, regardless of the portion of the aluminum provided by that person's customer, is considered a "processor for hire." RCW 82.04.110
. For the purpose of this specific provision, the term "aluminum master alloy" means an alloy registered with the Aluminum Association as a grain refiner or a hardener alloy using the American National Standards Institute designating system H35.3.
(d) In some instances, a person furnishing the labor and mechanical services undertakes to produce an article, substance, or commodity from materials or ingredients furnished in part by the person and in part by the customer. Depending on the circumstances, this person will either be considered a manufacturer or a processor for hire.
(i) If the person furnishing the labor and mechanical services furnishes materials constituting less than twenty percent of the value of all of the materials or ingredients which become a part of the produced product, that person will be presumed to be processing for hire.
(ii) The person furnishing the labor and mechanical services will be presumed to be a manufacturer if the value of the materials or ingredients furnished by the person is equal to or greater than twenty percent of the total value of all materials or ingredients which become a part of the produced product.
(iii) If the person furnishing the labor and mechanical services supplies, sells, or furnishes to the customer, before processing, twenty percent or more in value of the materials or ingredients from which the product is produced, the person furnishing the labor and mechanical services will be deemed to be the owner of the materials and considered a manufacturer.
(e) There are occasions where a manufacturing facility and ingredients used in the manufacturing process are owned by one person, while another person performs the actual manufacturing activity. The person operating the facility and performing the manufacturing activity is a processor for hire. The owner of the facility and ingredients is the manufacturer.
(4) Tax-reporting responsibilities for income received by manufacturers and processors for hire.
Persons who manufacture products in this state are subject to the manufacturing B&O tax upon the value of the products, including by-products (see also WAC 458-20-112
regarding "value of products"), unless the activity qualifies for one of the special tax rates discussed in subsection (5) of this section. See also WAC 458-20-193
(Inbound and outbound interstate sales of tangible personal property).
For example, Corporation A stains door panels that it purchases. Corporation A also affixes hinges, guide wheels, and pivots to unstained door panels. Corporation B shears steel sheets to dimension, and slits steel coils to customer's requirements. The resulting products are sold and delivered to out-of-state customers. Corporation A and Corporation B are subject to the manufacturing B&O tax upon the value of these manufactured products. These manufacturing activities take place in Washington, even though the manufactured product is delivered out-of-state. A credit may be available if a gross receipts tax is paid on the selling activity to another state. (See also WAC 458-20-19301
on multiple activities tax credits.)
(a) Manufacturers who sell their products at retail or wholesale in this state are also subject to either the retailing or wholesaling B&O tax, as the case may be. In such cases, the manufacturer must report under both the "production" (manufacturing) and "selling" (wholesaling or retailing) classifications of the B&O tax, and claim a multiple activities tax credit (MATC). See also WAC 458-20-19301
for a more detailed explanation of the MATC reporting requirements.
For example, Incorporated purchases raw fish that it fillets and/or steaks. The resulting product is then sold at wholesale in its raw form to customers located in Washington. Incorporated is subject to both the manufacturing raw seafood B&O tax upon the value of the manufactured product, and the wholesaling B&O tax upon the gross proceeds of sale. Incorporated is entitled to claim a MATC.
(b) Processors for hire are subject to the processing for hire B&O tax upon the total charge made to those services, including any charge for materials furnished by the processor. The B&O tax applies whether the resulting product is delivered to the customer within or outside this state.
(c) The measure of tax for manufacturers and processors for hire with respect to "cost-plus" or "time and material" contracts includes the amount of profit or fee above cost received, plus the reimbursements or prepayments received on account of materials and supplies, labor costs, taxes paid, payments made to subcontractors, and all other costs and expenses incurred by the manufacturer or processor for hire.
(d) A manufacturing B&O tax exemption is available for the cleaning of fish, if the cleaning activities are limited to the removal of the head, fins, or viscera from fresh fish without further processing other than freezing. RCW 82.04.2403
. Processors for hire performing these cleaning activities remain subject to the processing for hire B&O tax.
(e) Amounts received by hop growers or dealers for hops shipped outside the state of Washington for first use, even though the hops have been processed into extract, pellets, or powder in this state are exempt from the B&O tax. RCW 82.04.337
. However, a processor for hire with respect to hops is not exempt on amounts charged for processing these products.
(f) Manufacturers and processors for hire making retail sales must collect and remit retail sales tax on all sales to consumers, unless the sale is exempt by law (e.g., see WAC 458-20-244
regarding sales of certain food products). A manufacturer or processor for hire making wholesale sales must obtain resale certificates for sales made before January 1, 2010, or reseller permits for sales made on or after January 1, 2010, from the customers to document the wholesale nature of any sale as provided in WAC 458-20-102A
(Resale certificates) and WAC 458-20-102
(Reseller permits). Even though resale certificates are no longer used after December 31, 2009, they must be kept on file by the seller for five years from the date of last use or December 31, 2014.
(5) Manufacturing—Special tax rates/classifications.
provides several special B&O tax rates/classifications for manufacturers engaging in certain manufacturing activities. In all such cases the principles set forth in subsection (4) of this section concerning multiple activities and the resulting credit provisions are also applicable.
Special tax classifications/rates are provided for the activities of:
(a) Manufacturing wheat into flour, barley into pearl barley, soybeans into soybean oil, canola into canola oil, meal, or canola by-products, or sunflower seeds into sunflower oil;
(b) Splitting or processing dried peas;
(c) Manufacturing seafood products, which remain in a raw, raw frozen, or raw salted state;
(d) Manufacturing by canning, preserving, freezing, processing, or dehydrating fresh fruits and vegetables;
(e) Slaughtering, breaking, and/or processing perishable meat products and/or selling the same at wholesale and not at retail; and
(f) Manufacturing nuclear fuel assemblies.
(6) Repairing and/or refurbishing distinguished from manufacturing.
The term "to manufacture" does not include the repair or refurbishing of tangible personal property. To be considered "manufacturing," the application of labor or skill to materials must result in a "new, different, or useful article." If the activity merely restores an existing article of tangible personal property to its original utility, the activity is considered a repair or refurbishing of that property. (See WAC 458-20-173
for tax-reporting information on repairs.)
(a) In making a determination whether an activity is manufacturing as opposed to a repair or reconditioning activity, consideration is given to a variety of factors including, but not limited to:
(i) Whether the activity merely restores or prolongs the useful life of the article;
(ii) Whether the activity significantly enhances the article's basic qualities, properties, or functional nature; and
(iii) Whether the activity is so extensive that a new, different, or useful article results.
(b) The following example illustrates the distinction between a manufacturing activity resulting in a new, different, or useful article, and the mere repair or refurbishment of an existing article. This example should only be used as a general guide. The tax results of other situations must be determined after a review of all the facts and circumstances. In cases of uncertainty, persons should contact the department for a ruling.
(i) Corporation rebuilds engine cores. When received, each core is assigned an individual identification number and disassembled. The cylinder head, connecting rods, crankshaft, valves, springs, nuts, and bolts are all removed and retained for reassembly into the same engine core. Unusable components are discarded. The block is then baked to burn off dirt and impurities, then blasted to remove any residue. The cylinder walls are rebored because of wear and tear. The retained components are cleaned, and if needed straightened and/or reground. Corporation then reassembles the cores, replacing the pistons, gaskets, timing gears, crankshaft bearings, and oil pumps with new parts. The components retained from the original engine core are incorporated only into that same core.
(ii) Corporation is under these circumstances not engaging in a manufacturing activity. The engine cores are restored to their original condition, albeit with a slightly larger displacement because of wear and tear. The cores have retained their original functional nature as they run with approximately the same efficiency and horsepower. The rebuilding of these cores is not so extensive as to result in a new, different, or useful article. Each engine core has retained its identity because all reusable components of the original core are reassembled in the same core. Corporation has taken an existing article and extended its useful life.
(7) Combining and/or assembly of products to achieve a special purpose as manufacturing. The physical assembly of products from various components is manufacturing because it results in a "new, different, or useful" product, even if the cost of the assembly activity is minimal when compared with the cost of the components. For example, the bolting of a motor to a pump, whether bolted directly or by using a coupling, is a manufacturing activity. Once physically joined, the resulting product is capable of performing a pumping function that the separate components cannot.
(a) In some cases the assembly may consist solely of combining parts from various suppliers to create an entirely different product that is sold as a kit for assembly by the purchaser. In these situations, the manufacturing B&O tax applies even if the person combining the parts does not completely assemble the components, but sells them as a package. For example, a person who purchases component parts from various suppliers to create a wheelbarrow, which will be sold in a "kit" or "knock-down" condition with some assembly required by purchaser, is a manufacturer. The purchaser of the wheelbarrow kit is not a manufacturer, however, even though the purchaser must attach the handles and wheel.
(b) The department considers various factors in determining if a person combining various items into a single package is engaged in a manufacturing activity. Any single one of the following factors is not considered conclusive evidence of a manufacturing activity, though the presence of one or more of these factors raises a presumption that a manufacturing activity is being performed:
(i) The ingredients are purchased from various suppliers;
(ii) The person combining the ingredients attaches his or her own label to the resulting product;
(iii) The ingredients are purchased in bulk and broken down to smaller sizes;
(iv) The combined product is marketed at a substantially different value from the selling price of the individual components; and
(v) The person combining the items does not sell the individual items except within the package.
(c) The following examples should be used only as a general guide. The specific facts and circumstances of each situation must be carefully examined to determine if the combining of ingredients is a manufacturing activity or merely a packaging or marketing activity. In cases of uncertainty, persons combining items into special purpose packages should contact the department for a ruling.
(i) Combining prepackaged food products and gift items into a wicker basket for sale as a gift basket is not a manufacturing activity when:
(A) The products combined in the basket retain their original packaging;
(B) The person does not attach his or her own labels to the components or the combined basket;
(C) The person maintains an inventory for sale of the individual components and does sell these items in this manner as well as the combined baskets.
(ii) Combining bulk food products and gift items into a wicker basket for sale as a gift basket is a manufacturing activity when:
(A) The bulk food products purchased by the taxpayer are broken into smaller quantities; and
(B) The taxpayer attaches its own labels to the combined basket.
(iii) Combining components into a kit for sale is not a manufacturing activity when:
(A) All components are conceived, designed, and specifically manufactured by and at the person's direction to be used with each other;
(B) The person's label is attached to or imprinted upon the components by supplier;
(C) The person packages the components with no further assembly, connection, reconfiguration, change, or processing.
(8) Tax liability with respect to purchases of equipment or supplies and property manufactured for commercial or industrial use.
The retail sales tax applies to purchases of tangible personal property by manufacturers and processors for hire unless the property becomes an ingredient or component part of a new article produced for sale, or is a chemical used in the processing of an article for sale. If the seller fails to collect the appropriate retail sales tax, the buyer is required to remit the retail sales tax (commonly referred to as "deferred retail sales tax") or use tax directly to the department. Refer to WAC 458-20-113
for additional information about what qualifies as an ingredient or component or a chemical used in processing.
(a) RCW 82.08.0256
5 and 82.12.02565 provide a retail sales and use tax exemption for certain machinery and equipment used by manufacturers and/or processors for hire. Refer to WAC 458-20-13601
for additional information regarding how these exemptions apply.
(b) Persons manufacturing tangible personal property for commercial or industrial use are subject to both the manufacturing B&O and use taxes upon the value of the property manufactured, unless a specific exemption applies. (See also WAC 458-20-134
on commercial or industrial use.) Persons who also extract the product used as an ingredient in a manufacturing process should refer to WAC 458-20-135
for additional information regarding their tax-reporting responsibilities.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300
, 82.01.060(2), chapters 82.04
, 82.08, 82.12 and 82.32
RCW. WSR 10-06-069, § 458-20-136, filed 2/25/10, effective 3/28/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300
. WSR 00-11-096, § 458-20-136, filed 5/17/00, effective 6/17/00; WSR 88-21-014 (Order 88-7), § 458-20-136, filed 10/7/88; WSR 86-20-027 (Order 86-17), § 458-20-136, filed 9/23/86; WSR 83-07-032 (Order ET 83-15), § 458-20-136, filed 3/15/83. Statutory Authority: RCW 82.01.060
(2) and 82.32.300. WSR 78-07-045 (Order ET 78-4), § 458-20-136, filed 6/27/78; Order ET 71-1, § 458-20-136, filed 7/22/71; Order ET 70-3, § 458-20-136 (Rule 136), filed 5/29/70, effective 7/1/70.]