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458-20-256  <<  458-20-257 >>   458-20-258

WAC 458-20-257

Agency filings affecting this section

Warranties and maintenance agreements.

(1) Definitions. For the purposes of this section, the following terms will apply:
(a) Warranties. Warranties, sometimes referred to as guarantees, are agreements which call for the replacement or repair of tangible personal property with no additional charge for parts or labor, or both, based upon the happening of some unforeseen occurrence, e.g., the property needs repair within the warranty period.
(b) Warrantor. The warrantor is the person obligated, as specified in the warranty agreement, to perform labor and/or provide materials to the owner of the personal property to which the warranty agreement relates.
(c) Maintenance agreements. Maintenance agreements sometimes referred to as service contracts, are agreements which require the specific performance of repairing, cleaning, altering, or improving of tangible personal property on a regular or irregular basis to ensure its continued satisfactory operation.
(2) B&O tax.
(a) Manufacturer's warranties included in the retail selling price of the article being sold.
(i) When a manufacturer's warranty is included in the retail selling price of the property sold and no additional charge is made, the value of the warranty is a part of the selling price. The value of the warranty is included in the "gross proceeds of sale" of the article sold and reported under the appropriate classification, e.g. retailing, wholesaling, etc.
(ii) When a repair is made by the manufacturer-warrantor under the warranty, the value of the labor and or parts provided are not subject to B&O tax.
(iii) When a person other than the manufacturer-warrantor makes a repair for the manufacturer-warrantor, the person making the repair is making a wholesale sale of the repair service to the manufacturer-warrantor. The person doing the repair is B&O taxable under the wholesaling classification on the value of the parts and labor provided.
(b) Nonmanufacturer's warranties and manufacturer's warranties not included in the retail selling price of the article being sold.
(i) When a warranty is sold for a charge separate from the charge of the product, e.g., a warranty extending the manufacturer's warranty, the charge is reported in the service and other activities classification of the B&O tax.
(ii) When a repair is made by the warrantor under a separately stated warranty, the value of the labor and or parts provided are not subject to B&O tax.
(iii) When a person other than the warrantor makes a repair for the warrantor, the person making the repair is making a retail sale of the repair service to the warrantor. The person making the repair is B&O taxable under the retailing classification.
(c) Maintenance agreements.
(i) Maintenance agreements (service contracts) require the periodic specific performance of inspecting, cleaning, physical servicing, altering, and/or improving of tangible personal property. Charges for maintenance agreements are retail sales, subject to retailing B&O tax and retail sales tax under all circumstances.
(d) Amounts received as a commission or other consideration for selling a warranty or maintenance agreement of a third-party warrantor or provider are generally subject to B&O tax under the service and other activities classification. However, if the seller of the warranty is licensed under chapter 48.17 RCW with respect to this selling activity, the commission is subject to B&O tax under the insurance agent classification.
(e) In the event a warrantor purchases an insurance policy to cover the warranty, amounts received by the warrantor under the insurance policy are insurance claim reimbursements not subject to B&O tax.
(3) Retail sales tax.
(a) Manufacturer's warranties included in the retail selling price of the article being sold.
(i) When a manufacturer's warranty is included in the retail selling price of the property sold and no additional or separate charge is made, the value of the warranty is a part of the selling price and retail sales tax applies to the entire selling price of the article being sold.
(ii) When a repair is made by the manufacturer-warrantor under the warranty, the repair performed is not a retail sale and no retail sales tax is collected.
(iii) When a person other than the manufacturer-warrantor makes a repair for the manufacturer-warrantor, the person making the repair is making a wholesale sale of the repair service to the manufacturer-warrantor. No retail sales tax is collected from the manufacturer-warrantor.
(b) Nonmanufacturer's warranties and manufacturer's warranties not included in the retail selling price of the article being sold.
(i) When a warranty is sold for a charge separate from the charge of the product, e.g., a warranty extending the manufacturer's warranty, the sale is not a retail sale and no retail sales tax is collected on the amount charged.
(ii) When a repair is made by the warrantor under its own separately stated warranty, the value of the labor and/or parts provided is not a retail sale and no retail sales tax is collected.
(iii) When a person other than the warrantor makes a repair for the warrantor, the person making the repair is making a retail sale of the repair service to the warrantor. Retail sales tax is collected from the warrantor measured by the labor and materials provided.
(c) Maintenance agreements are sales at retail and subject to retail sales tax under all circumstances.
(i) Parties subcontracting to the party selling the maintenance agreement are making sales at wholesale, and are required to take from their customer (maintenance seller) a resale certificate as provided in WAC 458-20-102.
(4) USE TAX.
(a) Manufacturer's warranties included in the retail selling price of the article being sold.
(i) When a manufacturer-warrantor makes repairs required under its warranty, the value of the parts used in making the repairs is not subject to use tax.
(ii) Where a third party makes repairs for a manufacturer-warrantor, the transaction is a wholesale sale and the parts used in the repair are not subject to use tax.
(b) Nonmanufacturer's warranties and manufacturer's warranties not included in the retail selling price of the article being sold.
(i) When a repair is made by the warrantor under a separately stated warranty, the warrantor is the consumer of the parts and the parts are subject to use tax measured by the warrantor's cost.
(ii) When a person other than the warrantor makes a repair for the warrantor, the person making the repair is making a retail sale to the warrantor. Retail sales tax, not use tax, is collected.
(c) Maintenance agreements.
(i) Persons performing services under the requirements of maintenance agreements sold by them, are not subject to use tax or retail sales tax on materials which become a part of the required repairs or services.
(5) Additional service - Deductible. In the event services are provided in addition to any warranty or maintenance agreement, such services are separately taxable as retail sales, subject to retail sales tax and retailing B&O tax. This includes so-called "deductible" amounts not covered by a warranty or maintenance agreement.
(6) Mixed agreements. If an agreement contains warranty provisions but also requires the actual specific performance of inspection, cleaning, servicing, altering, or improving the property on a regular or irregular basis, without regard to the operating condition of the property, such agreements are fully taxable as maintenance agreements, not warranties.
(7) Examples:
(a) An automobile dealer sells a vehicle to a customer for selling price of $15,000 cash and the selling price includes a manufacturer's limited warranty for 5 years or 50,000 miles. The owner of the vehicle has $600 ($200 parts and $400 labor) warranty work, paying no deductible, performed by the dealer who is not the manufacturer-warrantor. The tax liability of the dealer is as follows:
(i) Retail sales tax is collected on the $15,000 selling price.
(ii) The $15,000 selling price is reported under the retailing B&O tax classification. The $600 repair is reported under the wholesaling B&O tax classification.
(iii) The $200 of parts used in the repair are not subject to use tax.
(b) The automobile dealer in example (a) also sells its own extended warranty to the customer for $200. The dealer insures itself with an insurance carrier and under the policy, claims are paid on the retail value of the repairs. In addition to the repairs in example (a), the customer has the dealer complete $500 of repairs under the dealer's extended warranty. The customer paid the $100 deductible and the dealer received $400 from his insurance carrier. In completing the repair, the dealer installed parts from its inventory which had a cost to the dealer of $150 and subcontracted part of the repair to an electrical shop which charged the dealer $200. The tax liability to the dealer and the subcontractor are as follows:
(i) The dealer reports the $200 sale of the warranty under the service and other activities classification of B&O tax. No retail sales tax is collected on the sale.
(ii) The $100 deductible received by the dealer is a retail sale subject to retail sales tax and retailing B&O tax.
(iii) The $400 received by the dealer from the insurance company is a nontaxable insurance claim reimbursement.
(iv) The dealer is the consumer of the parts removed from its inventory and used in the repair. The $150 dealer cost of the parts taken from inventory is subject to use tax.
(v) The subcontractor is making a retail sale to the dealer subject to retail sales tax and retailing B&O.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300. WSR 90-10-081, ยง 458-20-257, filed 5/2/90, effective 6/2/90.]