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PDFWAC 458-20-113

Ingredients or components, chemicals used in processing new articles for sale.

(1) The term "retail sale" means "every sale of tangible personal property . . . other than a sale to one who purchases for the purpose of resale . . . or for the purpose of consuming the property purchased in producing for sale 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 . . . (RCW 82.04.050.)
(2) Ingredients or components. The sale of articles of tangible personal property which physically enter into and form a part of a new article or substance produced for sale does not constitute a retail sale. This does not exempt from the retail sales tax the sale of articles consumed in a manufacturing process which do not enter into and become a physical part of the new article produced for sale, such as fuel used for heating purposes, oil for machinery, sandpaper, etc.
(3) Also, the definition of retail sale does not exclude consumables purchased for use in manufacturing, refining, or processing new articles for sale merely because some constituents of the consumables may also be traceable in the finished product, which are impurities or undesirable or unnecessary constituents of the finished product.
(4) For articles to qualify for sales and use tax exemption as ingredients or components of products produced for sale, such articles or their constituents must be traceable in the finished product and identifiable as having been directly provided by the article claimed for exemption.
(5) Chemicals used in processing. Sales of chemicals to a person for use in processing articles produced for sale are not retail sales, and therefore are not subject to the retail sales tax.
(6) "Chemicals used in processing" carries its common restricted meaning in commercial usage. It includes only chemical substances which are used by the purchaser to unite with other chemical substances, present as ingredients or components of the articles or substances being processed, to produce a chemical reaction therewith, as contrasted with merely a physical change therein. A chemical reaction is one in which there takes place a permanent change of certain properties, with the formation of new substances which differ in chemical composition and properties from the substances originally present, and usually differ from them in appearance as well. It is not necessary that all of the new substances which are formed be present in the final completed article or substance which is sold; one or more of such new substances resulting from the chemical reaction may be removed or drawn off in the processing.
(7) To illustrate: Sales of chemicals to a pulp mill for use in the digesting and bleaching of pulp are not subject to the retail sales tax because such chemicals react chemically with the cellulose in the pulp fiber which, in turn, becomes a major ingredient of the final product, paper. Similarly, sales of carbon to an aluminum reduction plant for the primary purpose of forming a chemical reaction with alumina to remove its oxygen content are not retail sales.
(8) Conversely, sales of water purifiers and wetting agents to a pulp mill are taxable sales. The treated water acts primarily as a conveyor or carrier of the pulp fibers and only an insignificant part of the water becomes an ingredient of the final product. Similarly, sales of caustic soda to potato processors to remove peelings from potatoes are retail sales because the chemical reacts only with the peelings which are removed as waste, and not with the potatoes which are sold as the final product.
(9) Sales of diesel or fuel oil to a steel mill or foundry, for use or consumption primarily in generating heat, are retail sales and subject to the retail sales tax, notwithstanding the fact that some portion of the oil may cause a chemical reaction and to some extent alter the character of the article being manufactured or processed.
(10) Effective April 3, 1986, (chapter 231, Laws of 1986), 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 is to create a chemical reaction directly through contact with an ingredient of ferrosilicon, are not subject to retail sales tax or use tax.
(11) In special cases where doubt exists, a special ruling will be made by the department of revenue upon submission of all the pertinent facts relative to the nature of the chemical substances concerned and the use made thereof by the purchaser.
Revised June 1, 1970.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300. WSR 86-20-027 (Order 86-17), § 458-20-113, filed 9/23/86; Order ET 70-3, § 458-20-113 (Rule 113), filed 5/29/70, effective 7/1/70.]
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