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PDFWAC 458-20-107

Requirement to separately state sales tax—Advertised prices including sales tax.

(1) Introduction. Under the provisions of RCW 82.08.020 the retail sales tax is to be collected and paid upon retail sales, measured by the selling price.
(2) Retail sales tax separately stated. RCW 82.08.050 specifically requires that the retail sales tax must be stated separately from the selling price on any sales invoice or other instrument of sale, i.e., contracts, sales slips, and/or customer billing receipts. (For an exception covering food and beverage receipts, see WAC 458-20-124, Restaurants, cocktail bars, taverns and similar businesses.) This is required even though the seller and buyer may know and agree that the price quoted is to include state and local taxes, including the retail sales tax.
(a) The law creates a "conclusive presumption" that, for purposes of collecting the tax and remitting it to the state, the selling price quoted does not include the retail sales tax. This presumption is not overcome or rebutted by any written or oral agreement between seller and buyer.
(b) Selling prices may be advertised as including the tax, and in such cases, the advertised price is not the taxable selling price.
(3) Advertising prices including tax.
(a) RCW 82.08.055 provides that a seller may advertise prices as including the sales tax or that the seller is paying the sales tax under the following conditions:
(i) The words "tax included" are stated immediately following the advertised price in print size at least half as large as the advertised price print size, unless the advertised price is one in a listed series;
(ii) When advertised prices are listed in series, the words "tax included in all prices" are placed conspicuously at the head of the list in the same print size as the list;
(iii) If the price is advertised as including tax, the price listed on any price tag must be shown in the same way; and
(iv) All advertised prices and the words "tax included" are stated in the same medium, whether oral or visual, and if oral, in substantially the same inflection and volume.
(b) If these conditions are satisfied, as applicable, then price lists, reader boards, menus, and other price information mediums need not reflect the item price and separately show the actual amount of sales tax being collected on any or all items.
(c) The scope and intent of the foregoing is that buyers have the right to know whether retail sales tax is being included in advertised prices or not and that the tax is not to be used for the competitive advantage or disadvantage of retail sellers.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300, 82.01.060(2), 82.08.050, and 2013 2nd sp.s. c 13. WSR 14-01-050, § 458-20-107, filed 12/12/13, effective 1/12/14. Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300, 82.01.060(2), and 82.08.050. WSR 08-14-021, § 458-20-107, filed 6/20/08, effective 7/21/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300. WSR 90-10-080, § 458-20-107, filed 5/2/90, effective 6/2/90; WSR 86-03-016 (Order ET 86-1), § 458-20-107, filed 1/7/86; WSR 83-07-034 (Order ET 83-17), § 458-20-107, filed 3/15/83; Order ET 70-3, § 458-20-107 (Rule 107), filed 5/29/70, effective 7/1/70.]
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