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WAC 458-20-116

Sales and/or use of labels, name plates, tags, premiums, and advertising material.

(1) Introduction. This section explains Washington's B&O and retail sales tax applications to the sale of labels, name plates, tags, and advertising material. It also gives tax reporting information to persons offering premiums at reduced or no cost to customers.
(2) Definitions. For the purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(a) "Labels," "name plates," and "tags" are slips, generally made of paper or cloth, which are affixed to articles or containers for identification or description.
(b) A "premium" is an item offered free of charge or at a reduced price to prospective customers as an inducement to buy.
(3) Sales for resale. Sales of labels, name plates, tags, premiums, and advertising material to persons for use in the following manner are sales for resale (wholesale sales) and not subject to retail sales tax:
(a) Sales of labels, name plates, and tags to persons who will attach these items to articles or containers sold by them, or enclose these items with articles sold by them. However, the labels, name plates, or tags may not be purchased for resale if they will be put to intervening use by such persons.
(b) Sales of premiums to persons who pass title to the premium along with other articles which are sold by them, when the passing of title to the premiums is not contingent upon the returning of coupons or other evidence of prior purchase.
(c) Sales of premiums to persons who in turn sell the same to customers at a reduced price.
(d) Sales of advertising material to persons who enclose the advertising material with articles sold by them, when such advertising material relates primarily to the articles with which it is enclosed. Persons who enclose advertising material with articles being sold for the purpose of promoting sales of other products are consumers and may not purchase this advertising material for resale. (See RCW 82.12.010(5).)
(4) Retail sales tax. Sales of labels, name plates, tags, premiums, and advertising material to consumers are retail sales. The retail sales tax applies to the following:
(a) Sales of labels, name plates, and tags to persons who attach the same to containers enclosing articles sold by them, when such persons retain title to the containers which are to be returned. Such sales are sales for consumption and subject to the retail sales tax. Since the container is not being resold, any labels, name plates, tags, or similar items attached to the container are also not being resold.
(b) Sales of labels, name plates, and tags to persons who use them for inventory, statistical, or other business purposes. Such sales are sales for consumption and the retail sales tax applies, notwithstanding the labels, name plates, or tags remain attached to the articles or containers delivered to the customer.
(c) Sales of premiums to persons who do not pass title thereto with other articles which are sold by them, but which are given as an inducement to perform a service, or are given upon the returning of coupons or other evidence of prior purchase. Such sales are sales for consumption and are subject to the retail sales tax.
(d) Sales of premiums to persons who offer them as an inducement to potential customers at no charge and with no requirement that the customer purchase any other article or service as a condition to receive the premium. Such sales are sales for consumption and subject to the retail sales tax.
(5) Business and occupation tax. The B&O tax applies to the sale of labels, name plates, tags, premiums, and advertising material as follows:
(a) Wholesaling. Persons who sell labels, name plates, tags, premiums, and advertising material to persons who will resell these items as described in subsection (3) of this section are subject to the wholesaling B&O tax on the gross proceeds of these sales. Sellers must obtain resale certificates for sales made before January 1, 2010, or reseller permits for sales made on or after January 1, 2010, from their 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.
(b) Retailing. Persons who sell labels, name plates, tags, premiums, and advertising material to consumers are subject to the retailing B&O tax on such sales.
(6) Deferred sales or use tax. If the seller fails to collect the appropriate retail sales tax, the purchaser is required to pay the deferred sales or use tax directly to the department.
(7) Examples. The following examples identify a number of facts and then state a conclusion. These examples should be used only as a general guide. The tax status of each situation must be determined after a review of all of the facts and circumstances.
(a) ABC Timber purchases log tags which are attached to logs as they are received in ABC's yard. These tags are used by ABC to keep track of the logs for inventory purposes. These tags remain on the logs after sale, and are also used by ABC's customers to verify receipt of the logs. ABC must remit retail sales or use tax upon the purchase of the log tags, notwithstanding they remain attached to the logs after sale to ABC's customers. The use of these tags for inventory purposes by ABC prior to actual sale is intervening use as a consumer.
(b) MT Gas, a gasoline and service station, offers customers a free set of stemware with any gasoline purchase of ten gallons or more. Customer purchasing seven to nine gallons of gasoline may purchase the same set of stemware for a nominal amount. MT Gas may purchase the stemware without paying retail sales tax. The stemware is offered as a premium, and is considered to be resold along with the gasoline. It is immaterial that the sale of gasoline is exempt from the retail sales tax. MT Gas must report the retailing B&O tax and collect and remit retail sales tax on the price charged for the stemware sold to those customers purchasing seven to nine gallons of gasoline.
(c) KMP Company is a camping club which purchases gift items which are used as premiums. These gift items are offered free of charge to potential customers on condition that the potential customer attend a sales presentation. No purchase of a membership or anything else is required to receive the premium. KMP must remit retail sales or use tax upon the purchase of the premiums. KMP is the consumer of premiums given away free of charge where the recipient has no requirement to purchase any service or article as a condition of receiving the premium.
(d) BC Bank offers a choice of various premiums to customers opening new savings accounts. In some cases, a charge may be made to the customer for the premium, with the amount of the charge based on the amount of deposit the customer makes in the new savings account. BC Bank may give a resale certificate (WAC 458-20-102A) for purchases made before January 1, 2010, or a reseller permit (WAC 458-20-102) for purchases made on or after January 1, 2010, to its suppliers for those premiums which will be resold to its new customers. For those premiums which will be given to customers without charge, BC Bank must pay either the retail sales tax to its suppliers or use tax to the department on the cost of the premiums. It also must report the retailing B&O tax and collect and remit retail sales tax on any amounts charged to its customers.
[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, § 458-20-116, filed 2/25/10, effective 3/28/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300. WSR 93-19-018, § 458-20-116, filed 9/2/93, effective 10/3/93; WSR 83-07-034 (Order ET 83-17), § 458-20-116, filed 3/15/83; Order ET 70-3, § 458-20-116 (Rule 116), filed 5/29/70, effective 7/1/70.]
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