General Overview

To qualify for the M&E Exemption, equipment must:


  • Federally titled items purchased by the University also qualify for the exemption.
  • Add costs to existing pieces of M&E qualifying equipment can also qualify for the exemption, even if they are under $200.
  • Have a useful life of one year or more;
  • Be used more than 50% annually on qualifying research; and
  • Have an acquisition cost of $200 or more

Non-equipment costs that can also qualify for the M&E Exemption include:

  • Ancillary costs (use the relevant 06-XX M&E object code)
  • Labor costs (use object code 03-65)
  • Repair and maintenance - this includes service/maintenance constracts, as well as preventative maintenance costs performed outside of any maintenance contract (use object code 03-65)
  • Replacement parts (use object code 05-41)

Non-equipment costs that do not qualify for the M&E Exemption include:

  • Warranties
  • Consumable supplies


Best Practices for M&E Purchases

Since M&E purchases require pre-approval, the only systems in which M&E purchases are allowed are Ariba requisitions (including non-catalog orders), and BPOs (blanket purchase orders). 

The vendor must obtain the M&E DOR certificate up front by accepting the purchase order. In addition, the vendor should not allow an M&E purchase to be made without the certificate being presented up front. The Procurement Card, Non-PO Invoices, and eReimbursement are all "post purchase" payment methods and therefore pre-approval is not available.


Optional - Some departments choose to collect supporting data related to M&E purchases.  The format for this varies by department and is for internal use only.


RCW 82.08.02565 Exemptions - Sales of machinery and equipment for manufacturing, research and development, or a testing operation - Labor and services for installation - Exemption certificate - Rules.

RCW 82.63.010 Definitions

WAC 458-20-13601 Manufacturers and processors for hireSales and use tax exemption for machinery and equipment.

Excise Tax Advisory 3127.2009 Manuracturers' Machinery and Equipment Exemption - Research and Development

WAC 450-20-257 Warranties, Service Contracts, & Tax Exempt Status

Updated 26 July 2019