The University of Washington must pay sales tax on most merchandise purchased for operations of the University.

This page will discuss the difference between Washington State Sales Tax and Use Tax and how to begin the process of requesting a correction for tax charges.

Connect directly to the UW Tax Office website or view the Taxability and Suggested Object Codes grid

Sales tax: applies to tangible personal property for those vendors subject to collect Washington State sales tax. As an example, if you purchase a chair from a local supplier or an out-of-state supplier who collect Washington State sales tax, you will be expected to pay the current tax rate. The out-of-state supplier will bill you the rate applicable at the point of delivery. A local supplier will bill the rate associated with the location of the delivery of the good purchased.

Use tax: Application generally will effect transactions from out of state and items shipped to WA.  As an example, when a chair is purchased from a vendor with no obligation to collect Washington State tax, the invoice will be automatically charged use tax.

Tax Exempt: If the item being purchased is deemed tax exempt, and the purchase is made with an out-of-state vendor, use tax should not be charged. The department placing the order must make sure the purchase order has the appropriate Financial Treatment worktag for tax-exempt purchase.  If this is not done, the system could charge use tax automatically or allow sales tax to pay, resulting in overcharging the department fund.


Correcting Use Tax Charges:

For use tax corrections, please email and provide the following:

  • UW Company (1861, SOM, UW Medicine etc.)
  • Ledger Account (contact department accountant or financial accounting)
  • Cost Center
  • Resource
  • Grant
  • Additional Worktags
    • Fund
    • Function
    • Balancing Unit
    • Spend Category used for the item on the transaction
    • Activity 
    • Program

Transaction Information (from transaction in Workday):

  • Is the request to access or reverse Use Tax
  • Amount of tax to be assessed/reversed (i.e. Manual JE amount
  • SI #