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 is coded appropriately for tax-exempt purchase.  If this is not done, the system will default to use tax automatically, resulting in overcharging the department budget.


Correcting Use Tax Charges:

Budgets should be reviewed regularly and departments should submit correction requests immediately upon discovery of an error.

To submit a use tax correction, visit the Use Tax Correction Report in the Procurement Desktop Reports (PDR).

Please Note:  The use tax correction process has changed. Click here for instructions on how to submit a use tax correction.

For questions regarding sales or use tax, please contact the tax office at

For questions regarding use tax correction approvals or denials, contact the use tax correction team at

Contact Procurement Customer Service at (206) 543-4500 or with any questions regarding the Use Tax Correction Report.