Requirement to Collect Sales Tax

The University is required to collect and remit sales tax on sales of tangible personal property and certain services to outside entities (i.e. not internal sales between University departments). Sales tax is calculated on the total sales price (including administrative overhead). Examples of services subject to the retail sales tax include cleaning, repairing, altering, or improving real or personal property. Sales of goods shipped directly to entities outside the state of Washington are not subject to sales tax.

For current Washington state sales tax rates please see the Department of Revenue website.

Reseller's Permit

Every business that sells at wholesale must present a valid reseller's permit to purchase goods as wholesale goods not subject to the sales tax. If you believe you qualify to purchase goods at wholesale contact the Tax Office at to obtain a copy of the permit. For additional information about the reseller's permit click here.

Procedure for Reporting Sales Tax Collected

If your department sold externally and needs to report the tax collected, you can do so through the Cash Transmittal process. As you are depositing checks, post the merchandise amounts to your budget and post the tax amount on the tax line of the CT. This will transfer the tax collected to the appropriate accrual account and the funds will be captured and reported to the Department of Revenue by the Tax Office.

For any questions on this process, contact

Destination-Based Sales Tax

Sellers must collect local sales tax based on the rates effective in the jurisdiction to which the product is shipped - "destination-based". This only applies to shipments or deliveries to locations within Washington State. If the item is picked up at the retail/store location, then the rate is based on the rate effective in the jurisdiction of the retail/store location.

There is no change for deliveries outside the state or over-the-counter sales where customers take home goods from the sales location.

         What is not affected?

  • Over-the-counter sales (i.e. where the goods aren’t shipped)
  • Deliveries to locations outside the state of Washington
  • Wholesale sales
  • Services

Send any questions you have on this topic to For more information on this topic, please see the Department of Revenue website. For specific information about local tax rates, please see the Local Sales and Use Tax Flyer.

Unrelated Business Income Tax

For more information on this Federal tax that may result from the sales to outside entities, please see Unrelated Business Income Tax.