Washington – Application of Tax to Out-of-State Printers

SALT Report 2522 – The Washington Department of Revenue issued an excise tax advisory to clarify the Department’s position regarding the application of business and occupation (B&O) taxes to out-of-state printers who sell their printed materials in Washington.

Pursuant to RCW 82.04.280, the gross income for those in the business of printing materials is taxable under the printing and publishing category of the B&O tax. This category combines both the production and selling activities so that when a person offers both, only the production activity is subject to B&O tax. The tax for the production activity is based on the selling price as follows.

In-state printers, which are those printers that print products within Washington, are:

  • Subject to the printing and publishing B&O tax classification on the printing activity, even if the printed products are sold to out-of-state customers, and
  • Are not subject to the retailing or wholesaling B&O tax classification on their sales of printed materials to instate customers

Out-of-state printers, which are printers with substantial nexus in Washington that print products outside Washington, are:

  • Not subject to the printing and publishing B&O tax classification on the printing activity because the printing activity takes place outside of the state, and
  • Are not subject to the retailing or wholesaling B&O tax classification on their sales to instate customers

However, printers, whether in-state or out-of-state with substantial nexus, who make retail sales into Washington must collect and remit retail sales tax, even if they are not subject to the B&O tax. This requirement only applies to those who both print and sell the printed materials.

For Further Information

Washington Department of Revenue – Excise Tax Advisory #3174.2013