Washington – DOR Files Emergency Rule Making Order


Purpose: Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 458-20-193 (Rule 193) and WAC 458-20-221 (Rule 221) provide guidance regarding the need for a seller to have a physical presence in Washington in order to establish the required nexus for the state to impose a sales or use tax collection obligation on retail sales into Washington. The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, 138 S.Ct. 2080 (2018), allowed Washington to impose a sales or use tax collection obligation on sellers who do not have a physical presence in this state. Pursuant to this decision and RCW 82.08.0254, 82.12.0255, and 82.32.733, effective October 1, 2018, the Department required remote sellers meeting certain thresholds to collect retail sales or use tax on all taxable sales sourced to Washington. Recent legislation (SSB 5581 (2019)) further clarified the sales tax collection obligation for remote sellers. Until the final rules reflecting these changes are adopted through the standard rulemaking process, the Department wants the public to be aware that the current Rules 193 and 221 may contain outdated or incomplete information regarding who is required to collect sales or use tax on taxable retail sales into Washington.

Reasons for this finding: Taxpayers rely on Rules 193 and 221 to determine whether they are required to collect sales or use tax on taxable retail sales sourced to Washington. Effective October 1, 2018, the Department imposed a sales or use tax collection obligation on remote sellers meeting certain thresholds, under the authority of RCW 82.08.0254, 82.12.0255, and 82.32.733. Substitute Senate Bill 5581 (2019) further clarified the sales tax collection obligation for remote sellers. Because of these changes in the law, Rules 193 and 221 require substantive updates using the standard rulemaking process. Until these rules are amended, the Department wants to ensure the public does not use current Rules 193 and 221 to determine their sales or use tax collection obligations beginning October 1, 2018.


For More Information: WA DOR