"Do I have to pay sales tax on my new bicycle?"
Short answer: Maybe
Shipping it to you
We don't have to charge anyone sales tax if we are shipping the product to a destination outside of Washington state. So if you don't live in Washington, or even the United States, we don't have to charge you sales tax if we ship it to you. This is true for all companies in the United States.
If you pick your bike up in Seattle, things may be different depending on where you are from.
Some states have made reciprocal deals with Washington State and arranged for exemptions.
The state of Washington has reciprocal deals with:
Inside the United States
Outside of the United States:
- New Hampshire
Proof of residence
- Alberta, Canada
- Yukon Territory, Canada
- Nunavut, Canada
- American Samoa
All we (and all other US companies) need to do is attach a copy of your proof of ID (driver's license, ID card etc..) to the invoice showing that you are a resident of one of these areas, and you can pick your bike up at our shop and not pay Washington State sales tax.
Wording directly from the government:
Instructions to sellers
Examine one piece of identification that establishes proof of nonresidency at the time of purchase. The identification must be a valid driver's license issued by the jurisdiction in which the out-of-state residency is claimed or a valid identification card issued by the out-of-state jurisdiction. The identification must A) bear the photograph of the holder, B) show the holder’s residential address, C) identify the holder’s name, and D) be issued for the purpose of establishing residency.
Read the rest here.
Alternative: If you think you qualify for no sales tax, but don't see your resident home on the list above, the government provides this form that you can use to request a sales tax exemption.
If you qualify, think of it as winning the lottery. "Hurray, no sales tax!" Otherwise, think of it as one of the sure things in life.....death and taxes. You can always check with your local state government to see if they've recently entered into a deal with the state of Washington. We'd love to not charge you sales tax.
Email me if you have any questions about the subject.
Here's the link to the Washington state gov. page showing the laws regarding 'qualifed non-resident' sales tax exemptions, and how retailers are to handle them.