Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 458-20-244 Food and food ingredients, provides guidelines for
determining if food or food ingredients qualify for retail
sales tax and use tax exemptions provided by RCW 82.08.0293
THIS RULE IS BEING PROPOSED UNDER AN EXPEDITED RULE-MAKING PROCESS THAT WILL ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR THE AGENCY TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS, PREPARE A SMALL BUSINESS ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT, OR PROVIDE RESPONSES TO THE CRITERIA FOR A SIGNIFICANT LEGISLATIVE RULE. IF YOU OBJECT TO THIS USE OF THE EXPEDITED RULE-MAKING PROCESS, YOU MUST EXPRESS YOUR OBJECTIONS IN WRITING AND THEY MUST BE SENT TO Gayle Carlson, Department of Revenue, P.O. Box 47453, Olympia, WA 98504-7453, e-mail GayleC@dor.wa.gov , AND RECEIVED BY October 4, 2010.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The department is proposing to amend WAC 458-20-244 to recognize the following recent legislation:
o E2SSB 6143 (chapter 23, Laws of 2010), which extended sales tax to sales of candy and bottled water;
o E2SHB 1597 (chapter 23, Laws of 2010), which clarified that retail sales tax applies to the gross vending machine proceeds from sales of soft drinks; and
o SB 5470 (chapter 483, Laws of 2009), which provides a sales tax exemption for sales of meals provided at qualified low-income senior housing facilities.
Minor editing changes are also proposed.
Copies of draft rules are available for viewing and printing on our web site at http://dor.wa.gov/content/FindALawOrRule/RuleMaking/agenda.aspx.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: To recognize recent legislation.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 82.32.300 and 82.01.060(2).
Statute Being Implemented: RCW 82.08.0293 and 82.12.0293.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: Department of revenue, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Gayle Carlson, 1025 Union Avenue S.E., Suite #544, Olympia, WA, (360) 570-6126; Implementation: Alan R. Lynn, 1025 Union Avenue S.E., Suite #544, Olympia, WA, (360) 570-6125; and Enforcement: Gilbert Brewer, 1025 Union Avenue S.E., Suite #544, Olympia, WA, (360) 570-6147.
July 29, 2010
Alan R. Lynn
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 07-24-038, filed 11/30/07, effective 12/31/07)
WAC 458-20-244 Food and food ingredients. (1) Introduction.
(a) What is the purpose of this section? This section, WAC 458-20-244, provides guidelines for determining if food or food ingredients qualify for the retail sales tax and use tax exemptions under RCW 82.08.0293 and 82.12.0293 (collectively referred to in this section as the "exemptions").
There is no corresponding business and occupation (B&O) tax exemption. Even if a sale of food or food ingredients is exempt from retail sales tax or use tax under the exemptions, gross proceeds from sales of food or food ingredients remain subject to the retailing B&O tax.
How has the law changed since the prior version of
this section was published? In 2003 and 2004, the legislature
amended RCW 82.08.0293 and 82.12.0293 to comply with the
national Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement. These
amendments alter the definitions used to determine whether a
particular food or food ingredient qualifies for the
(c))) What other sections might apply? The following sections may contain additional relevant information:
• WAC 458-20-119 ((
()), Sales of meals(( )));
• WAC 458-20-124 ((
()), Restaurants, cocktail bars,
taverns and similar businesses(( )));
• WAC 458-20-12401 ((
()), Special stadium sales and use
• WAC 458-20-166 ((
()), Hotels, motels, boarding houses,
rooming houses, resorts, summer camps, trailer camps,
• WAC 458-20-167 ((
()), Education institutions, school
districts, student organizations, and private schools(( )));
• WAC 458-20-168 ((
()), Hospitals, medical care
facilities, and adult family homes(( ))); (( and))
• WAC 458-20-169 ((
()), Nonprofit organizations(( ))); and
• WAC 458-20-229, Refunds.
(2) What qualifies for the exemptions?
(a) In general. The exemptions apply to food and food ingredients. "Food and food ingredients" means substances, whether in liquid, concentrated, solid, frozen, dried, or dehydrated form, that are sold for ingestion or chewing by humans and are consumed for their taste or nutritional value.
(b) Items not used solely for ingestion or chewing. Items that are commonly ingested or chewed by humans for their taste or nutritional value but which may also be used for other purposes are generally treated as food or food ingredients. For example, pumpkins are presumed to be a food or food ingredient unless the pumpkin is sold painted or is otherwise clearly for decorative purposes rather than consumption. This is true even though the purchaser may use an undecorated pumpkin for carving and display rather than for eating.
(3) What does not qualify for the exemptions? The exemptions do not apply to the following items, which are not considered "food or food ingredients" or which are otherwise specifically excluded from the exemptions:
(a) Items sold for medical or hygiene purposes. Items commonly used for medical or hygiene purposes, such as cough drops, breath sprays, toothpaste, etc., are not ingested for taste or nutrition and are not considered a food or food ingredient. In contrast, breath mints are commonly ingested for taste and are considered a food or food ingredient.
(b) Bulk sales of ice. Ice sold in bags, containers, or
units of greater than ten pounds and blocks of ice of any
weight are not considered a food or food ingredient. Ice sold
in cubed, shaved, or crushed form in packages or quantities of
ten pounds or less is considered a food or food ingredient.
Refer to WAC 458-20-120 ((
()), Sales of ice(( ))), for
additional guidance on the sale of ice.
(c) Alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic beverages are excluded from the definition of food and food ingredients. "Alcoholic beverages" means beverages that are suitable for human consumption and contain one-half of one percent or more of alcohol by volume.
(d) Tobacco. Tobacco is excluded from the definition of food and food ingredients. "Tobacco" includes cigarettes, cigars, chewing or pipe tobacco, or any other items that contain tobacco.
(e) Candy. Effective June 1, 2010, chapter 23, Laws of 2010, sp. sess., (2ESSB 6143) excludes candy from the exemptions.
(i) "Candy" means a preparation of sugar, honey, or other natural or artificial sweeteners in combination with chocolate, fruits, nuts, or other ingredients or flavorings in the form of bars, drops, or pieces.
(ii) "Candy" does not include any preparation containing flour and does not require refrigeration.
(iii) For a list of products and whether they meet the definition of candy, refer to the department's internet site at http://dor.wa.gov/. If the product in question is not listed on the internet site write the department, including a label or copy of label for the product, for a ruling at:
Department of Revenue
P.O. Box 47478
Olympia, WA 98504-7478
(f) Bottled water. From June 1, 2010, through June 30, 2013, chapter 23, Laws of 2010, sp. sess., (2ESSB 6143) excludes bottled water from the exemptions.
(i) "Bottled water" means water that is placed in a sealed container or package for human consumption.
(ii) Bottled water is calorie free and does not contain sweeteners or other additives except that it may contain:
(A) Antimicrobial agents;
(D) Vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes;
(F) Preservatives; and
(G) Only those flavors, extracts, or essences derived from a spice or fruit.
(iii) "Bottled water" includes water that is delivered to the buyer in a reusable container that is not sold with the water.
(iv) See subsection (8) of this section for limited exceptions to the tax on bottled water.
(g) Soft drinks. Soft drinks are excluded from the exemptions. "Soft drinks" means any nonalcoholic beverage that contains natural or artificial sweeteners, except beverages that contain:
• Milk or milk products;
• Soy, rice, or similar milk substitutes; or
• More than fifty percent by volume of vegetable or fruit juice.
For example, sweetened sports beverages are considered "soft drinks," but a sweetened soy beverage is a food or food ingredient.
Beverage mixes that are not sold in liquid form are not soft drinks even though they are intended to be made into a beverage by the customer. Examples include powdered fruit drinks, powdered tea or coffee drinks, and frozen concentrates. These items are a food or food ingredient and are not subject to retail sales tax.
(f))) (h) Dietary supplements. Dietary supplements are
excluded from the exemptions. "Dietary supplement" means any
product intended to supplement the diet, other than tobacco,
which meets all of the following requirements:
• Contains a vitamin; mineral; herb or other botanical; amino acid; a substance for use by humans to increase total dietary intake; or a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract; or combination of any of them;
• Is intended for ingestion in tablet, capsule, powder, soft gel, gelcap, or liquid form, or if not intended for ingestion in such a form, is not represented as conventional food and is not represented for use as a sole item of a meal or of the diet; and
• Is required to be labeled with a Food and Drug Administration "supplement facts" box. If a product is otherwise considered a food or food ingredient and labeled with both a "supplement facts" box and "nutrition facts" box, the product is treated as a food or food ingredient.
Nutrition products formulated to provide balanced nutrition as a sole source of a meal or of the diet are considered a food or food ingredient and not a dietary supplement. Refer to RCW 82.08.925 for information on the sales tax exemption applicable to dietary supplements dispensed under a prescription.
(g))) (i) Prepared food. Prepared food is excluded
from the exemptions. Prepared food generally means heated
foods, combined foods, or foods sold with utensils provided by
the seller, as described in more detail in subsection (4) of
this section. "Prepared food" does not include food sold by a
seller whose proper primary North American industry
classification system (NAICS) classification is manufacturing
in sector 311, except subsector 3118 (bakeries), unless the
food is sold with utensils provided by the seller (see
subsection (4)(c) of this section).
(4) What is "prepared food"? Food or food ingredients are "prepared foods" if any one of the following are true:
(a) Heated foods. Food or food ingredients are "prepared foods" if sold in a heated state or are heated by the seller, except bakery items. "Bakery items" include bread, rolls, buns, biscuits, bagels, croissants, pastries, donuts, Danish, cakes, tortes, pies, tarts, muffins, bars, cookies, and tortillas. Food is sold in a heated state or is heated by the seller when the seller provides the food to the customer at a temperature that is higher than the air temperature of the seller's establishment. Food is not sold in a heated state or heated by the seller if the customer, rather than the seller, heats the food in a microwave provided by the seller.
(b) Combined foods. Food or food ingredients are "prepared foods" if the item sold consists of two or more foods or food ingredients mixed or combined by the seller for sale as a single item, unless the food or food ingredients are any of the following:
• Bakery items (defined in (a) of this subsection);
• Items that the seller only cuts, repackages, or pasteurizes;
• Items that contain eggs, fish, meat, or poultry, in a raw or undercooked state requiring cooking as recommended by the federal Food and Drug Administration in chapter 3, part 401.11 of The Food Code, published by the Food and Drug Administration, as amended or renumbered as of January 1, 2003, so as to prevent foodborne illness; or
• Items sold in an unheated state as a single item at a price that varies based on weight or volume.
(c) Food sold with utensils provided by the seller. Food or food ingredients are "prepared foods" if sold with utensils provided by the seller. Utensils include plates, knives, forks, spoons, glasses, cups, napkins, and straws. A plate does not include a container or packaging used to transport the food.
(i) Utensils are customarily provided by the seller. A food or food ingredient is "sold with utensils provided by the seller" if the seller's customary practice for that item is to physically deliver or hand a utensil to the customer with the food or food ingredient as part of the sales transaction. If the food or food ingredient is prepackaged with a utensil, the seller is considered to have physically delivered a utensil to the customer unless the food and utensil are prepackaged together by a food manufacturer classified under sector 311 of the NAICS. Examples of utensils provided by such manufacturers include juice boxes that are packaged with drinking straws, and yogurt or ice cream cups that are packaged with wooden or plastic spoons.
(ii) Utensils are necessary to receive the food. Individual food or food ingredient items are "sold with utensils provided by the seller" if a plate, glass, cup, or bowl is necessary to receive the food or food ingredient and the seller makes those utensils available to its customers. For example, items obtained from a self-serve salad bar are sold with utensils provided by the seller, because the customer must use a bowl or plate provided by the seller in order to receive the items.
(iii) More than seventy-five percent prepared food sales with utensils available. All food and food ingredients sold at an establishment, including foods prepackaged with a utensil by a manufacturer classified under sector 311 of the NAICS, are "sold with utensils provided by the seller" if the seller makes utensils available to its customers and the seller's gross sales of prepared food under (a), (b), and (c)(ii) of this subsection equal more than seventy-five percent of the seller's gross sales of all food and food ingredients, including prepared food, soft drinks, and dietary supplements.
(A) Exception for four or more servings. Even if a seller has more than seventy-five percent prepared food sales, four servings or more of food or food ingredients packaged for sale as a single item and sold for a single price are not "sold with utensils provided by the seller" unless the seller's customary practice for the package is to physically hand or otherwise deliver a utensil to the customer as part of the sales transaction. Whenever available, the number of servings included in a package of food or food ingredients is to be determined based on the manufacturer's product label. If no label is available, the seller must reasonably determine the number of servings.
(B) Determining total sales of prepared foods. The seller must determine a single prepared food sales percentage annually for all the seller's establishments in the state based on the prior year of sales. The seller may elect to determine its prepared food sales percentage based either on the prior calendar year or on the prior fiscal year. A seller may not change its elected method for determining its prepared food percentage without the written consent of the department of revenue. The seller must determine its annual prepared food sales percentage as soon as possible after accounting records are available, but in no event later than ninety days after the beginning of the seller's calendar or fiscal year. A seller may make a good faith estimate of its first annual prepared food sales percentage if the seller's records for the prior year are not sufficient to allow the seller to calculate the prepared food sales percentage. The seller must adjust its good faith estimate prospectively if its relative sales of prepared foods in the first ninety days of operation materially depart from the seller's estimate.
(d) Examples. The following examples identify a number of facts and then state a conclusion. These examples should be used only as a general guide. The tax results of other situations must be determined after a review of all of the facts and circumstances.
(i) Example 1. Fast Cafe sells hot and cold coffee and
mixed coffee and mixed milk beverages, cold soft drinks,
bottled water,)) milk and juice in single-serving
containers, sandwiches, whole fruits, cold pasta salad,
cookies and other pastries. Fast Cafe prepares the pasta
salad on-site. It orders the pastries from a local bakery,
including specialty cakes which it sells both as whole cakes
and by the slice. It purchases its sandwiches from a local
caterer. The sandwiches are delivered by the caterer
prewrapped in plastic with condiments and a plastic knife. Fast Cafe makes straws, napkins and cup lids available for all
customers by placing them on a self-service stand. In its
first full year of operation, Fast Cafe's annual gross sales
of all food and food ingredients, including prepared food,
soft drinks, and dietary supplements is $100,000. Of this
gross sales total, $80,000 is from the sale of hot coffee and
hot and cold mixed coffee and milk beverages, all sold in
disposable paper or plastic cups with the Fast Cafe logo.
Because more than seventy-five percent of Fast Cafe's total sales of food and food ingredients, including prepared food, soft drinks, and dietary supplements are sales of food or food ingredients that are heated or combined by the seller or sold with a utensil (cups) necessary to receive the food, Fast Cafe has more than seventy-five percent prepared food sales. Because Fast Cafe makes utensils available for its customers, all food and food ingredients sold by Fast Cafe are considered "prepared food," including the cold milk beverages, cookies and pastries, pasta salad, sandwiches and whole fruits. The only exception is the sale of whole specialty cakes. Because a whole cake contains four or more servings, it is not subject to retail sales tax unless Fast Cafe customarily hands a utensil to the customer as part of the sale transaction.
(ii) Example 2. Assume the same facts as in Example 1, but that only $60,000 of Fast Cafe's Year 1 gross sales were sales of hot coffee and hot and cold mixed coffee and milk beverages. The remainder of its sales were sales of sandwiches, whole fruits, cookies and other pastries. Under these facts, Fast Cafe does not have more than seventy-five percent prepared food sales. Thus, the items sold by Fast Cafe are taxed as follows:
• Hot coffee and milk beverages are heated by the seller and are also sold by Fast Cafe with a utensil (a paper cup) necessary to receive the food. The hot coffee and milk beverages are "prepared food" for either reason and are subject to retail sales tax.
• Cold mixed milk beverages are a combination of two or more foods or food ingredients and are also sold by Fast Cafe with a utensil (a paper or plastic cup) necessary to receive the food. The cold milk beverages are "prepared food" for either reason and are subject to retail sales tax.
• Cold soft drinks are not exempt and are subject to retail sales tax.
• Sandwiches prepared by the caterer are subject to retail sales tax. Even though the caterer, rather than the seller, combines the ingredients and includes a utensil, Fast Cafe is considered to have provided the utensil because the caterer is not a food manufacturer classified under sector 311 of the NAICS.
• Pasta salad is combined by the seller and is subject to retail sales tax. Note that if the pasta salad was sold by the pound, rather than by servings, it would not be subject to retail sales tax.
Bottled water,)) Milk and juice in single serving
containers, whole fruit, cookies, pastries, slices of cake,
and whole cakes are not subject to retail sales tax unless the
seller's customary practice is to hand a utensil to the
customer as part of the sales transaction. None of these
items are heated by the seller, combined by the seller, or
require a plate, glass, cup, or bowl in order to receive the
item. Even if Fast Cafe heats the pastries for its customers,
the pastries are not subject to retail sales tax.
(iii) Example 3. A pizza restaurant sells whole hot pizzas, hot pizza by the slice, and unheated ready-to-bake pizzas. The whole hot pizzas and hot pizza sold by the slice, including delivered pizzas, are "prepared food" because these items are sold in a heated state. If the unheated ready-to-bake pizzas are prepared by the seller, they are "prepared food" because the seller has mixed or combined two or more food ingredients. This is true even though some ingredients in the unheated pizzas are raw or uncooked, because those ingredients do not require cooking to prevent foodborne illness. If the unheated ready-to-bake pizzas are prepared by a manufacturer other than the seller, they will be taxable as "prepared food" only if sold with utensils provided by the seller.
(5) How are combined sales of taxable and exempt items taxed?
(a) Combined sales. Where two or more distinct and identifiable items of tangible personal property, at least one of which is a food or food ingredient, are sold for one nonitemized price that does not vary based on the selection by the purchaser of items included in the transaction:
• The entire transaction is taxable if the seller's purchase price or sales price of the taxable items is greater than fifty percent of the combined purchase price or sales price; and
• The entire transaction is exempt from retail sales tax if the seller's purchase price or sales price of the taxable items is fifty percent or less of the combined purchase price or sales price.
The seller may make the determination based on either purchase price or sales price, but may not use a combination of the purchase price and sales price.
(i))) A combination wine and cheese picnic basket
contains four items packaged together: A bottle of wine, a
wine opener, single-serving cheeses, and the picnic basket
holding these items. The seller's purchase price for the
wine, wine-opener, and picnic basket totals ten dollars. The
seller's purchase price for the cheeses is two dollars. The
seller must collect retail sales taxes on the entire package,
because the seller's purchase price for the taxable items (ten
dollars) is greater than fifty percent of the combined
purchase price (twelve dollars).
(ii) A retailer sells a decorative jar containing
individually wrapped candies for the selling price of twelve
dollars. The retailer sells the decorative jar by itself for
the price of five dollars. The retailer's selling price for
the candy alone is seven dollars. The retailer is not
required to collect retail sales taxes on the decorative jar
filled with candies, because the retailer's selling price for
the tax exempt candies is greater than its selling price for
the taxable jar.))
(c) Incidental packaging. "Distinct and identifiable items" does not include packaging which is immaterial or incidental to the sale of another item or items. For example, a decorative bag sold filled with candy is not the sale of "distinct and identifiable" items where the bag is merely ornamental packaging immaterial in the sale of the candy.
(d) Free items. "Distinct and identifiable items" does not include items provided free of charge. An item is only provided free of charge if the seller's sales price does not vary depending on whether the item is included in the sale.
(6) What are the seller's accounting requirements? All sales of food and food ingredients at an establishment will be treated as taxable unless the seller separately accounts for sales of exempt and nonexempt food and food ingredients. It is sufficient separation for accounting purposes if cash registers or the like are programmed to identify items that are not tax exempt and to calculate and assess the proper sales tax accordingly.
(7) Are there any other retail sales tax exemptions that apply?
(a) Meals served ((
by not-for-profit organizations)).
The exemptions apply to (( meals sold)) food and food
ingredients furnished, prepared, or served as meals:
(i) Under a state-administered nutrition program for the
aged as provided for in the Older Americans Act (Public Law
95-478 Title III) and RCW 74.38.040((
, and meals sold to or
(ii) That are provided to senior citizens, ((
persons)) individuals with disabilities, or low-income persons
by a not-for-profit organization organized under chapter 24.03
or 24.12 RCW(( . The exemptions apply even if the meals would
otherwise be considered prepared food)); or
(iii) Effective August 1, 2009, RCW 82.08.0293 provides to residents, sixty-two years of age or older, of a qualified low-income senior housing facility by the lessor or operator of the facility. The sale of a meal that is billed to both spouses of a marital community or both domestic partners of a domestic partnership meets the age requirement in this subsection (a)(iii) if at least one of the spouses or domestic partners is at least sixty-two years of age. For purposes of this subsection, "qualified low-income senior housing facility" means a facility:
(A) That meets the definition of a qualified low-income housing project under Title 26 U.S.C. Sec. 42 of the federal Internal Revenue Code, as existing on August 1, 2009;
(B) That has been partially funded under Title 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1485 of the federal Internal Revenue Code; and
(C) For which the lessor or operator has at any time been entitled to claim a federal income tax credit under Title 26 U.S.C. Sec. 42 of the federal Internal Revenue Code.
(b) Foods exempt under the ((
Federal Food Stamp Act))
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Under RCW 82.08.0297, eligible foods under the Food Stamp Act of 1977
purchased with food coupons are exempt from the retail sales
tax. This is a separate and broader exemption than the retail
sales exemption for food and food ingredients under RCW 82.08.0293. For example, soft drinks and garden seeds are
"eligible foods" but are not (( a)) "food or food ingredients."
If such items are purchased with food coupons, they are
exempt from the retail sales tax under RCW 82.08.0297, even
though the items do not qualify for the exemption under RCW 82.08.0293.
(i) Definition of food coupons. The term "food coupons," as used in this subsection means any coupon, stamp, type of certificate, authorization card, cash or check issued in lieu of a coupon, or access device, including an electronic benefit transfer card or personal identification number issued pursuant to the provisions of the Food Stamp Act of 1977. See 7 CFR § 271.2, as amended or renumbered as of January 1, 2003.
(ii) Use of food coupons combined with other means of payment. When both food coupons and other means of payment are used in the same sales transaction, for purposes of collecting retail sales taxes, the other means of payment shall be applied first to items which are food and food ingredients exempt under RCW 82.08.0293. The intent is to apply the coupons and other means of payment in such a way as to provide the greatest possible exemption from retail sales tax.
(iii) Example. A customer purchases the following at a grocery store: Meat for three dollars, cereal for three dollars, canned soft drinks for five dollars, and soap for two dollars for a total of thirteen dollars. The customer pays with seven dollars in coupons and six dollars in cash. The cash is applied first to the soap because the soap is neither exempt under RCW 82.08.0293 nor an eligible food under the Food Stamp Act. The remaining cash (four dollars) is applied first to the meat and the cereal. The food stamps are applied to the balance of the meat and cereal (two dollars) and to the soft drinks (five dollars). Retail sales tax is due only on the soap.
(8) Exceptions to tax on bottled water. Chapter 23, Laws of 2010, sp. sess., (2ESSB 6143) provides two exemptions to the retail sales and use taxes on bottled water effective June 1, 2010.
(a) Prescription issued bottled water. Bottled water prescribed to patients for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease or other medical condition and delivered to the buyer in a reusable container that is not sold with the water is exempt provided the buyer provides the seller with a completed buyer's retail sales tax exemption certificate or a streamlined sales tax exemption certificate. A seller must retain a copy of the certificate for their files. Tax will be collected on all other sales of prescribed bottled water. Any buyer that has paid at least twenty-five dollars in state and local sales taxes on purchases of bottled water subject to this exemption may apply for a refund of the collected taxes directly from the department. No refund may be made for tax paid more than four years after the end of the calendar year in which the tax was paid to a seller.
(b) Potable water not readily available. Bottled water for human use to persons who do not otherwise have a readily available source of potable water and delivered to the buyer in a reusable container that is not sold with the water is exempt provided the buyer provides the seller with a completed buyer's retail sales tax exemption certificate or a streamlined sales tax exemption certificate. A seller must retain a copy of the certificate for their files. Tax will be collected on all other sales of bottled water. Any buyer that has paid at least twenty-five dollars in state and local sales taxes on purchases of bottled water subject to this exemption may apply for a refund of the collected taxes directly from the department. No refund may be made for tax paid more than four years after the end of the calendar year in which the tax was paid to a seller.
(c) Forms and additional information are available. Forms and additional information can be obtained from the department's internet site at http://dor.wa.gov/ or by contacting the department at:
Department of Revenue
P.O. Box 47478
Olympia, WA 98504-7478
(9) Vending machine sales. The exemptions do not apply to sales of food and food ingredients dispensed from vending machines. There are special requirements for reporting sales tax collected on vending machine sales, discussed in (a) of this subsection. "Honor box" sales (sales of snacks or other items from open display trays) are not considered vending machine sales.
(a) Calculating and reporting retail sales tax collected on vending machine sales. Vending machine owners do not need to state the retail sales tax amount separately from the selling price. See RCW 82.08.050(5) and 82.08.0293. Instead, vending machine owners must determine the amount of retail sales tax collected on the sale of food or food ingredients by using one of the following methods:
(i) Food or food ingredients dispensed in a heated state and soft drinks. For food or food ingredients dispensed from vending machines in a heated state (e.g., hot coffee, soups, tea, and hot chocolate) and vending machine sales of soft drinks, a vending machine owner must calculate the amount of retail sales tax that has been collected ("tax in gross") based on the gross vending machine proceeds. The "tax in gross" is a deduction against the gross amount of both retailing B&O and retail sales. The formula is:
|gross machine proceeds - (gross machine proceeds) = tax in gross
(1 + sales tax rate)
|(gross machine proceeds x .57) x sales tax rate = tax in gross|
|(gross machine proceeds x .43) - tax in gross = exempt food deduction|
(cocoa & coffee)
|Candy Machine (candy & water)||Combined Retail Sales Tax Rate|
|gross machine proceeds - (gross machine proceeds) = tax in gross
(1 + sales tax rate)
|$2,500||-||($2,500/1.088)||=||$202.21||(Seattle coffee machine)|
|$3,000||-||($3,000/1.086)||=||$237.57||(Spokane coffee machine)|
To determine the amount of retail sales tax she collected on the sale of candy and water, Jane calculates the "tax in gross" amount as follows:
|(gross machine proceeds x .57) x sales tax rate = tax in gross|
|$10,000 x .57 x .088||=||$501.60||(Seattle candy machine)|
|$6,000 x .57 x .086||=||$294.12||(Spokane candy machine)|
Jane must also report an exempt food sales deduction representing the remaining 43% of the gross candy machine proceeds.
|(43% x gross machine proceeds) - tax in gross = exempt food deduction
(.43 x $16,000) - $795.72 = $6,084.28
[Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300 and 82.01.060(2). 07-24-038, § 458-20-244, filed 11/30/07, effective 12/31/07; 07-11-066, § 458-20-244, filed 5/14/07, effective 6/14/07; 03-24-031, § 458-20-244, filed 11/25/03, effective 1/1/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300. 88-15-066 (Order 88-4), § 458-20-244, filed 7/19/88; 87-19-139 (Order 87-6), § 458-20-244, filed 9/22/87; 86-21-085 (Order ET 86-18), § 458-20-244, filed 10/17/86; 86-02-039 (Order ET 85-8), § 458-20-244, filed 12/31/85; 83-17-099 (Order ET 83-6), § 458-20-244, filed 8/23/83; 82-16-061 (Order ET 82-7), § 458-20-244, filed 7/30/82. Statutory Authority: RCW 82.01.060(2) and 82.32.300. 78-05-041 (Order ET 78-1), § 458-20-244 (Rule 244), filed 4/21/78, effective 7/1/78.]