WSR 01-12-041

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE


[ Filed May 30, 2001, 12:58 p.m. ]

Date of Adoption: May 30, 2001.

Purpose: These rules explain the sales and use tax deferral program for manufacturers and research and development facilities located in distressed areas as provided by chapter 82.60 RCW. They provide definitions, guidance on the use of the deferral certificate, and the record-keeping requirements of the distressed area deferral program. The legislature has revised the program criteria several times and each revision created additional criteria for prospective applicants. The revised WAC 458-20-24001 explains the current program criteria, requirements, and procedures, which have been in effect for applications filed after July 31, 1999. The new WAC 458-20-24001A explains the program criteria, requirements, and procedures that apply to previous periods. WAC 458-20-24001A provides the information in three separate parts, each based on the period application for [which] the deferral program was made. The parts are drafted to stand on their own so that the reader need only read the part that applies to the period during which application was made to find all pertinent information.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 458-20-24001 Sales and use tax deferral -- Manufacturing and research/development activities in distressed areas -- Applications filed after July 31, 1999.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 82.32.300.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 01-08-034 on March 29, 2001.

Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: Description of changes from proposed Rule 24001 to adopted Rules 24001 and 24001A:

In Rule 24001, we added the term "deferral" in the second sentence of subsection (2)(j), so that it properly reads "When an application for sales and use tax deferral is timely submitted, costs incurred before the application date are allowable, if they otherwise qualify."

In Rule 24001, we added the following sentences after the first sentence of the second paragraph of subsection (4)(b), "The department has instituted a geographic information system (GIS) to assist taxpayers in determining taxing jurisdiction boundaries, local tax rates, and a mapping an address lookup system to determine whether a specific address is within a CEZ. The system is available on the department's internet website at http://www.dor.wa.gov." These two sentences were also added to Rule 24001A in subsections (3)(b)(iii) and (16)(c).

In Rule 24001, we added the following phrase to the second sentence of subsection (2)(k), "computer programming, the production of computer software" to the definition of manufacturing. We added the same phrase to Rule 24001A in the second sentences of subsections (1)(k), (14)(l), and (27)(l). This language is in the statute, but unintentionally left out of the proposed rule drafts.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 1, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 1, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 1, Amended 1, Repealed 0.
Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

May 30, 2001

Russell W. Brubaker

Assistant Director

Legislation and Policy

OTS-4547.4


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 88-5, filed 8/16/88)

WAC 458-20-24001   Sales and use tax deferral -- Manufacturing and research/development ((facilities)) activities in distressed areas -- Applications filed after July 31, 1999.   (((1) Introduction. Chapter 82.60 RCW establishes a sales and use tax deferral program. The purpose of the program is to promote economic stimulation, create employment opportunities, and reduce poverty in certain distressed areas of the state. Thus, the legislature established this tax deferral program to be effective solely in those distressed areas and under circumstances where the deferred tax payments are for investments or costs that result in the creation of a specified minimum number of jobs. In general, the deferral applies to sales and use taxes on materials, labor, and services rendered in the construction of qualified buildings, machinery, and equipment.

(2) In addition to the tax deferral benefits of this program, the department of employment security administers economic incentives and funding programs which encourage "first source contract" hiring of unemployed persons and state public assistance recipients. The employment security department should be contacted directly for information concerning such nontax-related programs.

(3) Definition of terms. For purposes of this section:

(a) "Applicant" means a person applying for a tax deferral under chapter 82.60 RCW.

(b) "Person" has the meaning given in RCW 82.04.030. It means any individual, receiver, administrator, executor, assignee, trustee in bankruptcy, trust, estate, firm, copartnership, joint venture, club, company, joint stock company, business trust, municipal corporation, political subdivision of the state of Washington, corporation, association, society, or any group of individuals acting as a unit, whether mutual, cooperative, fraternal, nonprofit, or otherwise and the United States or any instrumentality thereof. For purposes of this section the relationship of landlord and tenant between separate persons, at arms length, shall not be considered as any of the types of relationships which are identified above as "persons."

(c) "Certificate holder" means an applicant to whom a tax deferral certificate has been issued.

(d) "Recipient" means a person who has been granted a tax deferral under this program.

(e) "Department" means the department of revenue.

(f) "Eligible area" means:

(i) A county in which the average level of unemployment for the three calendar years preceding the year in which an application is filed exceeds the average state unemployment for those years by twenty percent; or

(ii) A metropolitan statistical area, as defined by the Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards, United States Department of Commerce, in which the average level of unemployment for the calendar year immediately preceding the year in which an application is filed under this chapter exceeds the average state unemployment for such calendar year by twenty percent. Applications under this subsection shall be filed by April 30, 1989. For the purpose of (f)(i) of this subsection, the average unemployment rate for the county must be twenty percent above the average unemployment rate for the state in the preceding three calendar years. In determining an eligible area under this subsection the department may compare the county's average unemployment rate in the prior three years to one hundred twenty percent of the state's average unemployment rate based on official unemployment figures published by the department of employment security.

(g) "Eligible investment project" means that portion of an investment project which:

(i) Is directly utilized to create at least one new full time qualified employment position for each three hundred thousand dollars of investment on which a deferral is requested; and

(ii) Either initiates a new operation or expands or diversifies a current operation by expanding or renovating an existing building, machinery and equipment, with costs in excess of twenty-five percent of the true and fair value of the plant complex prior to the improvement. (See the definition of "improvement" in (h)(iii) of this subsection.)

(h) For the purposes of the above paragraph the following definitions will apply:

(i) "Qualified employment position" means a permanent, full time employee employed in the eligible investment project during the entire tax year following the operational completion of the project. In the event an employee is either voluntarily or involuntarily separated from employment the employment position will be considered filled if the employer is either training or actively recruiting a replacement employee so long as the position is not actually vacant for any period in excess of thirty consecutive days.

(ii) The requirement for employment during the "entire tax year," for purposes of this tax deferment program, will be satisfied if the full time position is filled for a period of twelve consecutive months.

(iii) An "improvement" shall mean the physical alteration by significant expansion, modernization, or renovation of an existing plant complex, excluding land, where the cost of such expansion, etc., exceeds twenty-five percent of the true and fair value of the existing plant complex prior to the initiation of the expansion or renovation. The term "improvement" is further defined to include those portions of an existing building which do not increase the usable floor space, but is limited to the renovation, modernization, or any other form of alteration or addition and the equipment and machinery installed therein during the course of construction. The twenty-five percent test may be satisfied by considering the value of both the building and machinery and equipment, however, at least forty percent of the total renovation costs must be attributable to the physical renovation of the building structure alone.

(iv) "True and fair value" means the value listed on the assessment roles as determined by the county assessor for the land, buildings, or equipment for ad valorem property tax purposes at the time of application.

(v) "Plant complex" shall mean land, machinery, and buildings adapted to industrial, computer, warehouse, or research and development use as a single functional or operational unit for the designing, assembling, processing, or manufacturing of finished or partially finished products from raw materials or fabricated parts.

(vi) "Eligible investment project" does not include either an investment project undertaken by a light and power business as defined in RCW 82.16.010(5), or investment projects which have already received deferrals under chapter 82.60 RCW.

(i) "Investment project" means an investment in qualified buildings and qualified machinery and equipment, including labor and services rendered in the planning, installation, and construction of the project. A person who does not build or remodel its own building, but leases from a third party, is eligible for sales and use tax deferral provided that an investment in qualified machinery and equipment is made by such person and a new structure used to house the manufacturing activities is constructed. The lessor/owner of the structure is not eligible for deferral unless the underlying ownership of the buildings, machinery, and equipment vests in the same persons.

(j) "Manufacturing" has the meaning given in RCW 82.04.110 and WAC 458-20-136 now and as hereafter amended. Manufacturing, for purposes of this section, shall also include computer programming, the production of computer-related service, and the activities performed by research and development laboratories and commercial testing laboratories.

(k) "Qualified buildings" means new structures used to house manufacturing activities as defined above and includes plant offices, warehouses, or other facilities for the storage of raw material and finished goods if such facilities are essential or an integral part of a manufacturing operation. The term also includes parking lots, landscaping, sewage disposal systems, cafeterias, and the like, which are attendant to the initial construction of an eligible investment project. The term "new structures" means either a newly constructed building or a building newly purchased by the certificate holder. A preowned or existing building is eligible for deferral provided that the certificate holder expands, modernizes, renovates, or remodels the preowned or existing building by physical alteration thereof.

(l) "Qualified machinery and equipment" means all new industrial and research fixtures, equipment, and support facilities that are an integral and necessary part of a manufacturing operation, as defined above. "Qualified machinery and equipment" includes, but is not limited to, computers, software, data processing equipment, laboratory equipment; manufacturing components such as belts, pulleys, shafts and moving parts; molds, tools and dies; operating structures and all equipment used to control or operate machinery. It also includes machinery and equipment acquired under the terms of a long or short term lease by the recipient. The tax deferral applies to equipment purchased outright by the recipient (or the transfer of machinery and equipment into the state of Washington) and leased equipment. Acquisition of spare parts for machinery, equipment, etc., in excess of normal operating levels shall not be eligible for deferral.

(m) "New machinery and equipment" means either new to the taxing jurisdiction of the state or new to the certificate holder. Used equipment is eligible for deferral provided that the certificate holder either brings the machinery or equipment into Washington for the first time or purchases it at retail in Washington.

(n) "Initiation of construction," for purposes of applying for the investment tax deferral relating to the construction of new buildings, shall mean the date upon which on-site construction work commences.

(o) "Initiation of construction," for purposes of applying for the investment tax deferral relating to a major improvement of existing buildings, shall mean the date upon which the new construction by renovation, modernization, or expansion, by physical alteration, begins.

(p) "Operationally complete" means the eligible investment project is constructed or improved to the point of being fully and functionally useable for its intended purpose as described in the application.

(4) Application procedure. An application for sales and use tax deferral under this program must be made prior to the initiation of construction, as defined above. However, any application by a metropolitan statistical area defined as an "eligible area" in subsection (3)(f)(ii) of this section must be filed by April 30, 1989. Application forms will be supplied to the applicant by the department upon request. The completed application is to be sent in duplicate to the following address:


State of Washington

Department of Revenue

Audit Procedures & Review

Olympia, WA 98504

Mail Stop AX-02


(5) The department will verify the information contained in the application and either approve or disapprove the application within sixty days. If approved, a tax deferral certificate shall be issued effective as of the date the application was received by the department. If disapproved, the department shall notify the applicant as to the reason(s) for disapproval. The applicant may seek administrative review of the department's refusal to issue a certificate pursuant to the provisions of WAC 458-20-100, within twenty days from the date of notice of the department's refusal, or within any extension of such time granted by the department.

(6) For purposes of making application for tax deferral and of approving such applications, the state-wide and county unemployment statistics last published by the department will be used to determine eligible areas. The department will publish a list of eligible areas by county, on May 1 of each year.

(7) Use of the certificate. A tax deferral certificate issued under this program shall be for the use of the recipient thereof for deferral of sales and use taxes due on each eligible investment project. Deferral is limited only to investment in qualified buildings and qualified machinery and equipment as defined in this section. Thus, sales and use taxes cannot be deferred on items which do not become part of the qualified buildings, machinery, and equipment.

(8) The tax deferral certificate shall be used in a manner similar to that of a resale certificate as set forth in WAC 458-20-102. The certificate holder shall provide its vendors with a copy of the tax deferral certificate at the time goods or services are purchased. The seller or vendor shall be relieved of the responsibility for collection of the sales or use tax upon presentation of the certificate. The seller or vendor shall retain a copy of the certificate as part of its permanent records. A blanket certificate may be provided by the certificate holder and accepted by the seller covering all such purchases relative to the eligible project. The seller or vendor is liable for reporting business and occupation tax on all tax deferral sales.

(9) Audit procedure. An applicant must provide the department with the estimated cost of the investment project at the time the application is made. Following approval of the application and issuance of a sales and use tax deferral certificate, a certificate holder must notify the department, in writing, when the value of the investment project reaches the estimated cost as stated on the tax deferral certificate. At that time the certificate holder may not utilize the certificate further. If a certificate holder has reached its level of estimated costs and the project is not operationally complete, the certificate holder may apply for a supplemental certificate stating a revised amount upon which the deferral of sales and use taxes is requested. The certificate holder shall amend the original application to account for the additional costs. The department will grant or deny the amended application on the same basis as original applications.

(10) The certificate holder shall notify the department in writing when the construction project is operationally complete. Upon receipt of such notification or other information, the department shall conduct a final audit of the investment project. The certificate holder shall open its books and records to the department and make available the final cost figures for the investment project. The department may request reasonable supporting documentation and other proof to justify the final cost of the project.

(11) Upon completion of the audit the department shall certify the amount of sales and use taxes subject to deferral and the date on which the project was operationally complete. The recipient shall be notified in writing of the total amount of deferred taxes, the date(s) upon which the deferred taxes shall be paid, and any reports required to be submitted in the subsequent years. If the department disallows all or any portion of the amount of sales and use taxes requested for deferral, the recipient may seek administrative review of the department's action pursuant to the provisions of WAC 458-20-100, within twenty days from the date of the notice of disallowance.

(12) The department shall keep a running total of all deferral certificates granted during each fiscal biennium.

(13) The deferral is allowable only in respect to investment in the construction of a new plant complex or the enlargement or improvement of an existing plant complex directly used in manufacturing activities, as defined above. Where a plant complex is used partly for manufacturing and partly for purposes which do not qualify for deferral under this section and it is not possible to identify the nonqualifying items through separate accounting, the applicable tax deferral shall be determined by apportionment according to the ratio which the construction cost per square foot of that portion of the plant complex directly used for manufacturing purposes bears to the construction cost per square foot of the total plant complex.

(14) The amount of tax deferral allowable for leased equipment shall be calculated upon that amount of the consideration paid by the lessee/recipient to the lessor:

(a) Over the initial term of the lease, excluding any period of extension or option to renew, where the lease term ends on or before the last date for repayment of the deferred taxes; or

(b) Over that portion of the lease term to the last date for repayment of deferred taxes as provided hereinafter, where the lease term, excluding any period of extension or option to renew extends beyond such repayment date.

(15) After that date the lessee/recipient shall pay the appropriate sales taxes to the lessor for the remaining term of the lease.

(16) No taxes may be deferred under this section prior to July 1, 1985. No applications for deferral of taxes will be accepted after May 1, 1994 nor will sales or use tax deferral certificates be issued on or after July 1, 1994. See subsection (4) of this section for application deadline for any metropolitan statistical area. In tabulating the total amount of deferrals granted under this law there shall be considered a total of three fiscal biennia within which applications shall be accepted.

(17) Reporting and monitoring procedure. Each recipient of sales and use tax deferral shall submit a report to the department on December 31st of each year during the repayment period until all taxes are repaid. The first report shall be submitted in the third year after the date on which the construction project has been operationally complete to coincide with the first payment of deferred taxes. The report shall contain information from which the department may determine whether the recipient is meeting the requirements of the deferral law.

(18) The report shall be made to the department in a form and manner prescribed by the department. The report shall contain information regarding the recipient's average employment in the state for the prior three years, the actual employment related to the project, the actual wages of the employees related to the project, and any other information required by the department. If the recipient fails to submit a report or submits an inadequate or falsified report, the department may declare the amount of deferred taxes outstanding to be immediately assessed and payable. An inadequate or falsified report is one that contains material omissions or contains knowingly false statements and information.

(19) The department shall notify the department of employment security of the names of all recipients of tax deferrals under this program. On or before December 31st of each year a deferral is in effect, the department shall request information on each recipient's employment in the state for that year, including employment related to the deferral project, and the wages of such employees. The department of employment security shall make, and certify to the department, all determinations of employment and wages required under this subsection.

(20) If, on the basis of the recipient's annual report or other information including that submitted by the department of employment security, the department finds that an investment project is not eligible for tax deferral, the department will (a) declare the amount of deferred taxes outstanding to be immediately due or (b) assess interest on the deferred taxes for the project.

(21) If the department finds that an investment project has been operationally complete for three years and has failed to create the required number of qualified employment positions, the department shall assess interest, but not penalties, on the deferred taxes. The interest shall be assessed at the rate of nine percent per annum, shall be assessed retroactively to the date of deferral, and shall accrue until the deferred taxes are paid. A recipient of deferred taxes shall have from the date on which the construction project was certified as operationally complete to December 31st of the first year of repayment in which to create the required number of employment positions under this law.

(22) If the department finds that the investment project is not eligible for tax deferral for reasons other than failure to create the required number of qualified employment positions, the amount of deferred taxes outstanding for the project shall be immediately due. The reasons for disqualification include, but are not limited to, the following:

(a) The facility is not used for a manufacturing, warehouse, computer, or research and development operations;

(b) The recipient has not made an investment in qualified buildings, machinery, and equipment.

(23) Any action taken by the department to assess interest or disqualify a recipient for tax deferral shall be subject to administrative review pursuant to the provisions of WAC 458-20-100.

(24) The law expressly excuses the obligation for repayment of sales or use tax upon the value of labor directly applied in the construction of an investment project for which deferral has been granted, Provided:

(a) That deferral has been granted after June 11, 1986; and

(b) That eligibility for the granted tax deferral has been perfected by actually meeting all of the eligibility requirements, based upon the recipient's annual December 31 reports and any other information available to the department.

(25) The recipient must establish, by clear and convincing evidence, the value of all construction and installation labor for which repayment of sales tax is sought to be excused. Such evidence must include, but is not limited to: A written, signed, and dated itemized billing from construction/installation contractors or independent third party labor providers which states the value of labor charged separately from the value of materials.

(26) The above information must be maintained in the recipient's permanent records for the department's review and verification at the time of the final audit of the investment project.

(27) In the absence of such itemized billings in its permanent records, no recipient may be excused from repayment of sales tax on the value of labor in an amount exceeding thirty percent of its gross construction or installation contract charges.

(28) The value of labor for which an excuse from repayment of sales or use tax may be received will not exceed the value which is subject to such taxes under the general provisions of chapters 82.08 and 82.12 RCW.

(29) Payment procedures. The recipient of sales and use tax deferral under this program shall begin paying the deferred taxes in the third year after the date certified by the department as the date on which the construction project was operationally complete. The first payment will be due on December 31st of the third calendar year after such certified date, with subsequent annual payments due on December 31st of the following four years, with amounts of payment scheduled as follows:


Repayment

Year

Percentage of

Deferred Tax Repaid

1 10%
2 15%
3 20%
4 25%
5 30%

(30) The department may authorize an accelerated repayment schedule upon request of the recipient. Interest shall not be charged on any taxes deferred under this rule during the period of deferral, although other penalties and interest applicable to delinquent excise taxes may be assessed and imposed for any delinquent payments during the repayment period pursuant to chapter 82.32 RCW. The debt for deferred taxes shall not be extinguished by insolvency or other failure of the recipient nor shall the debt for the deferred taxes be extinguished by the sale, exchange, or other disposition of the recipient's business. Any person who becomes a successor (see WAC 458-20-216) to such investment project shall be liable for the full amount of any unpaid, deferred taxes under the same terms and conditions as the original recipient.

(31) Disclosure of information. The law provides that information contained in applications, reports, and other information received by the department in connection with this tax deferral program shall not be confidential and shall be subject to disclosure.)) (1) Introduction. Chapter 82.60 RCW establishes a sales and use tax deferral program. The purpose of the program is to promote economic stimulation, create employment opportunities, and reduce poverty in certain areas of the state. The legislature established this program to be effective solely in those areas and under circumstances where the deferral is for investments that result in the creation of a specified minimum number of jobs or investment for a qualifying project.

(a) This deferral program applies to taxes imposed on the construction of qualified buildings or acquisition of qualified machinery and equipment and requires the recipient of the deferral to maintain the manufacturing or research and development activity for an eight-year period. This rule does not address RCW 82.08.02565 and 82.12.02565, which provide a statewide sales and use tax exemption for machinery and equipment used directly in a manufacturing operation. Refer to WAC 458-20-13601 for more information regarding the statewide exemption.

(b) This program was first enacted in 1985. The legislature made major revisions to program criteria in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1999, specifically to the definitions of "eligible area," "eligible investment project," and "qualified building." Each revision created additional criteria for prospective applicants. This rule sets forth the requirements for applications made after July 31, 1999. For applications made prior to August 1, 1999, see WAC 458-20-24001A.

(c) The employment security department and the department of community, trade, and economic development administer programs for distressed areas and job training and should be contacted directly for information concerning these programs.

(2) Definitions. The following definitions apply to applications made after July 31, 1999.

(a) "Acquisition of equipment or machinery" means the equipment and machinery is under the dominion and control of the recipient.

(b) "Applicant" means a person applying for a tax deferral under chapter 82.60 RCW.

(c) "Certificate holder" means an applicant to whom a tax deferral certificate has been issued.

(d) "Computer-related services" means services that are connected or interact directly in the manufacture of computer hardware or software or the programming of the manufactured hardware. This includes the manufacture of hardware such as chips, keyboards, monitors, any other hardware, and the components of these items. It includes creating operating systems and software that will be copied and sold as canned software. "Computer-related services" does not include information services. The activities performed by the manufacturer to test, correct, revise, or upgrade software or hardware before they are approved for sale to the consumer are considered computer-related services.

(e) "Department" means the department of revenue.

(f) "Eligible area" means:

(i) Rural county. A rural county is a county with fewer than one hundred persons per square mile as determined annually by the office of financial management and published by the department of revenue effective for the period July 1st through June 30th; or

(ii) Community empowerment zone (CEZ). A "community empowerment zone" means an area meeting the requirements of RCW 43.31C.020 and officially designated by the director or a county containing a CEZ.

(g) "Eligible investment project" means an investment project in an eligible area. "Eligible investment project" does not include an investment project undertaken by a light and power business as defined in RCW 82.16.010, other than that portion of a cogeneration project that is used to generate power for consumption within the manufacturing site of which the cogeneration project is an integral part. It also does not include an investment project that has already received a deferral under chapter 82.60 RCW.

(h) "Industrial fixture" means an item attached to a building or to land. Fixtures become part of the real estate to which they are attached and upon attachment are classified as real property, not personal property. Examples of "industrial fixtures" are fuel oil lines, boilers, craneways, and certain concrete slabs.

(i) "Initiation of construction," in regards to the construction, expansion, or renovation of buildings, means the commencement of on-site construction work. Land clearing prior to excavation of the building site does not commence construction nor does planning commence construction.

(j) "Investment project" means an investment in qualified buildings or qualified machinery and equipment, including labor and services rendered in the planning, installation, and construction of the project. When an application for sales and use tax deferral is timely submitted, costs incurred before the application date are allowable, if they otherwise qualify.

(k) "Manufacturing" has the meaning given in RCW 82.04.120. Manufacturing also includes computer programming, the production of computer software, and other computer-related services, and the activities performed by research and development laboratories and commercial testing laboratories.

(l) "Operationally complete" means the project is capable of being used for its intended purpose as described in the application.

(m) "Person" has the meaning given in RCW 82.04.030. "Person" does not include the state of Washington or its institutions. "Person" can be either a lessee or a lessor, who can apply separately for individual investment projects at the same site, if they comply with the other requirements of chapter 82.60 RCW. The lessor/owner of the structure is not eligible for deferral unless the underlying ownership of the buildings, machinery, or equipment vests in the lessor/owner, or unless the lessor has by written contract agreed to pass the economic benefit of the deferral to the lessee in the form of reduced rent payments.

(n) "Qualified buildings" means construction of new structures and expansion or renovation of existing structures for the purpose of increasing floor space or production capacity, used for manufacturing and research and development activities.

"Qualified buildings" are limited to structures used for manufacturing and research and development activities. "Qualified buildings" include plant offices and warehouses if such facilities are essential to or an integral part of a factory, mill, plant, or laboratory. "Office" means space used by professional, clerical, or administrative staff. For plant office space to be a qualified building its use must be essential or integral to the manufacturing or research and development operation. Office space that is used by supervisors and their staff, by technicians, by payroll staff, by the safety officer, and by the training staff are examples of qualifying office space. "Warehouse" means buildings or facilities used for the storage of raw materials or finished goods.

(o) "Qualified employment position" means a permanent full-time employee employed in the eligible investment project during the entire tax year. The "entire tax year" means the full-time position is filled for a period of twelve consecutive months. Full-time means at least thirty-five hours a week, four hundred fifty-five hours a quarter, or one thousand eight hundred twenty hours a year.

(p) "Qualified machinery and equipment" means all new industrial and research fixtures, equipment, and support facilities that are an integral and necessary part of a manufacturing or research and development operation. "Qualified machinery and equipment" includes computers, desks, filing cabinets, photocopiers, printers, software, data processing equipment, laboratory equipment; manufacturing components such as belts, pulleys, shafts and moving parts; molds, tools and dies; operating structures; and all equipment used to control or operate machinery. It also includes machinery and equipment acquired under the terms of a lease by the recipient. "New" as used in this subsection means either new to the taxing jurisdiction of the state or new to the certificate holder.

(q) "Recipient" means a person receiving a tax deferral under this program.

(r) "Research and development" means the development, refinement, testing, marketing, and commercialization of a product, service, or process before commercial sales have begun. As used in this subsection, "commercial sales" excludes sales of prototypes or sales for market testing if the total gross receipts from such sales of the product, service, or process do not exceed one million dollars.

(s) "Resident" means the person who fills the qualified employment position makes his or her home in the CEZ. A mailing address alone is insufficient to establish that a person is a resident.

(3) Issuance of deferral certificate. The department will issue a sales and use tax deferral certificate for state and local sales and use taxes due under chapters 82.08, 82.12, and 82.14 RCW for an eligible investment project. The department will state on the certificate the amount of tax deferral for which the recipient is eligible. Recipients must keep track of how much tax is deferred.

(4) Eligible investment amount. There may or may not be a hiring requirement, depending on the location of the project.

(a) No hiring requirements. There are no hiring requirements for qualifying projects located in counties with fewer than one hundred persons per square mile. Monitoring and reporting procedures are explained in subsection (12) of this rule. Buildings that will be used partly for manufacturing or research and development and partly for other purposes are eligible for a deferral on a proportionate basis. Subsection (5) of this rule explains the procedure for apportionment.

(b) Hiring requirements. There are hiring requirements for qualifying projects located in CEZs or in counties containing CEZs. The applicant applies for a deferral of investment that correlates to the estimated number of persons to be hired based on the following formula:

Number of qualified employment positions to be hired x $750,000 = amount of investment eligible for deferral
Applicants must make good faith estimates of hiring.

The recipient must fill the positions by persons who at the time of hire are residents of the CEZ. The department has instituted a geographic information system (GIS) to assist taxpayers in determining taxing jurisdiction boundaries, local tax rates, and a mapping and address lookup system to determine whether a specific address is within a CEZ. The system is available on the department's internet website at http://www.dor.wa.gov. A recipient must fill the qualified employment positions by the end of the calendar year following the year in which the project is certified as operationally complete and retain the position during the entire tax year. If the recipient does not fill the qualified employment positions by the end of the second calendar year following the year in which the project is certified as operationally complete, all deferred taxes are immediately due.

(5) Apportionment of costs between qualifying and nonqualifying investments. The deferral is allowable only in respect to investment in the construction of a new building or the expansion or renovation of existing buildings used in manufacturing, research and development, and commercial testing laboratories.

(a) Where a building(s) is used partly for manufacturing or research and development and partly for purposes that do not qualify for deferral under this rule, the deferral will be determined by apportionment of the total project costs. The applicable tax deferral will be determined by apportionment according to the ratio the construction cost per square foot of that portion of the building(s) directly used for manufacturing or research and development purposes bears to the construction cost per square foot of the total building(s).

Apportionment formula:


Eligible square feet of building(s)

= Percent Eligible

Total square feet of building(s)


Percent Eligible x Total Project Costs = Eligible Costs.


"Total Project Costs" means cost of multipurpose buildings and other improvement costs associated with the deferral project. Machinery and equipment are not included in this calculation. Common areas, such as hallways and bathrooms, are not included in the square feet figure for either the numerator or the denominator. The cost of the common areas is multiplied by the percent eligible to determine the portion of the common area that is eligible for deferral.


Eligible Tax Deferred = Eligible Cost x Tax Rate.
(b) Qualified machinery and equipment is not subject to apportionment.

(6) Leased equipment. The amount of tax deferral allowable for leased equipment is the amount of the consideration paid by the recipient to the lessor over the initial term of the lease, excluding any period of extension or option to renew, up to the last date for repayment of the deferred taxes. After that date the recipient must pay the appropriate sales taxes to the lessor for the remaining term of the lease.

(7) Application procedure and review process. An application for sales and use tax deferral under this program must be made prior to the initiation of construction, prior to the acquisition of machinery and equipment, and prior to the filling of qualified employment positions. Persons who apply after construction is initiated or finished or after acquisition of machinery and equipment are not eligible for the program. Applications for persons subject to hiring requirements must include information regarding the estimated total project cost and the qualified employment positions.

(a) Application forms will be supplied to the applicant by the department upon request. The completed application may be sent by FAX to (360) 586-2163 or mailed to the following address:


State of Washington

Department of Revenue

Special Programs

P.O. Box 448

Olympia, WA 98507-0448


Applications and reports received by the department under chapter 82.60 RCW are not confidential and are subject to disclosure. (RCW 82.60.100.)

(b) The department will verify the information contained in the application and approve or disapprove the application within sixty days. If approved, the department will issue a tax deferral certificate. If disapproved, the department will notify the applicant as to the reason(s) for disapproval. The U.S. Post Office postmark or FAX date will be used as the date of application.

(c) The applicant may seek administrative review of the department's disapproval of an application within thirty days from the date of notice of the disallowance pursuant to the provisions of WAC 458-20-100, Appeals, small claims and settlements. The filing of a petition for review with the department starts a review of departmental action.

(8) Program termination. No applications for deferral of taxes will be accepted after June 30, 2004.

(9) Eligible area criteria. The office of financial management will determine annually the counties with fewer than one hundred persons per square mile. The department will update and distribute the list each year. The list will be effective on July 1 of each year.

If an investment project is located in an area that qualifies under more than one type of eligible area, the department will automatically assign the project to the eligible area that imposes the least burden on the taxpayer and with the greatest benefit to the taxpayer. If the applicant elects to be bound by the requirements of the other potential eligible area, the applicant must make a written statement to that effect. For example, on October 1, 1999, the city of Yakima qualifies as a CEZ, and the entire county of Yakima has fewer than one hundred persons per square mile. The CEZ requirements are more restrictive than counties containing fewer than one hundred persons per square mile. The department will assign the project to the "fewer than one hundred persons per square mile designation" unless the applicant elects to be bound by the CEZ requirements.

(10) Use of the certificate. A tax deferral certificate issued under this program is for the use of the recipient for deferral of sales and use taxes due on each eligible investment project. Deferral is limited only to investment in qualified building or qualified machinery and equipment as defined in this rule. Thus, sales and use taxes cannot be deferred on items that do not become part of the qualified buildings, machinery, or equipment. In addition, the deferral is not to be used to defer the taxes of the persons with whom the recipient does business, persons the recipient hires, or employees of the recipient.

The tax deferral certificate is to be used in a manner similar to that of a resale certificate as set forth in WAC 458-20-102, Resale certificates. The certificate holder must provide a copy of the tax deferral certificate to the seller at the time goods or services are purchased. The seller will be relieved of the responsibility for collection of the sales or use tax upon presentation of the certificate. The seller must retain a copy of the certificate as part of its permanent records for a period of at least five years. A blanket certificate may be provided by the certificate holder and accepted by the seller covering all such purchases relative to the eligible project. The seller is liable for business and occupation tax on all tax deferral sales.

(11) Project operationally complete. An applicant must provide the department with the estimated cost of the investment project at the time the application is made. Following approval of the application and issuance of a tax deferral certificate, a certificate holder must notify the department, in writing, when the value of the investment project reaches the estimated cost as stated on the tax deferral certificate.

(a) If a certificate holder has reached its level of estimated costs and the project is not operationally complete, the certificate holder may request an amended certificate stating a revised amount upon which the deferral taxes are requested. Requests must be mailed or faxed to the department.

(b) The certificate holder must notify the department in writing when the construction project is operationally complete. The department will certify the date on which the project is operationally complete. The recipient of the deferral must maintain the manufacturing or research and development activity for eight years from this date.

(12) Reporting and monitoring procedure. Requirement to submit annual reports. Each recipient of a tax deferral under chapter 82.60 RCW must submit a report on December 31st of the year in which the investment project is certified by the department as having been operationally completed and on December 31st of each of the seven succeeding calendar years. The report must be made to the department in a form and manner prescribed by the department. If the recipient fails to submit a report or submits an inadequate or falsified report, the department may declare the amount of deferred taxes outstanding to be immediately due and payable. An inadequate or falsified report is one that contains material omissions or contains knowingly false statements and information.

(13) Repayment of deferred taxes. Repayment of tax deferred under chapter 82.60 RCW is excused, except as otherwise provided in RCW 82.60.070 and this subsection.

(a) Repayment of tax deferred under chapter 82.60 RCW is not required, and interest and penalties under RCW 82.60.070 will not be imposed, on machinery and equipment that qualifies for exemption under RCW 82.08.02565 or 82.12.02565.

(b) The following subsections describe the various circumstances under which repayment of the deferral may occur. Outstanding taxes are determined by reference to the following table. The table presumes the taxpayer maintained eligibility for the entire year.

Repayment Year

Percentage of

Deferred Tax Waived

1 (Year operationally complete) 0%
2 0%
3 0%
4 10%
5 15%
6 20%
7 25%
8 30%

Any action taken by the department to disqualify a recipient for tax deferral or assess interest will be subject to administrative review pursuant to the provisions of WAC 458-20-100, Appeals, small claims and settlements. The filing of a petition for review with the department starts a review of departmental action.

(c) Failure of investment project to satisfy general conditions. If, on the basis of the recipient's annual report or other information, including that submitted by the employment security department, the department of revenue finds that an investment project is not eligible for tax deferral for reasons other than failure to create the required number of qualified employment positions, the department will declare the amount of deferred taxes outstanding to be immediately due. An example of a disqualification under this section is a facility not being used for a manufacturing or research and development operation.

(d) Failure of investment project to satisfy required employment positions conditions. If, on the basis of the recipient's annual report or other information, the department finds that an investment project has been operationally complete for three years and has failed to create the required number of qualified employment positions, the amount of taxes deferred will be immediately due. The department will assess interest at the rate and as provided for delinquent excise taxes under RCW 82.32.050 (retroactively to the date the application was filed). There is no proration of the amount owed under this subsection. No penalties will be assessed.

(14) Debt not extinguished because of insolvency or sale. Insolvency or other failure of the recipient does not extinguish the debt for deferred taxes nor will the sale, exchange, or other disposition of the recipient's business extinguish the debt for the deferred taxes. Transfer of ownership does not terminate the deferral. The deferral is transferred, subject to the successor meeting the eligibility requirements of chapter 82.60 RCW, for the remaining periods of the deferral. Any person who becomes a successor (see WAC 458-20-216) to such investment project is liable for the full amount of any unpaid, deferred taxes under the same terms and conditions as the original recipient of the deferral.

(15) Disclosure of information. Applications and reports received by the department under chapter 82.60 RCW are not confidential and are subject to disclosure. (RCW 82.60.100.)

[Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300. 88-17-047 (Order 88-5), 458-20-24001, filed 8/16/88; 87-19-139 (Order 87-6), 458-20-24001, filed 9/22/87; 86-14-019 (Order ET 86-13), 458-20-24001, filed 6/24/86; 85-21-013 (Order ET 85-5), 458-20-24001, filed 10/7/85.]

OTS-4548.4


NEW SECTION
WAC 458-20-24001A   Sales and use tax deferral -- Manufacturing and research/development activities in distressed areas -- Applications filed prior to August 1, 1999.   Introduction. Chapter 82.60 RCW establishes a sales and use tax deferral program. The purpose of the program is to promote economic stimulation, create employment opportunities, and reduce poverty in certain areas of the state. The legislature established this program to be effective solely in those areas and for those circumstances where the deferral is for investments that result in the creation of a specified minimum number of jobs or investment for a qualifying project.

The program applies to sales and use taxes on materials and labor and services rendered in the construction of qualified buildings or acquisition of qualified machinery and equipment and requires the recipient of the deferral to maintain the manufacturing or research and development activity for an eight-year period. This rule does not address RCW 82.08.02565 and 82.12.02565, which provide a statewide sales and use tax exemption for machinery and equipment used directly in a manufacturing operation. Refer to WAC 458-20-13601 for more information regarding the statewide exemption.

This program was enacted in 1985. The legislature made major revisions to program criteria in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1999, specifically to the definitions of "eligible area," "eligible investment project," and "qualified building." Each revision created additional criteria for prospective applicants. This rule is written in three parts and covers applications made prior to July 31, 1999. Each part sets forth the requirements on the basis of the period of time in which application is made. Refer to the year during which application was made for information on an individual application. For applications made after July 31, 1999, see WAC 458-20-24001.

The employment security department and the department of community, trade, and economic development administer additional programs for distressed areas and job training and should be contacted directly for information concerning these programs.


PART I

Applications after July 1, 1995, to July 31, 1999


(1) Definitions. For the purposes of this part, the following definitions apply for applications made on and after July 1, 1995, and before August 1, 1999:

(a) "Acquisition of equipment or machinery" means the equipment and machinery is under the dominion and control of the recipient.

(b) "Applicant" means a person applying for a tax deferral under chapter 82.60 RCW.

(c) "Certificate holder" means an applicant to whom a tax deferral certificate has been issued.

(d) "Computer-related services" means services that are connected or interact directly in the manufacture of computer hardware or software or the programming of the manufactured hardware. This includes the manufacture of hardware such as chips, keyboards, monitors, any other hardware, and the components of these items. It includes creating operating systems and software that will be copied and sold as canned software. "Computer-related services" does not include information services. The activities performed by the manufacturer to test, correct, revise, or upgrade software or hardware before they are approved for sale to the consumer are considered computer-related services.

(e) "Department" means the department of revenue.

(f) "Eligible area" means one of the areas designated according to the following classifications:

(i) Unemployment county. A county in which the average level of unemployment for the three calendar years preceding the year in which an application is filed exceeds the average state unemployment for those years by twenty percent. In making this calculation, the department will compare the county's average unemployment rate in the prior three years to one hundred twenty percent of the state's average unemployment rate based on official unemployment figures published by the department of employment security;

(ii) Median income county. On and after June 6, 1996, a county that has a median household income that is less than seventy-five percent of the state median income for the previous three years;

(iii) MSA. A metropolitan statistical area, as defined by the Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards, United States Department of Commerce, in which the average level of unemployment for the calendar year immediately preceding the year in which an application is filed under chapter 82.60 RCW exceeds the average state unemployment for such calendar year by twenty percent;

(iv) CEZ and county containing a CEZ. A designated community empowerment zone (CEZ) approved under RCW 43.63A.700 or a county containing such a community empowerment zone;

(v) Timber impact area towns. A town with a population of less than twelve hundred persons that is located in a county that is a timber impact area, as defined in RCW 43.31.601, but that is not an unemployment county as defined in Part I;

(vi) Governor's designation county. A county designated by the governor as an eligible area under RCW 82.60.047; or

(vii) Contiguous county. A county that is contiguous to an unemployment county or a governor's designation county.

(g)(i) "Eligible investment project" means:

(A) An investment project in an unemployment county, a median income county, an MSA, a timber impact area town, or a governor's designation county; or

(B) That portion of an investment project in a CEZ, a county containing a CEZ, or a contiguous county, that is directly utilized to create at least one new full-time qualified employment position for each seven hundred fifty thousand dollars of investment.

(ii) "Eligible investment project" does not include an investment project undertaken by a light and power business as defined in RCW 82.16.010, other than that portion of a cogeneration project that is used to generate power for consumption within the manufacturing site of which the cogeneration project is an integral part. It also does not include an investment project that has already received a deferral under chapter 82.60 RCW.

(h) "Industrial fixture" means an item attached to a building or to land. Fixtures become part of the real estate to which they are attached and upon attachment are classified as real property, not personal property. Examples of "industrial fixtures" are fuel oil lines, boilers, craneways, and certain concrete slabs.

(i) "Initiation of construction," in regards to the construction, expansion, or renovation of buildings, means the commencement of on-site construction work. Land clearing prior to excavation of the building site does not commence construction nor does planning commence construction.

(j) "Investment project" means an investment in qualified buildings or qualified machinery and equipment, including labor and services rendered in the planning, installation, and construction of the project. When an application for sales and use tax deferral is timely submitted, costs incurred before the application date are allowable, if they otherwise qualify.

(k) "Manufacturing" has the meaning given in RCW 82.04.120. Manufacturing, for purposes of the distressed area deferral program, also includes computer programming, the production of computer software, and other computer-related services, and the activities performed by research and development laboratories and commercial testing laboratories.

(l) "Operationally complete" means the project is capable of being used for its intended purpose as described in the application.

(m) "Person" has the meaning given in RCW 82.04.030. "Person" does not include the state of Washington or its institutions. "Person" can be either a lessee or a lessor, who can apply separately for individual investment projects at the same site, if they comply with the other requirements of RCW 82.60. The lessor/owner of the structure is not eligible for deferral unless the underlying ownership of the buildings, machinery, or equipment vests exclusively in the lessor/owner, or unless the lessor has by written contract agreed to pass the economic benefit of the deferral to the lessee in the form of reduced rent payments.

(n) "Qualified buildings" means construction of new structures, and expansion or renovation of existing structures for the purpose of increasing floor space or production capacity, used for manufacturing and research and development activities.

"Qualified buildings" are limited to structures used for manufacturing and research and development activities. "Qualified buildings" include plant offices and warehouses if such facilities are essential or an integral part of a factory, mill, plant, or laboratory. "Office" means space used by professional, clerical, or administrative staff. For plant office space to be a qualified building its use must be essential or integral to the manufacturing or research and development operation. Office space that is used by supervisors and their staff, by technicians, by payroll staff, by the safety officer, and by the training staff are examples of qualifying office space. "Warehouse" means facilities used for the storage of raw materials or finished goods.

(o) "Qualified employment position" means a permanent full-time employee employed in the eligible investment project during the entire tax year. The "entire tax year" means the full-time position is filled for a period of twelve consecutive months. "Full time" means at least 35 hours a week, 455 hours a quarter, or 1,820 hours a year.

(p) "Qualified machinery and equipment" means all new industrial and research fixtures, equipment, and support facilities that are an integral and necessary part of a manufacturing or research and development operation. "Qualified machinery and equipment" includes computers, desks, filing cabinets, photocopiers, printers, software, data processing equipment, laboratory equipment; manufacturing components such as belts, pulleys, shafts and moving parts; molds, tools and dies; operating structures; and all equipment used to control or operate machinery. It also includes machinery and equipment acquired under the terms of a lease by the recipient. "New" as used in this subsection means either new to the taxing jurisdiction of the state or new to the certificate holder.

(q) "Recipient" means a person receiving a tax deferral under this program.

(r) "Research and development" means the development, refinement, testing, marketing, and commercialization of a product, service, or process before commercial sales have begun. As used in this subsection, "commercial sales" excludes sales of prototypes or sales for market testing if the total gross receipts from such sales of the product, service, or process do not exceed one million dollars.

(2) Issuance of deferral certificate. The department will issue a sales and use tax deferral certificate for state and local sales and use taxes due under chapters 82.08, 82.12, and 82.14 RCW for an eligible investment project. The department will state on the certificate the amount of tax deferral for which the recipient is eligible. Recipients must keep track of how much tax is deferred.

(3) Eligible investment amount. There may or may not be a hiring requirement, depending on the location of the project.

(a) No hiring requirements. There are no hiring requirements for qualifying projects located in distressed counties, MSAs, median income counties, governor-designated counties, or timber impact towns. Monitoring and reporting procedures are explained in subsection (10) of this rule. Buildings that will be used partly for manufacturing or research and development and partly for other purposes are eligible for a deferral on a proportionate basis. Subsection (4) of this rule explains the procedure for apportionment.

(b) Hiring requirements. There are hiring requirements for qualifying projects located in CEZs, in counties containing CEZs, or in contiguous counties. Total qualifying project costs, including any part of the project that would qualify under RCW 82.08.02565 and 82.12.02565, must be examined to determine the number of positions associated with the project. An applicant who knows at the time of application that he or she will not fill the required qualified employment positions is not eligible for the deferral. Applicants must make good faith estimates of hiring. The applicant applies for a deferral of investment that correlates to the estimated number of persons to be hired. The investment must include the amount of machinery and equipment eligible for the exemption under RCW 82.08.02565 and 82.12.02565. An applicant can amend the number of persons hired until completion of the project. The qualified employment positions filled by December 31 of the year of completion are the benchmark to be used during the next seven years in determining hiring compliance.

(i) Total qualifying project costs are divided by seven hundred fifty thousand, the result being the qualified employment positions.

(ii) In addition, the number of qualified employment positions created by an investment project will be reduced by the number of full-time employment positions maintained by the recipient in any other community in this state that are displaced as a result of the investment project. This reduction requires a reexamination of whether the seventy-five percent hiring requirement (as explained below) is met.

(iii) This number, which is the result of (i) and (ii) of this subsection, is the number of positions used as the benchmark over the life of the deferral. For recipients locating in a CEZ or a county containing a CEZ, seventy-five percent of the new positions must be filled by residents of a CEZ located in the county where the project is located. The department has instituted a geographic information system (GIS) to assist taxpayers in determining taxing jurisdiction boundaries, local tax rates, and a mapping and address lookup system to determine whether a specific address is within a CEZ. The system is available on the department's internet website at http://www.dor.wa.gov. For recipients located in a contiguous county, residents of an adjacent unemployment or governor-designated county must fill seventy-five percent of the new positions.

(iv) The qualified employment positions are reviewed each year, beginning December 31st of the year the project is operationally complete and each year for seven years. If the recipient has failed to create the requisite number of positions, the department will issue an assessment as explained under subsection (11) of this rule.

(v) In addition to the hiring requirements for new positions under (b) of this subsection, the recipient of a deferral for an expansion or diversification of an existing facility must ensure that he or she maintains the same percentage of employment positions filled by residents of the contiguous county or the CEZ that existed prior to the application being made. This percentage must be maintained for seven years.

(vi) Qualified employment positions do not include those positions filled by persons hired in excess of the ratio of one employee per required dollar of investment for which a deferral is granted. In the event an employee is either voluntarily or involuntarily separated from employment, the employment position will be considered filled if the employer is either training or actively recruiting a replacement employee, so long as the position is not actually vacant for any period in excess of thirty consecutive days.

(4) Apportionment of costs between qualifying and nonqualifying investments. The deferral is allowable only in respect to investment in the construction of a new building or the expansion or renovation of existing buildings used in manufacturing and research and development.

(a) Where a building(s) is used partly for manufacturing or research and development and partly for purposes that do not qualify for deferral under this rule, the deferral will be determined by apportionment of the total project costs. The applicable tax deferral will be determined by apportionment according to the ratio the construction cost per square foot of that portion of the building(s) directly used for manufacturing or research and development purposes bears to the construction cost per square foot of the total building(s).

Apportionment formula:


Eligible square feet of building(s)

= Percent Eligible

Total square feet of building(s)


Percent Eligible x Total Project Costs = Eligible Costs.


"Total Project Costs" means cost of multipurpose buildings and other improvement costs associated with the deferral project. Machinery and equipment are not included in this calculation. Common areas, such as hallways and bathrooms, are not included in the square feet figure for either the numerator or the denominator. The cost of the common areas is multiplied by the percent eligible to determine the portion of the common area that is eligible for deferral.


Eligible Tax Deferred = Eligible Cost x Tax Rate.

(b) Qualified machinery and equipment is not subject to apportionment.

(5) Leased equipment. The amount of tax deferral allowable for leased equipment is the amount of the consideration paid by the recipient to the lessor over the initial term of the lease, excluding any period of extension or option to renew, up to the last date for repayment of the deferred taxes. After that date the recipient must pay the appropriate sales taxes to the lessor for the remaining term of the lease.

(6) Application procedure and review process. An application for sales and use tax deferral under this program must be made prior to the initiation of construction and the acquisition of machinery and equipment. Persons who apply after construction is initiated or after acquisition of machinery and equipment are not eligible for the program. Applications for persons subject to hiring requirements must include information regarding the estimated total project cost and the qualified employment positions.

(a) Application forms will be supplied to the applicant by the department upon request. The completed application may be sent by FAX to (360) 586-2163 or mailed to the following address:


State of Washington

Department of Revenue

Special Programs

P.O. Box 448

Olympia, WA 98507-0448


(b) The department will verify the information contained in the application and approve or disapprove the application within sixty days. If approved, the department will issue a tax deferral certificate. If disapproved, the department will notify the applicant as to the reason(s) for disapproval. The U.S. Post Office postmark or FAX date will be used as the date of application.

(c) The applicant may seek administrative review of the department's disapproval of an application within thirty days from the date of notice of disallowance pursuant to the provisions of WAC 458-20-100, Appeals, small claims and settlements. The filing of a petition for review with the department starts a review of departmental action.

(7) Eligible area criteria. The statewide and county unemployment statistics last published by the department will be used to determine eligible areas based on unemployment. Median income county designation is based on data produced by the office of financial management and made available to the department on November 1 of each year. The timber impact town designation is based on information provided by the department of employment security.

If an investment project is located in an area that qualifies under more than one type of eligible area, the department will automatically assign the project to the eligible area that imposes the least burden on the taxpayer and with the greatest benefit to the taxpayer. If the applicant elects to be bound by the requirements of the other potential eligible area, the applicant must make a written statement to that effect. For example, on May 1, 1998, the city of Yakima qualifies as a CEZ, and the entire county of Yakima qualifies as an unemployment county. The CEZ requirements are more restrictive than the unemployment county requirements. The department will assign the project to the distressed area eligible area unless the applicant elected to be bound by the CEZ requirements.

(8) Use of the certificate. A tax deferral certificate issued under this program is for the use of the recipient for deferral of sales and use taxes due on each eligible investment project. Deferral is limited only to investment in qualified building or qualified machinery and equipment as defined in Part I. Thus, sales and use taxes cannot be deferred on items that do not become part of the qualified buildings, machinery, or equipment. In addition, the deferral is not to be used to defer the taxes of the persons with whom the recipient does business, persons the recipient hires, or employees of the recipient.

The tax deferral certificate is used in a manner similar to that of a resale certificate as set forth in WAC 458-20-102, Resale certificates. The certificate holder must provide a copy of the tax deferral certificate to the seller at the time goods or services are purchased. The seller is relieved of the responsibility for collection of the sales or use tax upon presentation of the certificate. The seller must retain a copy of the certificate as part of its permanent records for a period of at least five years. A blanket certificate may be provided by the certificate holder and accepted by the seller covering all such purchases relative to the eligible project. The seller is liable for business and occupation tax on all tax deferral sales.

(9) Project operationally complete. An applicant must provide the department with the estimated cost of the investment project at the time the application is made. Following approval of the application and issuance of a deferral certificate, a certificate holder must notify the department, in writing, when the value of the investment project reaches the estimated cost as stated on the tax deferral certificate.

(a) If a certificate holder has reached its level of estimated costs and the project is not operationally complete, the certificate holder may request an amended certificate stating a revised amount upon which the deferral is requested. Requests must be mailed or faxed to the department.

(b) The certificate holder must notify the department in writing when the construction project is operationally complete. The department will certify the date on which the project was operationally complete. The recipient of the deferral must maintain the manufacturing or research and development activity for eight years from this date.

(10) Reporting and monitoring procedure. Requirement to submit annual reports. Each recipient of a deferral granted after July 1, 1995, must submit a report to the department on December 31st of the year in which the investment project is certified by the department as having been operationally completed, and on December 31st of each of the seven succeeding calendar years. The report must be made to the department in a form and manner prescribed by the department. The report must contain information regarding the actual employment related to the project and any other information required by the department. If the recipient fails to submit a report or submits an inadequate or falsified report, the department may declare the amount of deferred taxes outstanding to be immediately due and payable. An inadequate or falsified report is one that contains material omissions or contains knowingly false statements and information.

(11) Repayment of deferred taxes. Repayment of tax deferred under chapter 82.60 RCW is excused, except as otherwise provided in RCW 82.60.070 and this subsection, on an investment project for which a deferral has been granted under chapter 82.60 RCW after June 30, 1994.

(a) Taxes deferred under this chapter need not be repaid on machinery and equipment for lumber and wood product industries, and sales of or charges made for labor and services, of the type which qualified for exemption under RCW 82.08.02565 or 82.12.02565.

(b) The following describes the various circumstances under which repayment of the deferral may be required. Outstanding taxes are determined by reference to the following table. The table presumes the taxpayer maintained eligibility for the entire year.

Repayment Year

Percentage of

Deferred Tax Waived

1 (Year operationally complete) 0%
2 0%
3 0%
4 10%
5 15%
6 20%
7 25%
8 30%

Any action taken by the department to disqualify a recipient for tax deferral or require payment of all or part of deferred taxes is subject to administrative review pursuant to the provisions of WAC 458-20-100, Appeals, small claims and settlements. The filing of a petition for review with the department starts a review of departmental action. See subsection (d) for repayment and waiver for deferrals with hiring requirements.

(c) Failure of investment project to satisfy general conditions. If, on the basis of the recipient's annual report or other information, including that submitted by the department of employment security, the department finds that an investment project is not eligible for tax deferral for reasons other than failure to create the required number of qualified employment positions, the department will declare the amount of deferred taxes outstanding to be immediately due. For example, a reason for disqualification would be that the facilities are not used for a manufacturing or research and development operation.

(d) Failure of investment project to satisfy required employment positions conditions. If, on the basis of the recipient's annual report or other information, the department finds that an investment project has been operationally complete for three years and has failed to create the required number of qualified employment positions, the amount of taxes deferred will be immediately due. The department will assess interest at the rate and as provided for delinquent excise taxes under RCW 82.32.050 (retroactively to the date the application was filed). There is no proration of the amount owed under this subsection. No penalties will be assessed.

(e) Failure of investment project to satisfy employee residency requirements. If, on the basis of the recipient's annual report or other information, the department finds that an investment project under RCW 82.60.040 (1)(b) or (c) has failed to comply with any requirement of RCW 82.60.045 for any calendar year for which reports are required under this subsection, twelve and one-half percent of the amount of deferred taxes will be immediately due. For each year a deferral's requirements are met twelve and one-half percent of the amount of deferred taxes will be waived. The department will assess interest at the rate provided for delinquent excise taxes under RCW 82.32.050, retroactively to the date the application was filed. Each year the employment requirement is met, twelve and one-half percent of the deferred tax will be waived, if all other program requirements are met. No penalties will be assessed.

(f) The department of employment security makes and certifies to the department all determinations of employment and wages required under this subsection.

(12) Debt not extinguished because of insolvency or sale. Insolvency or other failure of the recipient does not extinguish the debt for deferred taxes nor will the sale, exchange, or other disposition of the recipient's business extinguish the debt for the deferred taxes. Transfer of ownership does not terminate the deferral. The deferral is transferred, subject to the successor meeting the eligibility requirements of this chapter, for the remaining periods of the deferral. Any person who becomes a successor (see WAC 458-20-216) to such investment project is liable for the full amount of any unpaid, deferred taxes under the same terms and conditions as the original recipient.

(13) Disclosure of information. Applications and reports received by the department under chapter 82.60 RCW are not confidential and are subject to disclosure. (RCW 82.60.100.)


PART II

Applications from July 1, 1994, to June 30, 1995


(14) Definitions. For the purposes of this part, the following definitions apply for applications made on and after July 1, 1994 and before July 1, 1995.

(a) "Acquisition of equipment or machinery" means the date the equipment and machinery is under the dominion and control of the recipient.

(b) "Applicant" means a person applying for a tax deferral under chapter 82.60 RCW.

(c) "Certificate holder" means an applicant to whom a tax deferral certificate has been issued.

(d) "Computer-related services" means services that are connected or interact directly in the manufacture of computer hardware or software or the programming of the manufactured hardware. This includes the manufacture of hardware such as chips, keyboards, monitors, any other hardware, and the components of these items. It includes creating operating systems and software that will be copied and sold as canned software. "Computer-related services" does not include information services. The activities performed by the manufacturer to test, correct, revise, and upgrade software or hardware before they are approved for sale to the consumer are considered computer-related services in this instance.

(e) "Department" means the department of revenue.

(f) "Eligible area" means:

(i) Unemployment county. A county in which the average level of unemployment for the three calendar years preceding the year in which an application is filed exceeds the average state unemployment for those years by twenty percent. The department may compare the county's average unemployment rate in the prior three years to one hundred twenty percent of the state's average unemployment rate based on official unemployment figures published by the department of employment security;

(ii) MSA. A metropolitan statistical area, as defined by the Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards, United States Department of Commerce, in which the average level of unemployment for the calendar year immediately preceding the year in which an application is filed under chapter 82.60 RCW exceeds the average state unemployment for such calendar year by twenty percent;

(iii) CEZ. A designated community empowerment zone approved under RCW 43.63A.700;

(iv) Timber impact area towns. A town with a population of less than twelve hundred persons that is located in a county that is a timber impact area, as defined in RCW 43.31.601, but that is not an unemployment county as defined in this subsection;

(v) Contiguous county. A county that is contiguous to an unemployment county or a governor's designation county; or

(vi) Governor's designation county. A county designated by the governor as an eligible area under RCW 82.60.047.

(g)(i) "Eligible investment project" means that portion of an investment project which:

(A) Is directly utilized to create at least one new full-time qualified employment position for each seven hundred fifty thousand dollars of investment on which a deferral is requested; and

(B) Either initiates a new operation, or expands or diversifies a current operation by expanding, equipping, or renovating an existing facility with costs in excess of twenty-five percent of the true and fair value of the facility prior to improvement. "Improvement" means the physical alteration by significant expansion, modernization, or renovation of an existing facility, excluding land, where the cost of such expansion, etc., exceeds twenty-five percent of the true and fair value of the existing facility prior to the initiation of the expansion or renovation. The term "improvement" is further defined to include those portions of an existing facility which do not increase the usable floor space, but is limited to the renovation, modernization, or any other form of alteration or addition and the equipment and machinery installed therein during the course of construction. The twenty-five percent test may be satisfied by considering the value of both the building and machinery and equipment; however, at least forty percent of the total renovation costs must be attributable to the physical renovation of the building structure alone. "True and fair value" means the value listed on the assessment roles as determined by the county assessor for the buildings or equipment for ad valorem property tax purposes at the time of application.

(ii) "Eligible investment project" does not include either an investment project undertaken by a light and power business as defined in RCW 82.16.010, other than cogeneration projects that are both an integral part of a manufacturing facility and owned at least fifty percent by the manufacturer, or investment projects that have already received deferrals under chapter 82.60 RCW.

(h) "Industrial fixture" means an item attached to a building or to land. Fixtures become part of the real estate to which they are attached and upon attachment are classified as real property, not personal property. Examples of "industrial fixtures" are fuel oil lines, boilers, craneways, and certain concrete slabs.

(i) "Initiation of construction," in regards to the construction of new buildings, means the commencement of on-site construction work.

(j) "Initiation of construction," in regards to the construction of expanding or renovating existing structures for the purpose of increasing floor space or production capacity used for manufacturing and research and development, means the commencement of the new construction by renovation, modernization, or expansion, by physical alteration.

(k) "Investment project" means an investment in qualified buildings or qualified machinery and equipment, including labor and services rendered in the planning, installation, and construction of the project. A person who does not build or remodel his or her own building, but leases from a third party, is eligible for sales and use tax deferral on the machinery and equipment provided that an investment in qualified machinery and equipment is made by such person and a new structure used to house the manufacturing activities is constructed.

(l) "Manufacturing" has the meaning given in RCW 82.04.120. Manufacturing, for purposes of the distressed area deferral program, also includes computer programming, the production of computer software, and other computer-related services, and the activities performed by research and development laboratories and commercial testing laboratories.

(m) "Operationally complete" means the project is capable of being used for its intended purpose as described in the application.

(n) "Person" has the meaning given in RCW 82.04.030. "Person" does not include the state of Washington or its institutions. "Person" can be either a lessee or a lessor, who can apply separately for individual investment projects at the same site, if they comply with the other requirements of RCW 82.60. The lessor/owner of the structure is not eligible for deferral unless the underlying ownership of the buildings, machinery, or equipment vests exclusively in the lessor/owner, or unless the lessor has by written contract agreed to pass the economic benefit of the deferral to the lessee in the form of reduced rent payments.

(o) "Qualified buildings" are limited to structures used for manufacturing and research and development activities. "Qualified buildings" include plant offices and warehouses if such facilities are essential or an integral part of a factory, mill, plant, or laboratory. "Office" means space used by professional, clerical, or administrative staff. For plant office space to be a qualified building its use must be essential or integral to the manufacturing or research and development operation. Office space that is used by supervisors and their staff, by technicians, by payroll staff, by the safety officer, and by the training staff are examples of qualifying office space. "Warehouse" means facilities used for the storage of raw materials or finished goods.

(p) "Qualified employment position" means a permanent full-time employee employed in the eligible investment project during the entire tax year. The "entire tax year" means the full-time position is filled for a period of twelve consecutive months. "Full time" means at least 35 hours per week, 455 hours a quarter, or 1,820 hours a year.

(q) "Qualified machinery and equipment" means all new industrial and research fixtures, equipment, and support facilities that are an integral and necessary part of a manufacturing operation or research and development operation. "Qualified machinery and equipment" includes: Computers, software, data processing equipment, laboratory equipment; manufacturing components such as belts, pulleys, shafts and moving parts; molds, tools and dies; operating structures; and all equipment used to control or operate machinery. It also includes machinery and equipment acquired under the terms of a lease by the recipient. "New" as used in this subsection means either new to the taxing jurisdiction of the state or new to the certificate holder.

(r) "Research and development" means the development, refinement, testing, marketing, and commercialization of a product, service, or process before commercial sales have begun. As used in this subsection, "commercial sales" excludes sales of prototypes or sales for market testing if the total gross receipts from such sales of the product, service, or process do not exceed one million dollars.

(s) "Recipient" means a person receiving a tax deferral under this program.

(15) Issuance of deferral certificate. The department will issue a sales and use tax deferral certificate for state and local sales and use taxes due under chapters 82.08, 82.12, and 82.14 RCW for an eligible investment project. The department will state on the certificate the amount of tax deferral for which the recipient is eligible. Recipients must keep track of how much tax is deferred.

(16) Eligible investment amount.

(a) Projects located in unemployment counties, MSAs, governor-designated counties, or timber impact towns are eligible for a deferral on the portion of the investment project that represents one new qualified employment position for each seven hundred fifty thousand dollars of investment. The eligible amount is computed by dividing the total qualifying project costs by seven hundred fifty thousand, the result being the qualified employment positions. In addition, the number of qualified employment positions created by an investment project will be reduced by the number of full-time employment positions maintained by the recipient in any other community in this state that are displaced as a result of the investment project. This is the number of positions used as the hiring benchmark. The qualified employment positions must be filled by the end of year three. Monitoring and reporting procedures are set forth in subsection (23) of this rule. In addition, buildings that will be used partly for manufacturing or research and development and partly for other purposes are eligible for a deferral on a proportionate basis. Subsection (17) of this rule explains the procedure for apportionment.

(b) Projects located in CEZs, counties containing CEZs, or counties contiguous to an eligible county, are eligible for a deferral if the project meets specific hiring requirements. The recipient is eligible for a deferral on the portion of the investment project that represents one new qualified employment position for each seven hundred fifty thousand dollars of investment. The eligible amount is computed by dividing the total qualifying project costs by seven hundred fifty thousand, the result being the qualified employment positions. This is the number of positions used as the hiring benchmark over the life of the deferral. The qualified employment positions are reviewed each year, beginning December 31st of the year the project is operationally complete and each year for seven years. Monitoring and reporting procedures are set forth in subsection (23) of this rule. In addition, buildings that will be used partly for manufacturing or research and development and partly for other purposes are eligible for a deferral on a proportionate basis. Subsection (17) of this rule explains the procedure for apportionment.

(c) In addition to the hiring requirements for new positions under (b) of this subsection, the recipient of a deferral for an expansion or diversification of an existing facility must ensure that he or she maintains the same percentage of employment positions filled by residents of the contiguous county or the CEZ that existed prior to the application being made. The department has instituted a geographic information system (GIS) to assist taxpayers in determining taxing jurisdiction boundaries, local tax rates, and a mapping and address lookup system to determine whether a specific address is within a CEZ. The system is available on the department's internet website at http://www.dor.wa.gov. This percentage must be maintained for seven years.

(d) Qualified employment positions does not include those persons hired in excess of the ratio of one employee per required dollar of investment for which a deferral is granted. In the event an employee is either voluntarily or involuntarily separated from employment, the employment position will be considered filled if the employer is either training or actively recruiting a replacement employee so long as the position is not actually vacant for any period in excess of thirty consecutive days.

(17) Apportionment of costs between qualifying and nonqualifying investments. The deferral is allowable only in respect to investment in the construction of a new building or the expansion or renovation of existing buildings used in manufacturing, research and development.

(a) Where a building(s) is used partly for manufacturing or research and development and partly for purposes which do not qualify for deferral under this rule the deferral will be determined by apportionment of the total project costs. The applicable tax deferral will be determined by apportionment according to the ratio the construction cost per square foot of that portion of the building(s) directly used for manufacturing or research and development purposes bears to the construction cost per square foot of the total building(s).

Apportionment formula:


Eligible square feet of building(s)

= Percent Eligible

Total square feet of building(s)


Percent Eligible x Total Project Costs = Eligible Costs.


"Total Project Costs" means cost of multipurpose buildings and other improvement costs associated with the deferral project. Machinery and equipment are not included in this calculation. Common areas, such as hallways and bathrooms, are not included in the square feet figure for either the numerator or the denominator. The cost of the common areas is multiplied by the percent eligible to determine the portion of the common area that is eligible for deferral.


Eligible Tax Deferred = Eligible Cost x Tax Rate.

(b) Qualified machinery and equipment is not subject to apportionment.

(18) Leased equipment. The amount of tax deferral allowable for leased equipment is the amount of the consideration paid by the recipient to the lessor over the initial term of the lease, excluding any period of extension or option to renew, up to the last date for repayment of the deferred taxes. After that date the recipient must pay the appropriate sales taxes to the lessor for the remaining term of the lease.

(19) Application procedure and review process. An application for sales and use tax deferral under this program must be made prior to the initiation of construction and the acquisition of machinery and equipment. Persons who apply after construction is initiated or after acquisition of machinery and equipment are not eligible for the program.

(a) Application forms will be supplied to the applicant by the department upon request. The completed application may be sent by FAX to (360) 586-2163 or mailed to the following address:


State of Washington

Department of Revenue

Special Programs

P.O. Box 448

Olympia, WA 98507-0448


(b) The department will verify the information contained in the application and approve or disapprove the application within sixty days. If approved, the department will issue a tax deferral certificate. If disapproved, the department will notify the applicant as to the reason(s) for disapproval. The U.S. Post Office postmark or FAX date will be used as the date of application.

(c) The applicant may seek administrative review of the department's disapproval of an application within thirty days from the date of notice of disallowance pursuant to the provisions of WAC 458-20-100, Appeals, small claims and settlements. The filing of a petition for review with the department starts a review of departmental action.

(20) Eligible area criteria. The department will use the statewide and county unemployment statistics as last published by the department. Timber impact town designation is based on information provided by the department of employment security. The department will update the list of eligible areas by county, annually.

(21) Use of the certificate. A tax deferral certificate issued under this program will be for the use of the recipient for deferral of sales and use taxes due on each eligible investment project. Deferral is limited only to investment in qualified buildings or qualified machinery and equipment as defined in Part II. Thus, sales and use taxes cannot be deferred on items that do not become part of the qualified buildings, machinery, or equipment. In addition, the deferral is not to be used to defer the taxes of the persons with whom the recipient does business, persons the recipient hires, or employees of the recipient. The tax deferral certificate is be used in a manner similar to that of a resale certificate as set forth in WAC 458-20-102, Resale certificates. The certificate holder must provide a copy of the tax deferral certificate to the seller at the time goods or services are purchased. The seller will be relieved of the responsibility for collection of the sales or use tax upon presentation of the certificate. The seller must retain a copy of the certificate as part of its permanent records for a period of at least five years. A blanket certificate may be provided by the certificate holder and accepted by the seller covering all such purchases relative to the eligible project. The seller is liable for business and occupation tax on all tax deferral sales.

(22) Project operationally complete. An applicant must provide the department with the estimated cost of the investment project at the time the application is made. Following approval of the application and issuance of a tax deferral certificate, a certificate holder must notify the department, in writing, when the value of the investment project reaches the estimated cost as stated on the tax deferral certificate.

(a) If a certificate holder has reached its level of estimated costs and the project is not operationally complete, the certificate holder may request an amended certificate stating a revised amount upon which the deferral of sales and use taxes is requested. Requests must be mailed or faxed to the department.

(b) The certificate holder must notify the department in writing when the construction project is operationally complete. The department will certify the date on which the project was operationally complete. The recipient of the deferral must maintain the manufacturing or research and development activity for eight years from this date.

(c) The recipient will be notified in writing of the total amount of deferred taxes, the date(s) upon which the deferred taxes must be paid, and any reports required to be submitted in the subsequent years. If the department disallows any portion of the amount of sales and use taxes requested for deferral, the recipient may seek administrative review of the department's action within thirty days from the date of the notice of disallowance pursuant to the provisions of WAC 458-20-100, Appeals, small claims and settlements. The filing of a petition for review with the department starts a review of departmental action.

(23) Reporting and monitoring procedure. Requirement to submit annual reports. Each recipient of a sales and use tax deferral must submit a report to the department on December 31st of the year in which the investment project is certified by the department as having been operationally completed, and on December 31st of each of the seven succeeding calendar years. The report must be made to the department in a form and manner prescribed by the department. The report must contain information regarding the actual employment related to the project and any other information required by the department. If the recipient fails to submit a report or submits an inadequate or falsified report, the department may declare the amount of deferred taxes outstanding to be immediately due and payable. An inadequate or falsified report is one that contains material omissions or contains knowingly false statements and information.

(24) Repayment of deferred taxes. Repayment of tax deferred under chapter 82.60 RCW is excused, except as otherwise provided in RCW 82.60.070 and this subsection on an investment project for which a deferral has been granted under chapter 82.60 RCW after June 30, 1994.

(a) The following describes the various circumstances under which repayment of the deferral may be required. Outstanding taxes are determined by reference to the following table. The table presumes the taxpayer maintained eligibility for the entire year. See subsection (c) for repayment and waiver for deferrals with hiring requirements.

Repayment Year

Percentage of

Deferred Tax Waived

1 (Year operationally complete) 0%
2 0%
3 0%
4 10%
5 15%
6 20%
7 25%
8 30%

Any action taken by the department to disqualify a recipient for tax deferral or require payment of all or part of deferred taxes is subject to administrative review pursuant to the provisions of WAC 458-20-100, Appeals, small claims and settlements. The filing of a petition for review with the department starts a review of departmental action.

(b) Failure of investment project to satisfy general conditions. If, on the basis of the recipient's annual report or other information, including that submitted by the department of employment security, the department finds that an investment project is not eligible for tax deferral, other than failure to create the required number of positions, the department will declare the amount of deferred taxes outstanding to be immediately due. For example, a reason for disqualification would be that the facility is not used for manufacturing or research and development operations.

(c) Failure of investment project to satisfy employment positions conditions. If, on the basis of the recipient's annual report or other information, the department finds that an investment project has been operationally complete for three years and has failed to create the required number of qualified employment positions, the amount of taxes deferred will be immediately due. The department will assess interest at the rate and as provided for delinquent excise taxes under RCW 82.32.050 (retroactively to the date of deferral). No penalties will be assessed.

(d) Failure of investment project to satisfy employee residency requirements. If, on the basis of the recipient's annual report or other information, the department finds that an investment project under RCW 82.60.040 (1)(b) or (c) has failed to comply with the special hiring requirements of RCW 82.60.045 for any calendar year for which reports are required under this subsection, twelve and one-half percent of the amount of deferred taxes will be immediately due. For each year a deferral's requirements are met twelve and one-half percent of the amount of deferred taxes will be waived. The department will assess interest at the rate provided for delinquent excise taxes under RCW 82.32.050, retroactively to the date of deferral. No penalties will be assessed.

(e) The department of employment security makes and certifies to the department all determinations of employment and wages required under this subsection, per request.

(25) Debt not extinguished because of insolvency or sale. Insolvency or other failure of the recipient does not extinguish the debt for deferred taxes nor will the sale, exchange, or other disposition of the recipient's business extinguish the debt for the deferred taxes. Transfer of ownership does not terminate the deferral. The deferral is transferred, subject to the successor meeting the eligibility requirements of this chapter, for the remaining periods of the deferral. Any person who becomes a successor (see WAC 458-20-216) to such investment project is liable for the full amount of any unpaid, deferred taxes under the same terms and conditions as the original recipient.

(26) Disclosure of information. Applications and reports received by the department under chapter 82.60 RCW are not confidential and are subject to disclosure. (RCW 82.60.100.)


PART III

Applications from July 1, 1992, to June 30, 1994


(27) Definitions. For the purposes of this part, the following definitions apply for applications made after July 1, 1992, but before July 1, 1994:

(a) "Acquisition of equipment or machinery" means the equipment and machinery is under the dominion and control of the recipient.

(b) "Applicant" means a person applying for a tax deferral under chapter 82.60 RCW.

(c) "Certificate holder" means an applicant to whom a tax deferral certificate has been issued.

(d) "Computer-related services" means services that are connected or interact directly in the manufacture of computer hardware or software or the programming of the manufactured hardware. This includes the manufacture of hardware such as chips, keyboards, monitors, any other hardware, and the components of these items. It includes creating operating systems and software that will be copied and sold as canned software. "Computer-related services" does not include information services. The activities performed by the manufacturer to test, correct, revise, and upgrade software or hardware before they are approved for sale to the consumer are considered computer-related services in this instance.

(e) "Department" means the department of revenue.

(f) "Eligible area" means:

(i) Unemployment county. A county in which the average level of unemployment for the three calendar years preceding the year in which an application is filed exceeds the average state unemployment for those years by twenty percent. The department may compare the county's average unemployment rate in the prior three years to one hundred twenty percent of the state's average unemployment rate based on official unemployment figures published by the department of employment security;

(ii) MSA. A metropolitan statistical area, as defined by the Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards, United States Department of Commerce, in which the average level of unemployment for the calendar year immediately preceding the year in which an application is filed under chapter 82.60 RCW exceeds the average state unemployment for such calendar year by twenty percent; or

(iii) CEZ. Beginning July 1, 1993, a designated community empowerment zone approved under RCW 43.63A.700.

(g)(i) "Eligible investment project" means that portion of an investment project which:

(A) Is directly utilized to create at least one new full-time qualified employment position for each three hundred thousand dollars of investment on which a deferral is requested; and

(B) Either initiates a new operation, or expands or diversifies a current operation by expanding, or renovating an existing building with costs in excess of twenty-five percent of the true and fair value of the plant complex prior to improvement. "Improvement" means the physical alteration by significant expansion, modernization, or renovation of an existing plant complex, excluding land, where the cost of such expansion, etc., exceeds twenty-five percent of the true and fair value of the existing plant complex prior to the initiation of the expansion or renovation. The term "improvement" is further defined to include those portions of an existing building which do not increase the usable floor space, but is limited to the renovation, modernization, or any other form of alteration or addition and the equipment and machinery installed therein during the course of construction. The twenty-five percent test may be satisfied by considering the value of both the building and machinery and equipment; however, at least forty percent of the total renovation costs must be attributable to the physical renovation of the building structure alone. "True and fair value" means the value listed on the assessment roles as determined by the county assessor for the land, buildings, or equipment for ad valorem property tax purposes at the time of application; or

(C) Acquires machinery and equipment to be used for either manufacturing or research and development. The lessor/owner of the structure is not eligible for a deferral unless the underlying ownership of the buildings, machinery, and equipment vests exclusively in the same person.

(ii) "Eligible investment project" does not include any portion of an investment project undertaken by a light and power business as defined in RCW 82.16.010 or investment projects that have already received deferrals under chapter 82.60 RCW.

(h) "Industrial fixture" means an item attached to a building or to land. Fixtures become part of the real estate to which they are attached and upon attachment are classified as real property, not personal property. Examples of "industrial fixtures" are fuel oil lines, boilers, craneways, and certain concrete slabs.

(i) "Initiation of construction," in regards to the construction of new buildings, means the commencement of on-site construction work.

(j) "Initiation of construction," in regards to the construction of expanding or renovating existing structures for the purpose of increasing floor space or production capacity used for manufacturing and research and development, means the commencement of new construction by renovation, modernization, or expansion, by physical alteration.

(k) "Investment project" means an investment in qualified buildings and qualified machinery and equipment, including labor and services rendered in the planning, installation, and construction of the project.

(l) "Manufacturing" has the meaning given in RCW 82.04.120. Manufacturing, for purposes of the distressed area deferral program, also includes computer programming, the production of computer software, and other computer-related services, and the activities performed by research and development laboratories and commercial testing laboratories.

(m) "Operationally complete" means the project is capable of being used for its intended purpose as described in the application.

(n) "Person" has the meaning given in RCW 82.04.030. "Person" does not include the state of Washington or its institutions. "Person" can be either a lessee or a lessor, who can apply separately for individual investment projects at the same site, if they comply with the other requirements of this chapter. The lessor/owner of the structure is not eligible for deferral unless the underlying ownership of the buildings, machinery, or equipment vests in the lessor/owner, or unless the lessor has by written contract agreed to pass the economic benefit of the deferral to the lessee in the form of reduced rent payments.

(o) "Qualified buildings" are limited to structures used for manufacturing and research and development activities. "Qualified buildings" include plant offices and warehouses if such facilities are essential or an integral part of a factory, mill, plant, or laboratory. "Office" means space used by professional, clerical, or administrative staff. For plant office space to be a qualified building, its use must be essential or integral to the manufacturing or research and development operation. Office space that is used by supervisors and their staff, by technicians, by payroll staff, by the safety officer, and by the training staff are examples of qualifying office space. "Warehouse" means facilities used for the storage of raw materials or finished goods.

(p) "Qualified employment position" means a permanent full-time employee employed in the eligible investment project during the entire tax year. The "entire tax year" means the full-time position is filled for a period of twelve consecutive months. "Full time" means at least 35 hours a week, 455 hours a quarter, or 1,820 hours a year.

(q) "Qualified machinery and equipment" means all new industrial and research fixtures, equipment, and support facilities that are an integral and necessary part of a manufacturing operation or research and development operation. "Qualified machinery and equipment" includes: Computers, software, data processing equipment, laboratory equipment; manufacturing components such as belts, pulleys, shafts and moving parts; molds, tools and dies; operating structures; and all equipment used to control or operate machinery. It also includes machinery and equipment acquired under the terms of a long- or short-term lease by the recipient. "New" as used in this subsection means either new to the taxing jurisdiction of the state or new to the certificate holder.

(r) "Recipient" means a person receiving a tax deferral under this program.

(s) "Research and development" means the development, refinement, testing, marketing, and commercialization of a product, service, or process before commercial sales have begun. As used in this subsection, "commercial sales" excludes sales of prototypes or sales for market testing if the total gross receipts from such sales of the product, service, or process do not exceed one million dollars.

(28) Issuance of deferral certificate. The department will issue a sales and use tax deferral certificate for state and local sales and use taxes due under chapters 82.08, 82.12, and 82.14 RCW for an eligible investment project. The department will state on the certificate the amount of tax deferral for which the recipient is eligible. Recipients must keep track of how much deferral is taken.

(29) Eligible investment amount. Recipients are eligible for a deferral on investment used to create employment positions.

(a) Total qualifying project costs must be examined to determine the number of positions associated with the project. Total qualifying project costs are divided by three hundred thousand, the result being the qualified employment positions. This is the number of positions used as the hiring benchmark at the end of year three. The qualified employment positions are reviewed in the third year, following December 31st of the year the project is operationally complete. If the recipient has failed to create the requisite number of positions, the department will issue an assessment under subsection (37) of this rule. Buildings that will be used partly for manufacturing or research and development and partly for other purposes are eligible for a deferral on a proportionate basis. Subsection (30) of this rule explains the procedure for apportionment.

(b) Qualified employment positions does not include those persons hired in excess of the ratio of one employee per required dollar of investment for which a deferral is granted. In the event an employee is either voluntarily or involuntarily separated from employment, the employment position will be considered filled if the employer is either training or actively recruiting a replacement employee so long as the position is not actually vacant for any period in excess of thirty consecutive days.

(30) Apportionment of costs between qualifying and nonqualifying investments. The deferral is allowable only in respect to investment in the construction of a new building or the expansion or renovation of existing buildings directly used in manufacturing activities, and directly used in the activities performed by research and development laboratories.

(a) Where a building(s) is used partly for manufacturing or research and development and partly for purposes, which do not qualify for deferral under this rule, the deferral will be determined by apportionment of the total project costs. The applicable tax deferral will be determined by apportionment according to the ratio the construction cost per square foot of that portion of the building(s) directly used for manufacturing or research and development purposes bears to the construction cost per square foot of the total building(s).

Apportionment formula:


Eligible square feet of building(s)

= Percent Eligible

Total square feet of building(s)


Percent Eligible x Total Project Costs = Eligible Costs.


"Total Project Costs" means cost of multipurpose buildings and other improvement costs associated with the deferral project. Machinery and equipment are not included in this calculation. Common areas, such as hallways and bathrooms, are not included in the square feet figure for either the numerator or the denominator. The cost of the common areas is multiplied by the percent eligible to determine the portion of the common area that is eligible for deferral.


Eligible Tax Deferred = Eligible Cost x Tax Rate.

(b) Qualified machinery and equipment is not subject to apportionment.

(31) Leased equipment. The amount of tax deferral allowable for leased equipment is the amount of the consideration paid by the recipient to the lessor over the initial term of the lease, excluding any period of extension or option to renew, up to the last date for repayment of the deferred taxes. After that date the recipient must pay the appropriate sales taxes to the lessor for the remaining term of the lease.

(32) Application procedure and review process. An application for sales and use tax deferral under this program must be made prior to the initiation of construction and the acquisition of equipment or machinery. Persons who apply after construction is initiated or finished or after acquisition of machinery and equipment are not eligible for the program.

(a) Application forms will be supplied to the applicant by the department upon request. The completed application may be sent by FAX to (360) 586-2163 or mailed to the following address:


State of Washington

Department of Revenue

Special Programs

P.O. Box 448

Olympia, WA 98507-0448


(b) The department will verify the information contained in the application and either approve or disapprove the application within sixty days. If approved, the department will issue a tax deferral certificate. If disapproved, the department will notify the applicant as to the reason(s) for disapproval. The U.S. Post Office postmark or FAX date will be used as the date of application.

(c) The applicant may seek administrative review of the department's refusal to issue a certificate pursuant to the provisions of WAC 458-20-100, Appeals, small claims and settlements, within thirty days from the date of notice of the department's refusal, or within any extension of such time granted by the department. The filing of a petition for review with the department starts a review of departmental action.

(33) Unemployment criteria. For purposes of making application for tax deferral and of approving such applications, the statewide and county unemployment statistics last published by the department will be used to determine eligible areas. The department will update the list of eligible areas by county, on an annual basis.

(34) Use of the certificate. A tax deferral certificate issued under this program is for the use of the recipient for deferral of sales and use taxes due on each eligible investment project. Deferral is limited only to investment in qualified buildings or qualified machinery and equipment as defined in Part III. Thus, sales and use taxes cannot be deferred on items that do not become part of the qualified buildings, machinery, or equipment.

The tax deferral certificate is to be used in a manner similar to that of a resale certificate as set forth in WAC 458-20-102, Resale certificates. The certificate holder must provide a copy of the tax deferral certificate to the seller at the time goods or services are purchased. The seller will be relieved of the responsibility for collection of the sales or use tax upon presentation of the certificate. The seller must retain a copy of the certificate as part of its permanent records for a period of at least five years. A blanket certificate may be provided by the certificate holder and accepted by the seller covering all such purchases relative to the eligible project. The seller is liable for business and occupation tax on all tax deferral sales. The deferral certificate is to defer the taxes of the recipient. For example, the deferral is not to be used to defer the taxes of the persons with whom the recipient does business, persons the recipient hires, or employees of the recipient.

(35) Project operationally complete. An applicant must provide the department with the estimated cost of the investment project at the time the application is made. Following approval of the application and issuance of a tax deferral certificate, a certificate holder must notify the department, in writing, when the value of the investment project reaches the estimated cost as stated on the tax deferral certificate.

(a) If a certificate holder has reached its level of estimated costs and the project is not operationally complete, the certificate holder may request an amended certificate stating a revised amount upon which the deferral of sales and use taxes is requested. Requests must be mailed or faxed to the department.

(b) The certificate holder must notify the department in writing when the construction project is operationally complete. The department will certify the date on which the project was operationally complete. The recipient of the deferral must maintain the manufacturing or research and development activity for eight years from this date.

(c) The recipient will be notified in writing of the total amount of deferred taxes, the date(s) upon which the deferred taxes must be paid, and any reports required to be submitted in the subsequent years. If the department disallows all or any portion of the amount of sales and use taxes requested for deferral, the recipient may seek administrative review of the department's action pursuant to the provisions of WAC 458-20-100, within thirty days from the date of the notice of disallowance.

(36) Reporting and monitoring procedure. Requirement to submit annual reports. Each recipient of a sales and use tax deferral must submit a report to the department on December 31st of each year during the repayment period until the tax deferral is repaid. The report must be made to the department in a form and manner prescribed by the department. The report must contain information regarding the actual employment related to the project and any other information required by the department. If the recipient fails to submit a report or submits an inadequate or falsified report, the department may declare the amount of deferred taxes outstanding to be immediately assessed and payable. An inadequate or falsified report is one that contains material omissions or contains knowingly false statements and information.

(37) Repayment of deferred taxes. The recipient must begin paying the deferred taxes in the third year after the date certified by the department as the date on which the construction project has been operationally completed.

(a) The first payment will be due on December 31st of the third calendar year after such certified date, with subsequent annual payments due on December 31st of the following four years, with amounts of payment scheduled as follows:

Repayment Year

Percentage of

Deferred Tax Repaid

1 (Year certified operationally complete) 0%
2 0%
3 0%
4 10%
5 15%
6 20%
7 25%
8 30%

(b) The department may authorize an accelerated repayment schedule upon request of the recipient. Interest will not be charged on any taxes deferred under this part during the period of deferral, although other penalties and interest applicable to delinquent excise taxes may be assessed and imposed for any delinquent payments during the repayment period pursuant to chapter 82.32 RCW.

(c) Taxes deferred on the sale or use of labor directly applied in the construction of an investment project for which deferral has been granted need not be repaid, provided eligibility for the granted tax deferral has been perfected by meeting all of the eligibility requirements, based upon the recipient's annual December 31 reports and any other information available to the department. The recipient must establish, by clear and convincing evidence, the value of all construction and installation labor for which repayment of sales tax is sought to be excused. Such evidence must include, but is not limited to: A written, signed, and dated itemized billing from construction/installation contractors or independent third party labor providers which states the value of labor charged separately from the value of materials. This information must be maintained in the recipient's permanent records for the department's review and verification. In the absence of such itemized billings in its permanent records, no recipient may be excused from repayment of sales tax on the value of labor in an amount exceeding thirty percent of its gross construction or installation contract charges. The value of labor for which an excuse from repayment of sales or use tax may be received will not exceed the value which is subject to such taxes under the general provisions of chapters 82.08 and 82.12 RCW.

(d) Failure of investment project to satisfy general conditions. If, on the basis of the recipient's annual report or other information, including that submitted by the department of employment security, the department finds that an investment project is not eligible for tax deferral for reasons other than failure to create the required number of qualified employment positions, the department will declare the amount of deferred taxes outstanding to be immediately due. For example, a reason for disqualification would be the facility is not used for a manufacturing or research and development operation.

(e) Failure of investment project to satisfy required employment positions. If, on the basis of the recipient's annual report or other information, the department finds that an investment project has been operationally complete for three years and has failed to create the required number of qualified employment positions, the department will assess interest but not penalties, on the deferred taxes for the project. The department will assess interest at the rate provided for delinquent excise taxes under RCW 82.32.050, retroactively to the date of the date of deferral. No penalties will be assessed.

(f) The department of employment security makes and certifies to the department all determinations of employment and wages required under this subsection, per request.

(g) Any action taken by the department to assess interest or disqualify a recipient for tax deferral will be subject to administrative review pursuant to the provisions of WAC 458-20-100, Appeals, small claims and settlements. The filing of a petition for review with the department starts a review of departmental action.

(38) Debt not extinguished because of insolvency or sale. Insolvency or other failure of the recipient does not extinguish the debt for deferred taxes nor will the sale, exchange, or other disposition of the recipient's business extinguish the debt for the deferred taxes. Transfer of ownership does not terminate the deferral. The deferral is transferred, subject to the successor meeting the eligibility requirements of this chapter, for the remaining periods of the deferral. Any person who becomes a successor (see WAC 458-20-216) to such investment project will be liable for the full amount of any unpaid, deferred taxes under the same terms and conditions as the original recipient.

(39) Disclosure of information. Applications and reports received by the department under chapter 82.60 RCW are not confidential and are subject to disclosure. (RCW 82.60.100.)

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office