The Washington State Department of Revenue is reminding retailers and consumers that British Columbia residents do not qualify for the non-resident sales tax exemption.
Several retailers have contacted the department recently saying residents of that Canadian province were claiming they qualified to purchase items without paying sales tax, Revenue spokesman Mike Gowrylow said.
While the exemption is available to residents of any state or province with a sales tax rate of 3 percent or less, it does not apply to jurisdictions with either the Harmonized Sales Tax now in effect in B.C. or the 7 percent provincial sales tax that replaces it April 1. Residents of Alaska, Oregon and Montana and certain provinces, including Alberta, qualify because they have no sales tax.
Retailers are advised to direct British Columbia residents to dor.wa.gov/content/findtaxesandrates, then click the "retail sales tax" link, followed by the "sales to nonresidents" link for an explanation.
Retailers that provide the exemption are liable for any uncollected sales tax if audited.