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Washington Department of Revenue finds sales tax must be collected on sales of renewable energy equipment


The Washington Department of Revenue upheld a retail sales tax assessment on a taxpayer who failed to collect retail sales tax on sales to a renewable energy company. The taxpayer stated that it did not collect tax on certain sales because it believed that the energy company qualified for the exemption provided by Wash. Rev. Code § 82.08.962 for sales of machinery and equipment used in generating electricity from renewable resources. However, the statute provides that the purchaser must claim the exemption by requesting a refund for retail sales tax collected and remitted to the Department.  On appeal, the Department held that the exemption did not relieve the taxpayer of its duty to collect and remit sales tax to the Department. Further, the Department determined that the taxpayer was not entitled to a reduction of its assessment by the amount of the tax that would have been refunded to the purchaser.

Washington Tax Determination No. 20-0253, 41 WTD 213 (Sept. 15, 2020, released May 16, 2022).


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