Businesses subject to the Washington State Business and Occupation (B&O) tax and that reported apportionable income—service and other or royalties, for example—in 2016 are required to submit an annual reconciliation by October 31, 2017. Late filing fees may apply.
Doing Business in Washington
The state of Washington applies an economic-nexus standard rather than a physical-presence standard to certain activities. This means an out-of-state business without any physical presence in Washington may in fact be doing business in Washington and is required to file the annual reconciliation, which is in addition to filing Washington Combined Excise Tax returns.
Calculating Apportionable Revenue
In general, businesses with apportionable income attribute their receipts within and outside of Washington based on where benefit is received using a receipts-factor formula. In this case, the numerator is Washington annual apportionable revenue and the denominator is worldwide annual apportionable revenue less what’s known as annual throw-out receipts.
Due to the fact that many businesses are required to file monthly or quarterly tax returns, the state allows taxpayers to estimate current taxable income using a prior-year annual-receipts factor. Consequently, taxpayers are required to reconcile the actual-receipts factor to determine any refund or incremental tax due on account of reconciliation.
Taxpayers with apportionable income include, but aren’t limited to, those filing under the following B&O tax activities:
- Services and other activities
- Travel agents and tour operators
- International business activities, including steamship agent, customs house broker, freight forwarder, vessel or cargo charter broker in foreign commerce, and air cargo agent
- Stevedoring and associated activities
- Disposing of low-level waste
- Insurance producers, title insurance agents, or surplus line brokers
- Public or not-for-profit hospitals
- Real estate brokers
- R&D performed by not-for-profit corporations or associations
- Inspecting, testing, labeling, and storing canned salmon owned by another person
- Representing and performing services for fire or casualty insurance companies as an independent resident
- Contests of chance
- Horse races
- International investment management
- Aerospace product development
- Printing or publishing a newspaper, but only with respect to advertising income
- Printing materials other than newspapers, publishing periodicals, or magazines, but only with respect to advertising income
- Select activities involving cleaning up radioactive waste and other byproducts of weapons production and nuclear R&D
Refer to the Annual Reconciliation of Apportionable Income form posted on the Washington Department of Revenue’s website for the complete activity list (on page two) as well as instructions.
Filing the Annual Reconciliation
The annual reconciliation must be submitted by October 31. This can be done either through the taxpayer’s Department of Revenue e-file account or by downloading the form from the department’s website and mailing it.
Interest and Penalties
It’s important to note that interest may apply in a manner consistent with tax assessments on underpayment of tax calculated on the annual reconciliation. Although late filing of the annual reconciliation in the state of Washington can result in penalties ranging from 9% to 29%, penalties won’t apply to any additional tax that may be due on account of the reconciliation if the reconciliation is filed by October 31, 2017 (for the 2016 calendar year).
We’re Here to Help
We can help you determine if you have nexus in Washington, calculate your company’s apportionable revenue, and file the required B&O tax returns before the deadline. Contact your Moss Adams professional or email email@example.com with any questions regarding state and local tax compliance or to discuss additional tax refund opportunities.