Washington State Tax Updates


July 14, 2021

WA Capital Gains Tax:

Nothing new this month. https://dor.wa.gov/taxes-rates/other-taxes/capital-gains-tax

WA Long Term Care Trust Act


They expect to be able to answer questions by phone sometime late summer. FAQS and webinar dates are now available here: http://www.wacaresfund.wa.gov/learn-more/ Signup is not required, just click the link at the day/time you’d like to attend.

Employers will be required to keep a copy of the approved exemption letter on file for any exempt employees.  It’s the employee’s responsibility to notify employers and provide the letter.

(Repeat) Self-employed taxpayer application will be available in January 2022. “0.58 percent of your net earnings each quarter plus gross wages, if any, paid to you from your business entity.” This makes it sound like our clients will need timely quarterly financials more than ever, if they’re opt’ing in (though this is the same as Paid Family Medical Leave).


A 22 page PDF summarizing 2021 legislation may be found here: https://dor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/legacy/Docs/Reports/2021/2021_Summary_of_tax_legislation.pdf It links to the legislation and provides fiscal impact numbers and effective dates. I’m highlighting items of interest as DOR provides other updates on these, but I may miss some that are relevant, so I recommend skimming the document.

  • Behavioral Health Care B&O tax deduction: Creates a B&O tax deduction for health or social welfare organizations, as defined under RCW 82.04.431, on amounts received as compensation for providing mental health services or substance use disorder treatment services under a government-funded program. Effective 4/26/21
  • Emergency Financial Assistance Grants: Exempts qualifying grants from B&O tax, public utility tax, and sales and use tax. A “qualifying grant” means government-funded financial assistance given to address the impacts of conditions giving rise to a national emergency or state of emergency, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Effective Feb. 19, 2021, and applies retroactively to Feb. 29, 2020 (SHB 1095, Chapter 4, Laws of 2021).Learn more about emergency financial assistance grants

A new publication has been issued on Farmers and Use tax: https://dor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/legacy/Docs/Pubs/IndustSpecific/FarmUse.pdf

Industry guides have been issued on the Wine industry and the Charter Boat industry.

(Repeat) They’ve added videos for how to Add Access to MyDOR and how to File a Basic Return. They have some good webinars on starting and growing a business in WA, the construction industry, and unclaimed property:


Employment Security


2020 Average annual wage in the state was $76,741.  The state has also reported that the unemployment trust fund is in good shape, and they no longer believe a loan will be needed to remain solvent (which was a concern in November 2020).

January 30, 2021 

WA Paid Family Medical Leave

Nothing new this month. https://paidleave.wa.gov/newsroom/


WA Labor & Industries:

Nothing new this month, other than notification of another data breach and an increase to worker’s comp benefits.

If you’re interested in stories about fines assessed, they can be found here: https://lni.wa.gov/news-events/#

New or updated info pages have been posted to explain state treatment of:

Drop Shipments

Gift Cards / Layaway programs

They’ve also updated the Voluntary Disclosure Program pages.

The state also clarified that, in order to qualify for the Senior/Disabled Property Tax Exemption, the property must be the principal place of residence of the person claiming the exemption (occupied over 6 months of the year).

Employment Security

On Dec. 27, 2020, the federal stimulus that changes and extends CARES Act unemployment benefits was signed into law. The Employment Security Department is working to deliver Washington’s Pandemic Relief Payment (PRP) program this week and the newly extended federal benefits, which begin the week of Jan. 3.

We’ll be updating this page with the newest info and sharing on social media. Customers should watch for directions about next steps via email and their preferred method of communication, eServices or postal mail.

For now, claimants should:

  1. Continue filing weekly claims. Learn more about filing a weekly PUA claim for the week ending Dec. 26.
  2. Watch for updates on this page and messages in eServices.
  3. Do not call our unemployment claims center with questions—call volume remains high.
    If you absolutely must call the claims center about another issue, we encourage you to try throughout the day, and not just at 8 a.m. when we open. That’s when we receive the most calls.

(Updated Dec. 28, 2020) https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19

WA Paid Family Medical Leave

When a small employer (under 50 employees) has an employee go out of Paid Family Medical Leave, they may apply for $1,000 – $3,000 grant to help cover the costs related to that employee’s absence (a temp worker, additional payroll for existing employees, etc.). If the grant is approved, the employer then just needs to pay the employer portion of the PFML premium for the following 12 quarters. PFML will issue a bill for that.

Taxation of Benefits

WA Labor & Industries:

Nothing new this month, beyond the minimum wage increase to $13.69 reported last month. If you’re interested in stories about fines assessed, they can be found here: https://lni.wa.gov/news-events/#