Summary of Washington State and Local Tax Updates Due to Coronavirus

Posted on Apr 2, 2020

The Washington State Department of Revenue and some Washington city tax authorities have recently issued guidance on taxpayer relief related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The updates are evolving quickly in response to the crisis, and we encourage you to periodically check if additional relief may be available. Below is a summary of the guidance issued as of March 27 from the Department of Revenue and the Seattle, Bellevue, and Tacoma tax authorities.

Washington State

The following is a summary of the Department of Revenue guidance. Although it is implied there will be no penalties where an extension is granted (or automatically provided), it is important to note that the Department presently only has the authority to waive interest through 4/17 on taxes paid on extension. They are seeking authority to waive interest for a longer period.

Monthly Returns

Prior to the current guidance, the Department was granting 60-day extensions for both February and March returns. The current guidance encourages taxpayers to file the returns on time (by 3/25 for the February return and by 4/27 for the March return) and to request a payment extension if necessary (even if the request is made after the deadline).

If filing the return and/or paying the tax due by the extended deadline is an issue, we encourage you to contact the Department by calling 360-705-6705. Be prepared to provide the UBI number. There are no automatic extensions for monthly returns.

Quarterly Returns

The Q1 2020 return, typically due 4/30, is now due June 30, 2020. No request must be made for this automatic extension. If you need an additional extension, call the Department of Revenue.

Annual Returns

The 2019 return, typically due 4/15, is now due June 15, 2020. No request must be made for this automatic extension. If you need an additional extension, call the Department of Revenue.

You can find full guidance on the Washington State Department of Revenue website.

King County

Property Taxes

Residential and commercial property taxes may be paid through June 1, 2020 without any late charges if the taxpayer pays the County directly, rather than through a mortgage lender or servicer. Taxes paid by a mortgage lender or servicer on behalf of a property owner are due April 30, 2020.

You can find full guidance on the King County website.

Pierce County

Property Taxes

Residential and commercial property taxes may be paid through June 1, 2020 without any late charges if the taxpayer pays the County directly, rather than through a mortgage lender or servicer. Taxes paid by a mortgage lender or servicer on behalf of a property owner are due April 30, 2020.

You can find full guidance on the Pierce County website.

Snohomish County

Property Taxes

Residential and commercial property taxes may be paid through June 1, 2020 without any late charges if the taxpayer pays the County directly, rather than through a mortgage lender or servicer. Taxes paid by a mortgage lender or servicer on behalf of a property owner are due April 30, 2020.

You can find full guidance on the Snohomish County website.

City of Seattle

B&O Tax

City of Seattle B&O tax returns are filed quarterly or annually. Q1 returns are generally due by 4/30/2020, and Q2 returns are generally due by 7/31/2020.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Q1 and Q2 filing and payment obligations have been automatically extended to October 31, 2020 for “small business” taxpayers that had less than $5 million in Seattle-sourced (i.e., taxable) receipts during 2019. A request for extension is not necessary. If your business had more than $5 million in gross Seattle-sourced (i.e. taxable) receipts, you may still request an extension by sending an email to tax@seattle.gov.

You can find full guidance on the City of Seattle website.

City of Bellevue

B&O Tax

City of Bellevue B&O tax returns are filed quarterly or annually. Q1 returns are generally due by 4/30/2020, and Q2 returns are generally due by 7/31/2020.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Q1 and Q2 filing and payment obligations have been automatically extended to October 31, 2020 for “small business” taxpayers that had less than $5 million in Bellevue-sourced receipts during 2019. A request for extension is not necessary. If your business had more than $5 million in gross Bellevue-sourced (i.e. taxable) receipts, you may still request an extension by sending an email to tax@bellevuewa.gov.

You can find full guidance on the City of Bellevue website.

City of Tacoma

B&O Tax

City of Tacoma B&O tax returns are filed quarterly or annually.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Q1, Q2, and Q3 returns/payments have been automatically extended to January 31, 2021 for “small business” taxpayers located in Tacoma that annually pay $10,000 or less in city B&O tax. If your business pays more than $10,000 annually in Tacoma B&O tax, you may still request an extension by sending an email to taxinfo@cityoftacoma.org.

You can find full guidance on the City of Tacoma website.

Other WA City Returns

If your business files quarterly returns in other Washington cities, we encourage you to call the city tax authority prior to the 4/30/2020 filing and payment deadline to request any necessary extensions.

We will continue to update this article as the coronavirus pandemic unfolds and new guidance is issued. If you have any questions regarding your tax situation, please contact a Clark Nuber advisor.

© Clark Nuber PS, 2020. All Rights Reserved

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This article or blog contains general information only and should not be construed as accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should engage a qualified professional advisor.

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