|Washington State Sales Tax for 2013||Maximum Municipal Sales Tax|
What is the Washington Sales Tax?
The Washington state sales tax is 6.5%, with a maximum possible sales tax (including local and municipal sales taxes) of 9.5%.
Local governments in Washington are allowed to add a local sales tax of up to 3 percent on top of the WA state sales tax for all qualifying sales in their jurisdiction - so the actual sales tax paid on any purchase in Washington can be up to 9.5% depending on location.
Washington sales taxes vary by county, and a variety of Native American soverign nations within the state have also been authorized to charge their own sales taxes on local purchases. Special sales tax rates within Washington include 8.9% on car rentals, an additional 0.3% on all vehicle purchases, and excise taxes of up 10 1.78% on home sales. Several large cities also have special sales taxes for certain transactions, including a 15.6% sales tax rate on hotel fees and a 22% tax on parking garage fees in Seattle. Washington has a complementary Use Tax that must be paid by consumers for any item bought outside of state boundaries for use within Washington, but the washington State Department of Revenue has no way to track such purchases and subsequently does not typically pursue payment of use tax.
What sales are exempt from the Washington Sales Tax?
Many states set special sales tax rates for certain types of goods like groceries or clothes, and may completely exempt certain transactions from state and local sales taxes. Washington completely exempts unprepared food and groceries, and prescription drugs from the Washington state sales tax.
Washington does not have special sales tax rates for certain types of purchase, a common practice in many states for goods such as food and clothing.Like many other states, Washington levies a special sales tax on prepared food from restaraunts or other locations. The Washington restaraunt sales tax is 10%.
Generally, the Washington sales tax is collected only from the end consumer, or the end user of the product. Customers buying products in bulk, as a business-to-business transaction, or buying with the intent to resell do not have to pay the Washington sales tax if they provide the seller with a Washington Sales Tax Exemption Certificate at the time of purchase. Most states will accept the Uniform Sales and Use Tax Certificate for this purpose, which is available from the Multistate Tax Commission here.
Internet Sales Tax, or tax on purchases made over the internet, is currently a gray area in many states' tax codes. While most states can collect sales tax on internet purchases made within the state (the vendor and consumer are both located in Washington), taxation of interstate internet transactions is much more complicated.
Currently New York, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Colorado, and Illinois have some form of online sales tax that also handles interstate transactions. For details on how Washington handles taxation of online sales, read more about online sales taxes in the United States.
 Table of state sales taxes on Wikipedia
 Washington sales tax information on Tax-Rates.org
 Table of state sales, use, and excise taxes by The Tax Foundation
 State level taxation resources on IRS.gov