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Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, the City of Seattle imposed a sweetened beverage tax. View Ordinance 125324.
The sweetened beverage tax is a tax on the distribution of sweetened beverages in the city of Seattle. The tax is collected on the final distribution of sweetened beverages by a distributor. The tax is not collected by the retailer nor is the tax burden intended to fall onto the consumer. The intent of the sweetened beverage tax is to tax the distributions of sweetened beverages into Seattle for retail sale in Seattle.
For more information, please review:
Sweetened beverage tax frequently asked questions Seattle business tax rule 5-953 (includes illustrative examples for distributors, restaurants and grocery stores)Seattle Municipal Code Chapter 5.53
If you have questions or concerns, contact SweetenedBevTax@seattle.gov.
The standard tax rate for the sweetened beverage tax is $.0175 per ounce. There is a reduced tax rate for certified manufacturers. That rate is $.01 per ounce.
Guidelines to follow
Distributors are liable for the sweetened beverage tax on distributions of sweetened beverages into Seattle for retail sale in Seattle. Distributors need to file the sweetened beverage tax online at https://www.filelocal-wa.gov/.
Distributors will either file annually or quarterly; following the same schedule as its B&O tax filing due dates. The imposition of the tax does not begin until Jan. 1, 2018. For quarterly tax filers, the first due date to remit the tax will be April 30, 2018.
Exemption from the sweetened beverage tax
If a distributor sells products from a certified small manufacturer (annual worldwide gross revenue of $2 million or less), those sales are exempt from taxation. The manufacturer must apply for the exemption with the City.
Exemption Application Reduced tax rate
If a distributor sells products from a certified manufacturer that has worldwide gross revenue of over $2 million but less than $5 million, those sales are eligible for a reduced tax rate ($.01/ounce). The manufacturer must apply for the reduced rate certification with the City.
Check the following link for full details of the new tax rate.