First-ever tax amnesty for Washington businesses

Feb 1, 2011

Washington businesses with overdue taxes can now pay them off without penalties and interest. It's the state Department of Revenue's first-ever tax amnesty. Delinquent taxpayers have until April 18th to apply for the temporary program and must pay their taxes by April 30th. Full details, including the application form, are available at

Governor Chris Gregoire requested the amnesty in order to bring in revenue to help ease the state budget crisis. The Legislature authorized it during the special session in December. Revenue officials say the three month amnesty could bring in about $24 million for the state, and $4 million for local governments.

The amnesty waives penalties and interest on:

  • State business and occupation (B&O) tax
  • State public utility tax
  • State and local sales and use tax including:
    • General retail sales and use taxes
    • Rental car taxes
    • King County food and beverage tax
    • Additional sales and use tax on motor vehicle sales/leases
    • Lodging taxes, but not including tourism promotion area lodging charges
    • Brokered natural gas use tax

But:  If you have filed and paid all tax returns as of November 25, 2010, you are not eligible for amnesty on tax returns due after that date.