The Washington state Department of Revenue is not making it easy for non-residents to request sales tax reimbursement.
As an Oregon resident, I started saving my sales receipts from Washington state purchases last July.
As we all know, in July, Oregon (and other states) were no longer exempt from Washington sales tax. I saved my receipts in order to request the 6.5% reimbursement that Washington state is offering.
In January, I called the Revenue Department to request forms for reimbursement submission. I was told by three different Washington Department of Revenue employees on three different occasions that the only way to submit reimbursement requests was on its website.
I tried that website and found it was not user friendly. And you are required to download your Oregon ID as well as all of your receipts.
Oregonians — don't give up. You do not have to use this website for sales tax reimbursement. There is a paper form available. After my frustration with the website, I called the revenue office a fourth time to request forms.
Luckily my call was answered by a helpful young man who took my information and said he would mail the form to me. Amazingly, the reimbursement form was in my mailbox four days later!
It is a lot of work to complete your request. But don't give up!
You must list each receipt, circle each taxed item on your receipts, send copies of your receipts and a copy of your Oregon ID as proof of residency. This reimbursement is offered to us and we all need to request it.
Sheila Hagar wrote an article in the Union-Bulletin a few months ago in reference to the change in sales tax for non Washington residents. She made the point that when we Oregonians travel into Walla Walla we are driving on roads that Washington taxes built and maintain.
So true, just as it is true that when Washington residents cross into Milton-Freewater to purchase furniture, appliances, gas and diesel for their vehicles, they are driving on Oregon roads and saving their pocket books the cost of Washington taxes.