Hello + Note from July 2, 2018: The state has a new portal, which looks a little different. I'm hoping to add screenshots of the new one sometime soon. Meanwhile, this post will still give you a good idea of the process. Thanks for your patience!
Good news! This is actually a fairly easy and very quick task....when you know what to do. It will mostly likely take you longer to read this blog post than to make your report!
Having said that, lots of people get really tripped up. This is because the tax form (online or paper) has a few hundred boxes. It's used to tax every type of business, which all have different tax rates. Thank goodness, only one box actually applies to you.
Due: January 31st
Time Required: 2 - 8 minutes
Frustration Factor: 2 out of 10
Cost/Taxes Due: $0 if you earned under about $45K. Over $45K, it can be a few hundred dollars to a thousand or more.
Type of Tax: B&O - business and occupation
(And Use Tax if applicable, though this is not covered in this blog post. One is coming soon.)
With: The Washington state DOR, Department of Revenue
Click here to go to the DOR.WA.gov OR, read on for more information and screenshots.
Summary of the Task
1. Log in
2. Find the ONE correct box for Services
3. Enter your gross sales
4. Click next through several screens
6. Pay, if required
If you have any trouble, call the DOR at 1.800.647.7706. It's their job to help you file your taxes!
A Little Info
Washington state collects three kinds of tax. The Department of Revenue handles this.
B & O Tax - Business and Occupation. Every business has to pay this tax, though small businesses get a credit, so you might not owe any! Different industries are taxed on business activities. The percentages vary.
Use Tax - This might apply to you. (Though I don't cover it in the screenshots below.) It's like sales tax for things you buy in other states. For example, if you buy a computer in Portland, you'd be required to pay Use Tax in WA state for it.
Sales Tax - This is a tax that business collect and submit, versus a tax one pays. If you're a (NON-Retail) Service provider, you don't have to collect this tax! Click here to read about Services vs. Retail Service.
IMPORTANT NOTE - ONE
If you do not have an account yet with the DOR (Department of Revenue), you'll need to set one up. A blog post is coming soon to show this. Meanwhile, here's what I can tell you.
You will need your~
• UBI - Unified Business Identifier, the # that WA state assigned to your business
• PAC Code - I don't know what this stands for. You can find it on most letters from the DOR, or if they sent you a paper form for Excise Tax.
IMPORTANT NOTE - TWO
By any chance, did the state assign you to make Quarterly reports? Versus Annual reports? This sometimes happens when self-employed folks register an LLC. If you want to change from Quarterly to Annually, you must call the DOR (Department of Revenue) during the month of January. And only in January! The number is 1.800.647.7706. If your annual Gross Sales are under a certain amount, they will make the change for you.
Screenshots ~ Making Your Report to the WA DOR
To get started, click here to go to the DOR.WA.gov.
Follow the circles.
Scroll down........nearly to the bottom. On your way, check out all the different industries being taxed!
Enter your Gross Sales in the box next to "Service and Other Activities, Gambling Contests of Choice (less than $50,000 a year)".
Isn't that kinda funny! Gross Sales means total amount of money collected from clients, before any deductions.
Keep hitting NEXT through 7 or so screens........until you get to Summary and Payment.
Again, along the way, check out some of the funny tax categories. (Liter, "little cigars", syrup?)
Finally, here we are. It'll show your B&O tax. Also, a credit applied to you. Fill out your contact info to file.
If you owe any money, it'll direct you to a payment screen.
Payment screen. The first one deducts directly from your bank account.
After you fill out your payment info, be sure you follow all the directions to Submit payment.
Check for the buttons at the bottom of each screen. (Sorry, I forgot to grab those screenshots for you.)
Woohoo! Confirmation screen. If you paid tax, be sure to put a copy in your receipts file.
You can deduct these taxes when you do your Federal filing with the IRS.
If you select "View Printable Return" this is what it looks like.
Well done! This will be way easier next year, now that you've been through it.
Please take a little moment to reward yourself. Perhaps some nice chocolate, a walk outside, a glass of wine, or order dinner in tonight.
Jenny Girl Friday