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What is the real estate excise tax?

It is a tax on the sale of real estate. The real estate excise tax is typically paid by the seller of the property, although the buyer is liable for the tax if it is not paid. The tax applies to the seller. The tax also applies to transfers of controlling interests (50% or more) in entities that own property in the state.


How do I pay the tax?

County treasurers collect the state and local taxes, except for the tax that applies to acquisition of controlling interests which is reported directly to the Department of Revenue.


What rate do I pay?

The state tax rate is .0128. City and county rates vary depending on the area.


What are the funds used for?

Effective July 1, 2006, 1.3% of the state tax collected by counties is retained to cover administration costs. Of the net proceeds to the state, 6.1% goes into the public works assistance account to help fund maintenance of local government public works facilities created in RCW 43.155.050, and 1.6% goes to the city/county assistance account created in RCW 43.08.290. The remainder of the state tax goes into the general fund.

Questions?

Please call (360) 570-3265, and press option 1 to speak to a Real Estate Excise Tax Examiner.