Seattle - Tax free shopping?

Old Jan 20th, 2005, 07:04 AM
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Seattle - Tax free shopping?


A few years ago I did some clothes shopping in Seattle, and I did not have to pay the state sales tax when I showed my PA drivers license to prove I did not live in Washington.

Is this ‘tax-free’ shopping still true today?

Why is it even allowed? I have not been able to do this in any other state.
Thanks for any insight.
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 08:31 AM
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Hmm. This is new to me. I know there is no state sales tax in Oregon, but never knew this about Washington.
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 08:37 AM
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Many states will not charge you sales tax on items you can take with you, if you can show ID from a state that does not have sales tax. I have an OR license and even without asking , many times I have been offered the no sales tax thing and salespeople have voided the transaction and started over just to avoid the tax.

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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 08:45 AM
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The largest department stores (Macy's, Nordstrom) may allow you to buy w/o sales tax, but don't count on it. Used to be that folks from Oregon and Alaska were routinely allowed to buy without tax, but that practice has slipped, and it was never commonplace with smaller merchants, who didn't know how, or didn't care, about tax relief. I haven't heard of anyone getting their tax back for years.

It was only allowed in cases where the home state had no sales tax of its own, so not sure about PA or others. Reciprocity and all that.
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 08:48 AM
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mms, are you talking about items you take with you, or items that are sent out of state to you? Here in Florida, in my business I often had items directly shipped from a supplier in another state to a buyer in yet another state. If those goods didn't enter Florida, then we could eliminate the sales tax. But once they were here in my store, I'd have to charge them tax whether they took them with them or I shipped them to them -- makes no difference. I also had people show me a Florida resale certificate that would let me void their sales tax. But they were then REQUIRED to pay that tax themselves when the items were sold. I know that many of them ILLEGALLY never paid those taxes, but they were supposed to.
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 08:53 AM
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This is jogging my memory.

No, it was not for shipped items, it was cash and carry.

It must have been when I had a DE license as there is no sales tax in that state. And it was at REI, several times, I am recalling.

I am asking this now as a friend from Switzerland wants to go shopping with the weak dollar and all, but was thinking of going to Oregon because of the tax issue.
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 10:51 AM
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Patrick--We have done both...shipped things back to OR as well as carried them with us. In FL we bought an suv and had the OR paperwork for licensing (military) and the dealership told us we did not have to pay tax that way. We of course were happy, but were not expecting that at all. The last two times we did the tax free were in WA in Nov. and Dec. and both stores had absolutely no problem with it. I just ask when I go to pay. I honestly cannot think of a time that I have been told no. When they do this I do have to fill out a form stating that yes, I am an OR resident and need to give some information, but I am honest so it doesn't matter to me.
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 03:32 PM
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In reply: If we shipped out of State you pay shipping/no tax. If you take it with you no tax. Now...The infamous Williams family from Oregon preferred not to pay for anything they took from one store and tried to return from another. Oh...the stories I could tell!
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