The State of Washington levies more than one hundred different types of taxes, such as the cigarette tax, litter tax, hazardous substance tax, leasehold excise tax, natural gas tax, oil spill tax, and many more. In addition to state taxes, counties and cities regularly impose taxes on property, certain business activities, and gambling. Whichever tax may concern you, Attorney Ralph Flick can represent his clients through tax audits and assessments, as well as in administrative or judicial appeals.

Washington is one of few states that impose a Business and Occupation (B&O) tax on gross revenue (rather than net income). Strictly speaking, this is not an income tax, but rather a tax imposed on all Washington businesses for the privilege of doing business in Washington. In practical terms, this means that no deduction may be used to reduce the tax base (your gross revenue) on which a B&O tax is assessed.The State of Washington does not levy an income tax on individuals. This is why most of the State’s revenue comes from taxing businesses (through B&O taxes) and consumers (through sales and use taxes). The State of Washington levies more than one hundred different taxes. Some of these taxes are called excise taxes, which means that they are imposed on “transactions,” rather than property or income.

While Oregon, Montana, and Alaska generally do not levy sales or use taxes, the State of Washington has one of the highest sales and use tax rates in the nation. This has made the State of Washington a beehive of sales and use tax controversies, many of which are difficult to understand and analyze.  In addition to the sales tax imposed by the state, counties and cities may also impose another layer of sales tax.

In addition to all applicable state and county taxes, cities may also impose an additional layer of tax on activities that fall within the purview of the city’s regulatory powers. The City of Seattle, for example, imposes an admission tax (for admissions to entertainment or recreation events), a business license tax (for businesses with an annual taxable gross revenue greater than $80,000), a gambling tax (on the gross revenue generated by gambling activities), and an occupation utility tax (for utility companies).

Depending in which county you live or work, you may be subject to several additional taxes. Generally, your county will impose a tax on appreciation of property. King County, for example, levies two types of property taxes, one on real property and one on personal property used in the operation of business activities.

Generally, a state and local tax problem starts with an audit and with an assessment of tax liability. At this point, you are left with the option to pay the tax or appeal the assessment. Attorney Ralph Flick can advise his clients with regard to state and local tax planning, compliance, and litigation. Attorney Ralph Flick can also represent his clients through tax audits and assessments, as well as in administrative and judicial appeals.