(Editors Note: Last month AGC held a “brown bag seminar” on the new sales tax/reseller permit law with the help of Linda Miller Baldwin and John Wack of the Department of Revenue. At that event it became clear that there was confusion about the role of DOR’s Taxpayer Services Division which provides confidential assistance to businesses. Below Linda Miller Baldwin of DOR clarifies how the Division can help you.)
Have you ever wondered how to get help with state tax questions? The Department of Revenue’s Taxpayer Services Division works exclusively with business owners to answer tax questions and to provide other tax related information. This division was established by law to assist businesses determine how their activities are taxed when sales tax is due on purchases of materials and when they can be purchased without paying sales tax how to properly complete tax returns and many other questions you may have.
While the Department website contains detailed information on the taxability of business activities you can also contact a Tax Information Specialist 4 directly. The tax information that you provide is confidential and you are not required to provide your business information in order to get general tax information over the telephone.
Job duties of a Tax Information Specialist include the following activities:
- Analyze and interpret laws
- AGC members can call a Tax Information Specialist directly to get answers to questions during work hours. Verbal information is general and not binding upon either the business owner or Department.
- AGC members can write the Department for a binding ruling on the taxability of specific business activities. Such rulings are binding upon both the Department and business owner. This means that if the Department provides misinformation to a business owner the business owner is not responsible. To obtain a binding ruling you must provide information on your business such as your business name UBI number address etc. Binding ruling requests should provide detailed information on your business activity.
- Create guides brochures special notices and other industry specific publications
- Tax Information Specialists are technical writers and write publications to provide general information on tax issues as well as explain how business activities are taxed in this state. Industry Specific Guides are available for many different business industries including those performing construction activities.
- Brochures are typically general in nature and explain Washington’s tax structure such as business and occupation (B&O) tax retail sales tax and use tax.
- Special Notices are written to provide information on new law changes as well as tax issues that are complex. A list of Special Notices is available on the Department’s website.
You may contact the Department of Revenue in the following ways:
Linda Miller Baldwin
Tax Information Specialist 4
Tax Information Specialist 4
Telephone Information Center (800) 647-7706