Overview of Washington Taxes
Washington has no personal income tax. The state has some of the highest sales taxes in the country. Washington property taxes rank among the top 20 in the nation.
Number of Personal Exemptions
Your 2017 Income Taxes (Pre-Trump Tax Plan)
|Tax Type||Marginal |
|2018 Trump Taxes*|
|Total Income Taxes|
|Income After Taxes|
* These will be the taxes owed for the 2018 - 2019 filing season.
Under the Trump Tax Plan (2018-2019 filing season), your Federal Income Tax will be and your FICA will be .
Your 2017 Tax Breakdown
Total Estimated Tax Burden $
Percent of income to taxes = %
Total Estimated Tax Burden$
Changes to Your Federal Income
Taxes Under the Trump Tax Plan
- Your marginal federal income tax rate will
- Your effective federal income tax rate will
- Your federal income taxes will
- Our Tax Expert
Jennifer Mansfield, CPA Tax
Jennifer Mansfield, CPA, JD/LLM-Tax, is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 30 years of experience providing tax advice. SmartAsset’s tax expert has a degree in Accounting and Business/Management from the University of Wyoming, as well as both a Masters in Tax Laws and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. Jennifer has mostly worked in public accounting firms, including Ernst & Young and Deloitte. She is passionate about helping provide people and businesses with valuable accounting and tax advice to allow them to prosper financially. Jennifer lives in Arizona and was recently named to the Greater Tucson Leadership Program.
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Washington state tax quick facts
Washington is one of seven states without a personal income tax, but that doesn’t mean it is a tax haven or even that taxes in the Evergreen State are particularly low. Taxpayers in Washington may dodge income taxes, but they pay some of the highest sales taxes in the country, with a combined state and average local rate of 8.92%. The state’s property taxes rank among the top 25 in the country and the gas tax is third-highest overall. Below, we’ll take a closer look at Washington’s tax rules. Read on to find out how they might affect you.
Washington State Income Tax
There are no income taxes in Washington State. While the idea to enact an income tax has been floated in the state legislature and at the ballot box over the years, none of the proposed measures have passed. If you still need help with your federal tax return, consider hiring a tax professional or using tax preparation software like TaxAct and H&R Block
Washington State Sales Tax
The flip-side of the state’s income tax-free status is its high sales taxes. The state’s base sales tax rate is 6.5%. Since cities and counties collect additional sales taxes on top of that rate, in practice rates are typically at least 8% and sometimes higher than 10%. The table below shows sales tax rates for all of the counties and the largest cities in Washington.
Sales Tax Rates (Updated January 2018)
|County||State Rate||County Rate||Total Sales Tax|
|City||State Rate||County + City Rate||Total Sales Tax|
|Lake Forest Park||6.50%||3.50%||10.00%|
Those taxes apply to nearly all tangible goods sold in the state of Washington as well as many services. Among the services subject to sales tax are cleaning, construction, installations, altering, lawn maintenance, fitness club memberships, tattoos, catering services and recreational activities. Digital purchase (music, videos, etc.) are also subject to the tax. Vehicle sales face an additional 0.3% tax on top of the total sales tax rate.
On the other hand, there are a number of important exemptions. Food and food ingredients are exempt, although prepared food and soft drinks are not. Prescription medicine and newspapers are also exempt.
Washington State Property Tax
If you’re thinking about buying a house on the Puget Sound or in sunny Eastern Washington, you’ll want to take the cost of local property tax rates into account. Effective property tax rates (property taxes as a percentage of total value) in Washington are generally close to 1%. At the county level, those rates range from 0.61% in San Juan County up to 1.24% in Pierce County. Statewide, residents pay an average of $2,860 a year in property taxes. This is a statewide effective property tax rate of 1.06%, slightly lower than the national average of 1.19%.
There is also a statewide tax on real estate sales in Washington. This tax is equal to 1.28% of the price of the home being sold and is typically paid by the seller.
If lower property taxes are something you are looking for, Washington may be the state for you. Check out our guide to Washington mortgage rates, where you can read up on the essentials before making a long-term purchase.
Washington State Estate Tax
The estate tax in Washington State ranges from 10% up to a top rate of 20%, but only applies to gross estates exceeding $2,193,000 for deaths after January 1, 2018. For deaths occurring after January 1, 2014 no estate tax return is required if the gross estate is less than that limit. The table below shows the marginal estate tax rates for qualifying estates. These rates apply to the Washington taxable estate, which is likely less than the actual gross estate.
Estate Tax Rates
|Washington Taxable Estate||Rate|
|$0 - $1,000,000||10.00%|
|$1,000,000 - $2,000,000||14.00%|
|$2,000,000 - $3,000,000||15.00%|
|$3,000,000 - $4,000,000||16.00%|
|$4,000,000 - $6,000,000||18.00%|
|$6,000,000 - $7,000,000||19.00%|
|$7,000,000 - $9,000,000||19.50%|
Washington State Spirits Tax
There are two taxes on spirits (hard liquor, not including beer and wine) in Washington. The first is a sales tax of 20.5% for retail sales and 13.7% for sales made in restaurants and bars. The second is a volume tax of $3.7708 per liter (retail) or $2.4408 per liter (restaurants and bars). Those taxes combined give Washington the highest liquor tax in the country.
Washington State Marijuana Tax
As of 2014, recreational marijuana is legal in the state of Washington. It is also heavily taxed, facing an excise tax rate of 37% of the sales price.
Photo credit: Washington State Department of Transportation
Places with the Lowest Tax Burden
Are you curious how your tax burden stacks up against others in your state? SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the counties with the lowest tax burden. Scroll over any county in the state to learn about taxes in that specific area.
Where you live can have a big impact on both which types of taxes you have to pay each year and how much money you spend on them. SmartAsset calculated the amount of money a specific person would pay in income, sales, property and fuel taxes in each county in the country and ranked the lowest to highest tax burden.
To better compare income tax burdens across counties, we used the national median household income. We then applied relevant deductions and exemptions before calculating federal, state and local income taxes.
In order to determine sales tax burden we estimated that 35% of take-home (after-tax) pay is spent on taxable goods. We multiplied the average sales tax rate for a county by the household income less income tax. This product is then multiplied by 35% to estimate the sales tax paid.
For property taxes, we compared the median property taxes paid in each county.
For fuel taxes, we first distributed statewide vehicle miles traveled down to the county level using the number of vehicles in each county. We then calculated the total number of licensed drivers within each county. The countywide miles were then distributed amongst the licensed drivers in the county, which gave us the miles driven per licensed driver. Using the nationwide average fuel economy, we calculated the average gallons of gas used per driver in each county and multiplied that by the fuel tax.
We then added the dollar amount for income, sales, property and fuel taxes to rank the counties to calculate a total tax burden.