Overview of Washington Taxes
Washington has no personal income tax. The state has some of the highest sales taxes in the country, though. Washington property taxes rank in the middle when compared to other states.
Number of State Personal Exemptions
Your Income Taxes Breakdown
|Tax Type||Marginal |
|Total Income Taxes|
|Income After Taxes|
* These are the taxes owed for the 2020 - 2021 filing season.
Your 2020 Federal Income Tax Comparison
- Your marginal federal income tax rate
- Your effective federal income tax rate
- Your federal income taxes
Total Estimated 2020 Tax Burden
Total Estimated Tax Burden $
Percent of income to taxes = %
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Our income tax calculator calculates your federal, state and local taxes based on several key inputs: your household income, location, filing status and number of personal exemptions. Also, we separately calculate the federal income taxes you will owe in the 2019 - 2020 filing season based on the Trump Tax Plan.
How Income Taxes Are Calculated
- First, we calculate your adjusted gross income (AGI) by taking your total household income and reducing it by certain items such as contributions to your 401(k).
- Next, from AGI we subtract exemptions and deductions (either itemized or standard) to get your taxable income. Exemptions can be claimed for each taxpayer as well as dependents such as one’s spouse or children.
- Based on your filing status, your taxable income is then applied to the the tax brackets to calculate your federal income taxes owed for the year.
- Your location will determine whether you owe local and / or state taxes.
- Last Updated: January 1, 2020...read more
When Do We Update? - We regularly check for any updates to the latest tax rates and regulations.
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- 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.
Taxes in Washington State
Washington State Tax Quick Facts
- Income tax: None
- Sales tax: 7.00% - 10.50%
- Property tax: 0.93% average effective rate
- Gas tax: 49.4 cents per gallon of regular gasoline and diesel
Washington is one of several states without a personal income tax, but that doesn’t mean that the Evergreen State is a tax haven. While taxpayers in Washington dodge income taxes, they pay some of the highest sales taxes in the country, with a combined state and average local rate of 9.23%. The state’s property taxes rank among the top 25 in the country and the gas tax is second-highest overall.
A financial advisor in Washington State can help you understand how taxes fit into your overall financial goals. Financial advisors can also help with investing and financial plans, including retirement, homeownership, insurance and more, to make sure you are preparing for the future.
Washington State Income Taxes
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. This means that once you’ve finished your federal tax return, you’re done with your taxes for the year.
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%. But since cities and counties collect additional sales taxes on top of that rate, 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 in December 2020)
|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 taxes into account. Effective property tax rates (property taxes as a percentage of total home value) in Washington generally hover around 1%.
At the county level, effective rates in Washington range from 0.61% in San Juan County up to 1.19% in Pierce County. Statewide, residents pay an average of $3,601 a year in property taxes. But because home values here are high, that's a statewide effective property tax rate of only 0.93%, which is actually slightly lower than the 1.07% national average.
There is also a statewide tax on real estate sales in Washington. This tax, officially called the real estate excise tax (REET), is equal to a specific percentage of the price of the home being sold, and it is typically paid by the seller. Cities also have the option to levy an additional 0.25% tax on property sales.
As of Jan. 1, 2020, Washington revamped the rate structure for its REET tax. Below is a breakdown of what Washington residents will pay in these taxes when they sell their home.
Washington REET Rates
|$0 - $500,000||1.10%|
|$500,000.01 - $1,500,000||1.28%|
|$1,500,000.01 - $3,000,000||2.75%|
Washington State Estate Tax
The estate tax in Washington State ranges from 10% up to a top rate of 20%, but this only applies to gross estates with a value exceeding $2,193,000. The table below shows the marginal estate tax rates for qualifying estates. These rates apply to the Washington taxable estate amount, 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 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, called the spirits liter tax, which is equal to $3.7708 per liter (retail) or $2.4408 per liter (restaurants and bars). Those taxes combined give Washington one of the highest liquor taxes in the country.
Washington State Marijuana Tax
As of 2014, recreational marijuana is legal in the state of Washington. It's also heavily taxed, facing an excise tax rate of 37% of the sales price.
- Seattle, the largest city in Washington State, averages 71 sunny days a year.
- Mount Rainier National Park is the fifth oldest national park in the country. It receives over 1.5 million visitors per year.
- Washington State is the nation’s leading producer of apples.
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.
To find the places with the lowest tax burdens, SmartAsset calculated the amount of money a specific person would pay in income, sales, property and fuel taxes in each county in the country.
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 after taxes. This balance 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 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 calculate a total tax burden. Finally, each county was ranked and indexed, on a scale of 0 to100. The county with the lowest tax burden received a score of 100 and the remaining counties in the study were scored based on how closely their tax burden compares.