The Washington State Department of Revenue has issued an excise tax advisory addressing whether the provision of “enhanced delivery services” would create nexus for a seller. While mere delivery of products by a common carrier or mail, would not create physical presence for the seller of the products, the provision of enhanced delivery services by a seller or its representative will generally create substantial nexus for the seller. “Enhanced delivery services,” which are commonly referred to as “white glove” delivery services, generally include activities that exceed the basic delivery of goods to a buyer. These include, for example, if the seller or its representative physically places the goods in the buyer’s room of choice, unpacks the goods, performs basic assembly, removes the packaging materials from the buyer’s home, performs minor repairs to the goods, or engages in touch-up services. The advisory notes that many sellers of larger products, or products that require specialized care or assembly, offer these services at no added cost or for an additional fee. Under Washington Law, a seller may establish a physical presence in Washington by having property or employees in the state, or by engaging directly or through a representative in activities that help establish or maintain a market in the state. Enhanced delivery services, in the Department’s view, support individual sales by encouraging customers to purchase products that require these types of services and ensuring that customers are satisfied with their purchases. These services also support the seller’s overall market in Washington by enhancing its reputation with customers throughout the state. As a result, these activities are significantly associated with the seller’s ability to establish or maintain a market for its products in Washington and are sufficient for a finding of nexus on the part of the seller. Please contact Michelle Baisler at 206-913-4117 with questions on this Excise Tax Advisory (ETA 3207.2018. May 10, 2018).
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