Excise Tax

Tax Regulations & Collection Process
Chapter 82.45 RCW imposes an excise tax on every sale of property in this state at the rate of 1.28% of the selling price. Unless otherwise specifically exempt from tax, all sales are subject to the excise tax. Chapter 82.46 RCW authorizes counties, cities, and towns to impose additional taxes on sales based on the same incidence, collections, and reporting methods, as applicable under Chapter 82.45 RCW.

The taxes imposed are due at the time the sale occurs and are to be collected by the County Treasurer upon presentation of the documents of sale for recording in the public records, or by the department in the case of a transfer of a controlling interest in an entity which owns real property located in this state. This chapter provides applicable definitions, describes tax payment, collection and reporting procedures, explains the imposition of penalties and interest on late payment, describes available exemptions from tax, and provides procedures for refunds of overpaid taxes and appeals from assessments of tax.

Filing the Deed
Each deed must be accompanied by the Real Estate Excise Tax Affidavit (PDF) (Form 84 0001A) 6-29-05. These forms are a 4 part pre-carbon form. They may be obtained from any title company, bank, escrow company, state or county agency dealing with real estate sales. Affidavits must have original signatures. No faxed or emailed affidavits will be accepted. This form must be printed on legal size paper (8.5" x 14"). Nature of transfer may require completion of the Real Estate Excise Tax Supplemental Statement (PDF) in addition to the affidavit.

Prior to recording, a Real Estate Excise Tax Affidavit must be completed and submitted with the original document, (Xerox or fax copies not acceptable) to the San Juan County Treasurer for processing. Please be sure to read reverse side of new affidavit forms.
When real estate excise tax is exempt, there is a $10 processing fee applied to the excise affidavit. Please remit a separate check made payable to the San Juan County Treasurer in the amount of $10 per affidavit.

The complete legal description of the property must be included on the affidavit, or 4 copies of the legal description attached to the affidavit. Both Grantor(s) and Grantee(s) must sign tax affidavit and supplemental statement. Signatures on supplemental must be notarized only if under item No. 2 or No. 3.

Please include a check, made payable the San Juan County Auditor for recording fee. Do not combine this amount with processing fee to the Treasurer.

If exemption is claimed, you must provide the correct WAC number and title located at question No. 6 on the excise tax affidavit. If you are unable to locate the WAC number and title, please call the San Juan County Treasurer at the above telephone number for correct WAC information.

When using WAC No. 458-61A-201 (GIFTS), a completed supplemental statement signed by both Grantor and Grantee must be submitted with the Real Estate Tax Affidavit per Department of Revenue, effective March 3, 1994. Original signatures only, agents may not sign.

Excise tax is 1.78% of the gross sale price (1.28% Washington State, 0.50% San Juan County). If sale is located within the city limits of Friday Harbor, local excise tax of 0.50% is collected for the Town of Friday Harbor making the total tax 1.78%. In addition, San Juan County collects 1% of the gross sale price for conservation landbank tax. An additional $5 fee will be added to each sale for the State of Washington Technology fee.

Transfers of Mobile Homes
When transferring ownership of a mobile home that is not being moved from its current location, a Mobile Home Real Estate Tax Affidavit (PDF) is required. An additional $5 fee will be added to each sale for the State of Washington Technology fee.