Washington Supreme Court “Clarifies” That Sellers Cannot “Add” B&O Tax to the Selling Price Regardless of Disclosure, But Can “Include” B&O Tax as Part of the Selling Price
The Washington Supreme Court recently held that businesses are statutorily barred from recouping Business and Occupation (“B&O”) tax as an added charge to the selling price, regardless of disclosure. In answering a question certified to it by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Washington Supreme Court undertook to “reconcile” two earlier cases and “clarify any confusion” regarding the itemization of B&O tax. (Peck v. AT&T Mobility, Wn.2d, April 26, 2012). Thus, the Court clarified that it would be permissible to include the B&O tax as an itemized part of the selling price, but provided no guidance on how to distinguish between an impermissible addition to the selling price and a permissible inclusion in the selling price.
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