And do you need to pay it?

What is a Litter Tax?

Litter Tax is a tax that some manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers pay in Washington State.  The tax is collected from the business subject to a litter tax and used to support litter control programs in the state including cleanup and for education and awareness programs that relate to litter control and recycling.

There are 13 categories of products that are subject to the litter tax:

  • food for human or pet consumption
  • groceries
  • cigarettes and tobacco products
  • soft drinks and carbonated beverages
  • beer and other malt beverages
  • wine
  • newspapers and magazines
  • household paper and paper products
  • glass containers
  • metal containers
  • plastic or fiber containers made of synthetic material
  • cleaning agents and toiletries
  • non-drug drugstore sundry items

The rate is .00015% of the taxable amount.

Food that is consumed on-premise is exempt from the litter tax. On-premise includes inside the place of business or outside on a deck or patio. To-go and delivery items are not exempt and will need to pay a litter tax. As a business, you need to be able to track the sales that are consumed on-premise versus ‘to-go’, this can be set up in your POS system settings.

To pay the litter tax, businesses have to report it on their excise tax return by checking off the categories in their return.

Read Washington Sales Tax 101 for more helpful information about business sales tax in Washington.