Annual survey requirement for tax preferences.
(1)(a) Every person claiming a tax preference that requires a survey under this section must file a complete annual survey with the department.
(i) Except as provided in (a)(ii) of this subsection, the survey is due by April 30th of the year following any calendar year in which a person becomes eligible to claim the tax preference that requires a survey under this section.
(ii) If the tax preference is a deferral of tax, the first survey must be filed by April 30th of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the investment project is certified by the department as operationally complete, and a survey must be filed by April 30th of each of the seven succeeding calendar years.
(b) The department may extend the due date for timely filing of annual surveys under this section as provided in RCW 82.32.590.
(2)(a) The survey must include the amount of the tax preference claimed for the calendar year covered by the survey. For a person that claimed an exemption provided in RCW 82.08.025651 or 82.12.025651, the survey must include the amount of tax exempted under those sections in the prior calendar year for each general area or category of research and development for which exempt machinery and equipment and labor and services were acquired in the prior calendar year.
(b) The survey must also include the following information for employment positions in Washington, not to include names of employees, for the year that the tax preference was claimed:
(i) The number of total employment positions;
(ii) Full-time, part-time, and temporary employment positions as a percent of total employment;
(iii) The number of employment positions according to the following wage bands: Less than thirty thousand dollars; thirty thousand dollars or greater, but less than sixty thousand dollars; and sixty thousand dollars or greater. A wage band containing fewer than three individuals may be combined with another wage band; and
(iv) The number of employment positions that have employer-provided medical, dental, and retirement benefits, by each of the wage bands.
(c) For persons claiming the tax preference provided under chapter 82.60 or 82.63 RCW, the survey must also include the number of new products or research projects by general classification, and the number of trademarks, patents, and copyrights associated with activities at the investment project.
(d) For persons claiming the credit provided under RCW 82.04.4452, the survey must also include the qualified research and development expenditures during the calendar year for which the credit was claimed, the taxable amount during the calendar year for which the credit was claimed, the number of new products or research projects by general classification, the number of trademarks, patents, and copyrights associated with the research and development activities for which the credit was claimed, and whether the tax preference has been assigned, and who assigned the credit. The definitions in RCW 82.04.4452 apply to this subsection (2)(d).
(e) For persons claiming the tax exemption in RCW 82.08.025651 or 82.12.025651, the survey must also include the general areas or categories of research and development for which machinery and equipment and labor and services were acquired, exempt from tax under RCW 82.08.025651 or 82.12.025651, in the prior calendar year.
(f) If the person filing a survey under this section did not file a survey with the department in the previous calendar year, the survey filed under this section must also include the employment, wage, and benefit information required under (b)(i) through (iv) of this subsection for the calendar year immediately preceding the calendar year for which a tax preference was claimed.
(3) As part of the annual survey, the department may request additional information necessary to measure the results of, or determine eligibility for, the tax preference.
(4) All information collected under this section, except the information required in subsection (2)(a) of this section, is deemed taxpayer information under RCW 82.32.330. Information required in subsection (2)(a) of this section is not subject to the confidentiality provisions of RCW 82.32.330 and may be disclosed to the public upon request, except as provided in subsection (5) of this section. If the amount of the tax preference claimed as reported on the survey is different than the amount actually claimed or otherwise allowed by the department based on the taxpayer's excise tax returns or other information known to the department, the amount actually claimed or allowed may be disclosed.
(5) Persons for whom the actual amount of the tax reduced or saved is less than ten thousand dollars during the period covered by the survey may request the department to treat the amount of the tax reduction or savings as confidential under RCW 82.32.330.
(6)(a) Except as otherwise provided by law, if a person claims a tax preference that requires an annual survey under this section but fails to submit a complete annual survey by the due date of the survey or any extension under RCW 82.32.590, the department must declare the amount of the tax preference claimed for the previous calendar year to be immediately due. If the tax preference is a deferral of tax, twelve and one-half percent of the deferred tax is immediately due. If the economic benefits of the deferral are passed to a lessee, the lessee is responsible for payment to the extent the lessee has received the economic benefit.
(b) The department must assess interest, but not penalties, on the amounts due under this subsection. The interest must be assessed at the rate provided for delinquent taxes under this chapter, retroactively to the date the tax preference was claimed, and accrues until the taxes for which the tax preference was claimed are repaid. Amounts due under this subsection are not subject to the confidentiality provisions of RCW 82.32.330 and may be disclosed to the public upon request.
(7) The department must use the information from this section to prepare summary descriptive statistics by category. No fewer than three taxpayers may be included in any category. The department must report these statistics to the legislature each year by December 1st.
(8) For the purposes of this section:
(a) "Person" has the meaning provided in RCW 82.04.030 and also includes the state and its departments and institutions.
(b) "Tax preference" has the meaning provided in RCW 43.136.021 and includes only the tax preferences requiring a survey under this section.
[2014 c 97 § 103; 2011 c 23 § 6; 2010 c 114 § 102.]
| Annual surveys and reports -- Recommendations to update and improve -- 2013 2nd sp.s. c 13: See note following RCW 82.32.534.|
Findings -- 2011 c 23: See note following RCW 82.08.02565.
Effective date -- Construction -- 2011 c 23: See notes following RCW 82.08.025651.
Application -- 2010 c 114: "Those provisions of sections 101 through 103, 105 through 109, 111 through 116, 118 through 122, 124, 126 through 128, 130, 132 through 149, and 151 through 153 of this act that relate to annual surveys and annual reports apply beginning with annual surveys and annual reports due in 2011 and thereafter." [2010 c 114 § 203.]
Finding -- Intent -- 2010 c 114: "(1) The legislature finds that accountability and effectiveness are important aspects of setting tax policy. In order to make policy choices regarding the best use of limited state resources, the legislature needs information on how a tax preference is used. In recent years, the legislature has enacted or extended numerous tax preferences that require the reporting of information to the department of revenue. Although there are many similarities in the requirements, and only two distinct accountability documents, there is a lack of uniformity in the information reported, penalties for failure to file, due dates, filing extensions, and filing requirements. Greater uniformity in the data reported is necessary to adequately compare tax preference programs. The legislature intends to create two sets of uniform reporting requirements that apply to the existing tax preferences and can be used in future legislation granting additional tax preferences.
(2) The legislative fiscal committees or the department of revenue are required to study many of the existing tax preferences and report to the legislature at least once. Because chapter 43.136 RCW now requires the joint legislative audit and review committee, with support from the department of revenue, to comprehensively review most tax preferences every ten years and provide a report to the legislature, a number of redundant studies by the legislative fiscal committees and the department of revenue have been eliminated. However, the department of revenue will continue to prepare summary descriptive statistics by category and report the statistics to the legislature each year." [2010 c 114 § 101.]