Business Relief During COVID-19 Pandemic

By DOR.WA | Posted on Mar 26, 2020

As most of you are aware,  Governor Inslee recently issued a proclamation that bans gatherings of 50 people or more and shuts down restaurants (other than to-go or delivery), bars, entertainment and recreational facilities, and other businesses in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Please see the Governor’s page for a full list of impacted businesses.

These are unprecedented times and the Department of Revenue recognizes the profound impact on the businesses it serves.  Revenue is ready to do everything it can to help “businesses stay in business”. The Department’s plan is to give customers extra grace during this state of emergency and to work with business owners within the parameters of the law as much as possible.

Relief Available

Revenue is taking the following measures during the state of emergency to provide relief to all COVID-19 impacted businesses. These actions are in effect during the state of emergency (February 29, 2020, through the end of the state of emergency, yet to be determined).  This action addresses a broad range of taxes: business and occupation tax, real estate excise tax assessments, leasehold excise tax, forest tax, and other taxes administered by the Department including tax deferrals for biotechnology and medical device manufacturing. 

What if I am unable to pay my monthly, quarterly or annual return?

We are asking all businesses to still file their returns if they are able to do so. Upon request, the Department will provide extensions for paying tax returns (even if the request is after the due date). 

This only applies to returns that are due and not already paid during the state of emergency (Feb. 29, 2020, through the end of the state of emergency, yet to be determined).

60 days for monthly returns (this applies to the February 2020 and March 2020 returns at this time)

30 days for the Q1/2020 return

30 days for the Annual 2019 return

What if I need to, or have been, working with the Department on a collection related issue?

Revenue will delay issuing new compliance assessments until mid-April and reassess then. This delay includes tax warrants, notices of withhold and deliver, and revocations.

What if I have a payment plan with the Department? 

Upon request, Revenue will work with taxpayers that are impacted by COVID-19 to adjust payment plan amounts or extend payment dates 30 to 60 days. If payment is extended, additional penalties that would have normally accrued during the extension period will be waived.

What if I am scheduled for an audit or under audit right now?

The Department will delay scheduling audits of businesses that have gross income of less than $5 million in the past year, or are a type of business specifically identified in the Governor’s proclamation, until mid-May.  Revenue will reevaluate at that time. 

For audits in progress, Revenue staff will work with you to either issue the audit or provide an extension of up to 60 days based on your preference.

Revenue staff will be flexible in scheduling audits of businesses and encourage electronic records to support social distancing.

What about interest?

The Department currently has the authority to waive interest through April 17, 2020. Please check back to see if this date gets extended.

What should I do if I have a temporary business registration?

Businesses with a temporary registration that have had their event cancelled should notify the Department by replying to the original email they received when obtaining their temporary certificate.  If you no longer have the original email, you may send a message to communications@dor.wa.gov to cancel your temporary registration.  

What happens if I am late renewing my business license during this time period? 

The Department will waive the BLS delinquency fee for late renewals through April 17, 2020. Please check back to see if this date gets extended.

Please note that penalties and interest accrued prior to February 29, 2020, will not be waived. There will be no refunds for penalties and interest paid during the state of emergency.


What if I'm late renewing my non-profit property tax exemption?

The Department will waive penalties for late non-profit applications and renewals for exempt property through April 17, 2020. Please check back to see if this date gets extended.

What if I have questions about paying my property taxes?

Please contact your local county treasurer.

Requesting Relief

Businesses can request the relief above by sending a secure email in their My DOR account or by calling Revenue’s customer service staff at 360-705-6705, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Temporary Office Closures

Beginning March 18, our public offices are temporarily closed to support the state’s efforts to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus. All of the in-person services provided at DOR offices are available online at dor.wa.gov.   

Online Filing and Call Center Assistance

All of our services are available remotely. My DOR is up and running and available 24/7 for online filing. Our call center agents are ready to offer their assistance at 360-705-6705, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you recently received something from us and need special assistance, please contact us. We are here to help!

Resources for Washington businesses & workers impacted by COVID-19

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