Washington State University

New 10-04
Purchasing Services

Tax Exemption Certification

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Machinery and equipment costing in excess of $2,500 which are purchased for University research and development activities may qualify for exemption of state sales and use tax. (RCW 82.08.02565) This state statute is known as the Machinery and Equipment Tax Exemption or the M&E Exemption.

The M&E Exemption applies to:

NOTE: For purposes of this section, machinery and equipment will be referred to as equipment.

See below for qualified equipment criteria.


The department is to attach a completed Tax Exemption Certification form for each qualifying equipment item to the Department Requisition submitted to Purchasing Services. See 70.10. Complete and/or print the PDF master on 70.42.4 to obtain copies of the certification form.

NOTE: Tax exemptions cannot be taken on equipment, parts, or services purchased with Department Orders or purchasing cards.


The following personnel must sign the form to certify that the equipment and its applied use meet the mandatory and usage criteria, as indicated:

The dean or chancellor may delegate authority to sign Tax Exemption Certifications to other departmental personnel by sending a memorandum to the Director of Business Services/Controller.

The signatures must be applied personally by the indicated individuals. Facsimile or substitute signatures, e.g., signature stamps, are not acceptable. A printed or typed name and title must follow each signature.


Penalties for fraud and tax evasion, if assessed, are charged back to the department.


In order to qualify for tax exemption, the equipment must meet the mandatory and usage criteria described below.

Mandatory Criteria

The equipment must meet all of the following criteria.


The equipment:

Prohibited Use

The equipment must not be directly used for the following purposes:

Usage Criteria

The equipment must meet one or more of the following description criteria and one or more of the following applied use criteria.

Description Criteria

The goods and/or services to be certified as tax exempt must be described as one or more of the following:

Applied Use Criteria

In order for the applied use of the equipment to qualify as research and development, the item must be used for one or more of the following purposes:

See the PDF master form:
70.42.4: Tax Exemption Certification
Complete and/or print as needed