The state Senate has passed legislation that prevents the arrival of unexpected tax bills for assistance received through federal and state COVID-19 relief programs.

HB 1095 exempts small business assistance grants issued by government entities during a declared emergency, including PPP, EIDL advances, Working Washington Small Business Grants, etc., from state business and occupation (B&O) taxes.

The state House of Representatives passed the bill Jan. 22. It has now been sent to Gov. Jay Inslee for signature.

“Protecting the more than 100,000 Washington businesses that relied upon a federal PPP loan or other government funding to continue sending paychecks to their employees, make rent and lease payments, and keep the lights on during this pandemic is among NFIB‘s highest priorities this legislative session,” said Patrick Connor, Washington State director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), in a prepared statement. “NFIB thanks the bill’s prime sponsor, Rep. Amy Walen, and her bipartisan cosponsors, for introducing this important state agency requested legislation. We commend the state House and Senate for taking quick action to approve the bill. And, we urge Gov. Inslee to sign the bill as soon as it comes to his desk.”