Stay up to date with sales tax: Join our mailing list!

A Wisconsin Circuit Court remanded to the Wisconsin Tax Appeals Commission a case of whether a nonprofit’s symphony tickets are subject to the state’s sales tax on admissions. The court determined that the Commission incorrectly interpreted the taxing statute by relying on an administrative rule that was not supported by the statute, to create, in effect, an unsupported exemption for educational events. Furthermore, the Commission has inconsistently interpreted and applied the provision in other cases. The court remanded the case to allow the Commission to develop a standard based on the taxing statute and related exemptions, which would be applied to determine whether an event is considered entertainment. The Commission may maintain its previous conclusion that the symphony concerts are taxable entertainment events, as long as the determination is supported by the statutorily-based standard. (Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Inc. v. Wisconsin Department of Revenue, Wisconsin Circuit Court for Dane County, Branch 2, April 23, 2008, No. 401-100).


Silviculture, defined as the business of raising trees for timber, lumber and other wood products, including the logging of timber when it is performed, now qualifies for tax exemption because of a new expanded definition of farming. Tractors, machines, other equipment, directly used in the business of farming would be tax exempt. This exemption became effective July 1, 2007. (Tax Release, Wisconsin Department of Revenue, July 2007)


Wisconsin has made various terminology revisions to Act 11 (S.B. 7), Laws 2007 which affect mobile and manufactured homes. As a result, newly-manufactured homes which qualify as dwellings are exempt from tax as a realty improvement. Taxpayers are reminded that use tax does not apply to mobile homes purchased by non-residents outside the state 90 days before they are brought into the state in connection with a change in domicile. Additional information is provided regarding municipal permit fees and licensee rights. (Act 11, S.B. 7, Laws 2007)


Effective January 1, 2006, a Wisconsin sales and use tax exemption applies to fuel and electricity consumed to operate machines and equipment used directly in the manufacturing process. The exempt amount should be calculated on a meter-by-meter basis in a similar manner as was previously used to calculate the amount of fuel and electricity qualifying for the manufacturer’s sales tax credit. In addition to determining the qualifying amounts, manufactures must also provide an exemption certificate to the fuel and/or electricity supplier. Accompanying rules and procedures for the exemption do apply. (Sales and Use Tax Report No. 3-05, Wisconsin Department of Revenue)


The sale, lease, or license of canned computer software in Wisconsin is subject to Wisconsin sales or use tax, regardless of how it is delivered to the customer (tangibly vs. electronically). For the tax to apply, however, the canned software must be situated in Wisconsin when used by the customer. Software located on a server outside Wisconsin (customer uses the software at the physical location of the server outside the state) is not subject to the Wisconsin tax. Customized computer software is not taxable. The Wisconsin Department of Revenue has developed a list of examples of taxable and nontaxable sales of computer software. (Frequently Asked Questions, Wisconsin Department of Revenue)



Scroll to Top