Wisconsin Discusses the Treatment of Computer Software

As a result of the Menasha decision, Wisconsin amended its definition of “tangible personal property” to include prewritten computer software, regardless of how it is delivered to the purchaser. Previously, “tangible personal property” included computer programs except custom programs. This amendment, which reverses the decision made in the Menasha case, has an effective date of March 6, 2009. Therefore, sales of prewritten computer software with a modification or enhancement that is designed and developed to the specifications of a specific purchaser will be taxable in full if there is not a reasonable separately-stated charge on an invoice or other statement of the price given to the purchaser for the modification or enhancement. If, however, there is a reasonable separately stated charge for the modification or enhancement, that portion of the charge will be exempt. (News for Tax Practitioners, Wisconsin, Department of Revenue, March 16, 2009)

Posted on May 15, 2009