Wisconsin Updated Guidance on Sales of Appliances

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013


Wisconsin updated its guidance on how sales tax applies to sales of appliances. The taxability of these sales depends on whether Wisconsin treats them as sales of tangible personal property or of real property improvements. Sales of tangible personal property are subject to tax. Sales of real property improvements are not.

To determine if the sale of an appliance is subject to tax, Wisconsin first looks at whether the appliance is permanently affixed ("built in") to real property. If it is not built in, it is tangible personal property. The sale is therefore taxable.

If it is built in, Wisconsin looks at whether the facility it is built into is residential. If the appliance is built into a residential facility, it is a real property improvement. Its sale is thus not subject to tax.

If it is built into a nonresidential facility, Wisconsin looks at whether the appliance is used in a process or business function. If so, the appliance is tangible personal property and its sale is subject to tax. If not, the appliance is a real property improvement and its sale is not subject to tax. For example, in a nonresidential facility, a built in dishwasher in the employee break room is a real property improvement. The sale of this dishwasher would not be subject to tax. If that dishwasher were used to wash dishes for a restaurant, however, it would be tangible personal property because it was used for a business function. This sale would be subject to tax.

Certain services to appliances are subject to tax. It does not matter whether the appliances are built in. Wisconsin taxes the repair, service, alteration, fitting, cleaning, painting, coating, towing, inspection, and maintenance of tangible personal property. Wisconsin treats all appliances as tangible personal property when taxing these services. It does not matter if the appliances are otherwise considered real property improvements.


About TTR

Transaction (buying or selling things), Tax (the tax on this activity), Resources (our people, our website, our support services) - TTR, Inc.

TTR has a website that companies subscribe to and use daily. This website provides a list of everything that can be bought or sold in the U.S. It provides simple answers to whether buying or selling these items is taxable (subject to a sales tax or other tax), and it provides all the legal authority to support these tax answers.

TTR likes to keep things simple and fun, which is why it has great people who provide help to clients on any support questions they have about transaction tax issues.

Please visit TTR on the web at www.ttrus.com or call 866.578.8193.

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