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Wisconsin Sales Tax Exemptions 2012: Beer, Baths and Animal Fat

  • Mar 28, 2012 | Will Frei

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue recently issued a series of updates clarifying sales tax exemptions from walk-in bathtubs to rental car fuel. Find the exemptions listed below.

Home beer brewing ingredients exemption

Certain ingredients used to make beer qualify as "a food or food ingredient," and are therefore sales tax exempt. Examples include: malts, unmalted grains, adjuncts, hops, maltodextrine, priming sugars, flavorings, lactose, brewing yeast, distilled water, fruit juice and water chemicals. For more information see the Department's document for grocers.

The Department clarifies that equipment and supplies used in home beer brewing are taxable, and that home beer brewing kits "...contain a mixture of taxable and nontaxable products . . . ." In the latter case, the kit is sales tax exempt if 50% or less of the price of the kit relates to taxable items.

Walk-in bathtubs exemption

The sale and installation of a walk-in bathtub are sales tax exempt if the bathtub is "...generally not used by a person who has normal mobility." The sale of the bathtub to a contractor who installs the tub in such a situation is equally exempt.

Animal fat and vegetable oil for fuel exemption

The cost of animal fat or vegetable oil is exempt from sales tax when purchased by an individual and "... is converted into the first 1,000 gallons of motor vehicle fuel used by that individual in his or her personal motor vehicle." The Department stresses that businesses do not qualify for this exemption.

Fuel charges for rental cars exemption

Fuel charges by a rental car company to a customer are sales tax exempt under the following conditions: 1) the charges are optional (e.g. only apply if the customer does not return the car with a full tank of fuel), and 2) the company pays the appropriate excise tax on the fuel it purchases to refill the vehicle.

Remote deposit capture services exemption

The Department defines Remote deposit capture service (RDCS) as "... the electronic capturing of a check image at a remote location for deposit into an account at a financial institution." Retailers using RDCS scan checks and send the images to the financial institution that furnishes the RDCS.

The financial institution charges the retailers for the use of this service. Since retailers pay primarily for the service of remote deposit capture, and not for the equipment, the fees are sales tax exempt.

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Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Will Frei
Avalara Author Will Frei
Will Frei covers sales tax news including best practices, legislation and sales tax technology. He is the Social Media Manager at Avalara.