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Wisconsin: Sales to Native American Tribes Are Tax Exempt


 Ho Chunk Pow Wow.

How does your business handle exempt transactions?

Since August 2009, federally recognized Native American tribes located in Wisconsin have been eligible for an exemption from Wisconsin sales and use tax.

The following Native American tribes and bands qualify for this exemption:

  • The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  • Forest County Potawatomi Community
  • Ho-Chunk Nation
  • Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  • Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  • Menominee Nation
  • Oneida Nation of Wisconsin
  • Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  • St. Croix Chippewa Community
  • Sokaogon Chippewa Community
  • Stockbridge-Munsee Community

In order for an exemption from sales tax to be valid, proper documentation is required. The retailer must do one of the following:

  • Obtain a purchase order (or similar written document) from the tribe or band identifying the tribe or band as the purchaser;
  • Obtain a fully completed exemption certificate from the tribe or band; or
  • Record the tribe or band’s Certificate of Exempt Status (CES) number on the invoice.

Exempt

Exempt sales include sales of beverages and lodging made on tribal lands to Native Americans living on those tribal lands. A tribal casino’s gross receipts from wagers are also exempt.

“Native Americans” are defined as “all persons of Native American descent who are enrolled members of any federally recognized tribe.” Persons of Native American descent not enrolled in a federally recognized tribe do not qualify for the exemption.

Taxable

Sales made on reservations to non-Native Americans are subject to sales and use tax.

Sales made on reservations to Native Americans who do not live on their tribal lands/reservations are not exempt.

Sales made on reservations to Native Americans who are members of a different tribe are not exempt.

Additional information is available at Wisconsin Department of Revenue Fact Sheets 2103-1 and 2103-2.

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.