Wisconsin – Taxability of Digital Goods

SALT Report 1553 – The Wisconsin Department of Revenue updated their publication regarding the taxability of digital goods. Generally, sales and purchases of digital goods are subject to the 5% state sales or use tax.  However,  in many cases they are also subject to the 0.5% county sales or use tax, the 0.1% baseball stadium sales or use tax, the 0.5% football stadium sales or use tax, and the 0.5% premier resort area taxes.

News or Other Information Products

Beginning July 1, 2012, charges to electronically access or obtain construction plans and construction project information will be subject to Wisconsin sales and use taxes as “the sale of an additional digital good that is a news or other information product.”  For example:

  • A vendor sells reports with up-to-date construction project information. The reports are transferred electronically and are available for purchase through a subscription or for a one time single purchase.  In some cases the customer is provided with e-mail alerts to track projects. The charges for the reports and e-mail updates are now subject to Wisconsin sales and use taxes.
  • A vendor sells copies of construction plans and specifications. The plans and specifications are transferred electronically.  The plans and specifications are sold on a project-by-project basis.  The charges for the construction plans and specifications are now subject to Wisconsin sales and use taxes.
Exemptions for Digital Goods
Section 77.54(50) provides a sales and use tax exemption for the “sale of, and the storage, use or other consumption of any digital good” if the digital good would normally qualify for an exemption from sales and use taxes.
The publication defines “digital goods” as products that are transferred electronically.  However, this does not apply to the sale or purchase of prewritten computer software as Wisconsin law states that prewritten computer software is considered “tangible personal property regardless of the manner in which it is transferred to the purchaser.”
For Further Information: