What is a temporary event?
A temporary event is an occasion, activity, or function at which merchandise is sold or traded or taxable services are provided.
An event can be on one or consecutive days. It may reoccur on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. Each reoccurrence is a separate event. For example, a festival occurring Thursday through Sunday is one event. A farm market occurring each Saturday from May until October is a separate event for each Saturday.
The department allows operators with multiple events in a calendar month to combine and report the events on one Form S-240, Wisconsin Temporary Event Report for the month. The event name, location, and organizer must be the same for all events. A vendor only needs to be listed once for the month. An alternate version (Form S-240-Alt) offers space to add information for up to 100 vendors in a single file. No other alternate forms are approved for use.
Some examples of temporary events include:
- swap meets
- flea markets
- craft fairs
- farm markets
- coin shows
- gun shows
For more information, refer to:
What is the "Wisconsin Temporary Events Program"?
The mission of the Wisconsin Temporary Events Program is to ensure all operators and participants, including vendors, artists of shows, fairs, festivals exhibitions, are appropriately registered and operating in compliance with Wisconsin law.
Which Wisconsin tax account number is my seller's permit?
Your seller's permit number is a 15-digit number that begins with a 456 prefix. For example, 456-1234567890-01. Account numbers beginning with a different prefix are for other tax types. The seller's permit number is listed on your registration certificate as well as your seller's permit.
If a nonprofit organization has a Certificate of Exempt Status (CES) number for purchases, are its sales also exempt?
Sales by a nonprofit organization holding a CES number may be exempt occasional sales only if certain conditions are met. For more information see Fact Sheet 2106 and Publication 206, Sales Tax Exemption for Nonprofit Organizations.
Do I need a seller's permit if I'm an independent sales distributor?
A multi-level marketing company is required to remit Wisconsin sales and use tax on its sales to their independent sales distributors. Individual sales distributors for a multi-level company are not required to hold a seller's permit if they are only selling products purchased through the multi-level company and the multi-level marketing company collected the tax on sales to the distributor.
If the multi-level marketing company does not collect the tax from its distributor, the distributor must register for a Wisconsin seller’s permit and is liable for Wisconsin sales or use tax on its sales price of products sold and its purchase price of products that it uses or gives away, rather than resells, in Wisconsin.
I am not a resident of Wisconsin. I will be exhibiting at an event in Wisconsin and will not be selling or taking orders onsite. Do I need a Wisconsin seller's permit?
If you are engaged in business and make taxable sales of $2,000 or more within the calendar year (including sales of taxable merchandise shipped into Wisconsin), you must have a Wisconsin seller's permit. The first $2,000 is not exempt and must be included in the total taxable sales reported.
However, if you only make sales through a marketplace provider, a seller's permit is not required. The marketplace provider is liable for the tax unless an exception applies.
Should I display my permit?
You should display your seller's permit at Wisconsin events. A personal wallet copy is sent with your seller's permit to provide you with easy access to your permit number.
Can I include the tax in my sales price?
You can include the tax in the price of the product if you notify the customer in one of the following ways:
- Provide the customer a receipt which states - "Prices Include Sales Tax."
- Conspicuously post the bracket card, Form S-213, issued by the department.
- Conspicuously post a sign which states, "Prices Include Sales Tax."
Why did I receive a Vendor Response Form and packet in the mail?
Vendor response packets are sent to vendors who:
- Did not provide a valid seller's permit number to the event operator, or
- Registered with personal information instead of business information, or
- Could not be matched to an existing valid permit based on the information provided, or
- Provided an inactive seller's permit number to the event operator.
We send the Vendor Response Form to get your correct seller's permit number, an application for a seller's permit number, or the reason no permit is required.
Complete and return the Vendor Response Form by the date specified.
What if I lose my seller's permit?
You can print a copy of your permit without having to contact the department. In My Tax Account, your seller's permit is generally included in the list of letters. From the default home screen, choose More then select View Letters. Letters older than 12 months are found using Search. The Sent From date must be set to a date prior to the date your seller's permit was issued.
How do I obtain copies of Form S-240, Wisconsin Temporary Event Report?
- Download Form S-240 online. An alternate version (Form S-240-Alt) offers space to add information for up to 100 vendors in a single file. No other forms are approved for use.
- Write to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, PO Box 8949, MS 5-77, Madison, WI 53708-8949
- Visit any of our branch offices
NOTE: A fee will be charged for requests of more than 15 copies.
Does an event operator have to report all vendors at the event?
Event operators must report all vendors at the event, including food, drink, and entertainment vendors. This includes those whose sales may be exempt from sales tax.
If the event operator accurately and completely reports all event vendors, the event operator will be relieved of the responsibility of determining who is required to have a seller's permit at the event.
What happens if a vendor fails or refuses to provide the information to the operator?
The operator must complete the information on the Form S-240 for every vendor at the event. An operator may be assessed a penalty for failure to obtain information about each vendor.
How do operators report multiple events?
An operator who operates continuing or successive events at the same location with more than one event per month has the option of (1) reporting all sellers attending each event, or (2) reporting all sellers once a month in a combined report.
Report vendors only once in the report.
How will information reported by operators be used by the department?
The department will use the information to inform sellers of their Wisconsin tax registration and reporting responsibilities.
Do event operators need to get a Wisconsin seller's permit?
Event operators selling taxable goods or services are required to obtain a seller's permit and remit sales taxes.
What type of admissions are taxable?
Sales of admissions to amusement, athletic, entertainment, or recreational events or places are taxable, unless an exemption applies.
Examples of taxable admissions include:
- The sale of admissions to amusement, athletic, entertainment, or recreational events or places.
- The privilege of having access to or the use of amusement, entertainment, athletic, or recreational facilities provided dues, fees, or other considerations are required.
- The sales of admission for customer participation events such as, but not limited to, swimming, skiing, bowling, skating, bingo, golfing, curling, dancing, card playing, hayrides, hunting, fishing, and horseback or pony riding.
- The gross receipts from conducting bingo games.
- The receipts from the sale or furnishing of access to campgrounds, other than Wisconsin state park campgrounds, whether the fees are collected on a daily, weekly, annual, or other basis.
Examples of nontaxable admissions include:
- Admissions to auto or trade shows, if professional entertainment is not provided at the show.
- Admissions to events conducted by nonprofit organizations in certain situations. For more information see Publication 206, Sales Tax Exemptions for Nonprofit Organizations.
- Admissions to antique shows unless the admission charge can be used as a credit against the price of merchandise purchased.
- Admissions to the main gate at county fairs. See Tax Bulletin 113 for more information.
- Entry fees in contests if the primary motive of the majority of the persons entering the contest is "business" and not "recreation." Generally, entry fees are not taxable for: professional golfers entering a major tournament, professional riders entering a rodeo, professional stock car drivers entering an auto race, or large snowmobile races where the entrants are primarily manufacturers' representatives.
- Donations: To qualify as a donation, a payment must be voluntary, and no restriction of any kind may be placed on the entrance of persons not making a donation. The facts surrounding the requests for the donation shall be obvious that admittance is not restricted to those making a donation. A set amount for the donation, such as through newspaper publicity or signs at the entrance, a turnstile or restrictive device that shall be passed through, or an attendant requesting a donation at the door shall be presumptive evidence that the charge is not a donation but that the payment is required.
This document provides statements or interpretations of the following laws and regulations enacted as of November 14, 2023: chs. 77 and 73,
Wis. Stats., and ch. Tax 11,
Wis. Adm. Code.
Laws enacted and in effect after this date, new administrative rules, and court decisions may change the interpretations in this document. Guidance issued prior to this date, that is contrary to the information in this document is superseded by this document, according to sec. 73.16(2)(a), Wis. Stats.
Wisconsin Department of Revenue
Temporary Events Program MS 3-80
PO Box 8902
Madison, WI 53708-8902
Phone: (608) 264-4582