Certain products used to make beer are a "food or food ingredient" and qualify for exemption from Wisconsin sales and use tax. Examples of items exempt from Wisconsin sales and use tax when used in the home brewing of beer for personal consumption include:
- Malts - extracts, powders, grains
- Unmalted grains - corn, rice, barley, rye, wheat, oats
- Adjuncts - corn and rice powders or syrups, honey
- Hops - leaf, pellets, frozen, and extracts
- Priming sugars - corn sugar, cane sugar, and "candi" sugars, except "candi" sugars sold in the form of bars, drops, or pieces, which are taxable as the sale of a food or food ingredient that is "candy"
- Flavorings - extracts, herbs, and botanicals
- Brewing yeast - liquid or dried
- Distilled water
- Fruit juice - must be more than 50% fruit juice by volume to be exempt. If less than 50% fruit juice by volume, it is taxable as a soft drink.
- Water chemicals - calcium carbonate, Epsom salts, gypsum, non-iodized salt, burtonisation salts, phosphoric acid, lactic acid. If the product is labeled for sale with a "supplement (al) facts box" on the packaging, it is taxable as a food or food ingredient that is a "dietary supplement."
For additional information relating to the exemption for food and food ingredients, see
Grocers (Publication 220).
Equipment and Supplies
Sales of equipment and supplies such as brewing pots, plastic buckets, carboys, fermentation locks, thermometers, wort chillers, siphon tubes, plastic hoses, bottles, bottle caps, bottle cappers, and beer labels are taxable. Supplies used or consumed in making and storing the beer, such as cleaners, sanitizers are also taxable.
Clarifiers and fining agents such as Irish moss, bentonite, and polyclar that are used to filter the beer during the home brewing process are also taxable. Although some clarifiers and fining agents may be ingested or chewed, they do not qualify for the exemption from Wisconsin sales and use tax for food and food ingredients because they are not ingested or chewed for their taste or nutritional value.
Home Beer Brewing Kits
Home beer brewing kits that contain a combination of taxable and nontaxable products (i.e., equipment and supplies and food and food ingredients) and sold for a single non-itemized price are subject to Wisconsin sales and use tax if more than 50% of the seller's sales price and purchase price of the products contained in the kit relates to the taxable products. If 50% or less of the seller's sales price or purchase price of the products contained in the kit relates to the taxable products, the entire selling price of the home beer brewing kit is exempt from Wisconsin sales and use tax. See
sec. Tax 11.985, Wis. Adm. Code (November 2010 Register), for additional information on "bundled transactions."
March 26, 2012