This article explains the proper Wisconsin sales tax treatment of certain charges made by Huber Law facilities. It also explains what Huber Law facilities should do if they have not been properly collecting and remitting the appropriate Wisconsin sales taxes.
- Charges for lodging to Huber law inmates, including transfer fees, are not taxable.
- Charges for electronic monitoring are taxable.
- Sales of tangible personal property by Huber Law facilities, such as vending machine sales of candy, are taxable, unless an exemption applies.*
- Separate and optional charges for meals to Huber law inmates are taxable, unless an exemption applies.*
- Separate, but not optional, charges for meals to Huber law inmates are not taxable (this is considered part of the charge for the lodging).
- If there is a single, non-itemized charge for both meals and lodging, the charge is not taxable.
Note: Huber Law facilities may not have been aware of how a law change effective October 1, 2009 affected the Wisconsin sales tax due on a single, non-itemized charge that includes both meals and lodging. This may have resulted in some facilities charging more sales tax than what was due on these fees. (The "bundled transaction" provisions in secs. 77.51(1f)(b)1. and (d), 77.52(22), and 77.54(51), Wis. Stats., were created in 2009 Wisconsin Act 2.).
If a Huber Law facility collected and paid sales tax on single, non-itemized charges that included both meals and lodging, the facility may choose to file a claim for refund with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue for the amount of tax it charged in error. The facility must then return the tax and related interest to the inmates from whom the tax was collected. If the facility is unable to return the tax and interest to the inmates, it must return the tax and interest to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
Information about filing a claim for refund is provided in Publication 216, Filing Claims for Refund of Sales or Use Tax.
*Additional information about sales of tangible personal property, and exemptions that may apply, is provided in Publication 201, Wisconsin Sales and Use Tax Information, Parts X. and XI. Additional information about meals or "prepared food" is provided in Publication 220, Grocers, Part II.D.
April 28, 2014