Winterizing (Dewinterizing) Vacation Homes, Cabins, and RVs

Winterizing services for a vacation home or cabin that consist of the following are not taxable (this list is not all inclusive):

  • Draining water from a water heater.
  • Opening water faucets to allow water to drain.
  • Blowing air through the water lines and drain pipes to drain the water.
  • Putting antifreeze in water lines, drain pipes, and toilets to prevent freezing of water left behind after draining.
  • Installing temporary storm windows or plastic sheeting on the windows.
  • Cleaning gutters.

Although some of the services listed above are performed to tangible personal property, the primary purpose of the winterizing or dewinterizing service is to ensure that no water is left in the pipes within the plumbing system (real property) that could cause damage to the vacation home or cabin. Because the service is to real property, it is not subject to Wisconsin sales and use tax. Other types of winterizing services may be taxable. For example, raking leaves and trimming bushes and plants are taxable landscaping services.

The tax treatment above also applies to manufactured homes. "Manufactured home" means a structure that is designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation and that is certified by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development as complying with the standard established under 42 USC 5401 to 5425.

Recreational vehicles (RVs) are tangible personal property. Therefore, winterizing and dewinterizing services to RVs are subject to tax.

November 4, 2015