CAUTION ADDED APRIL 19, 2016: The information in this article relating to the federal excise tax on heavy trucks and trailers is no longer correct. The law was changed to exclude this tax from the taxable sales price of heavy trucks and trailers and is retroactive to September 1, 2014. The effect of the law change is provided in the article titled "Change in Taxes Included in Sales Price - Federal Excise Tax on Heavy Trucks and Trailers" dated April 19, 2016. The tax treatment of the state universal service fund (USF) has not changed and the information contained in this article is correct. A new article for the state universal service fund (USF) is provided in the article titled "State Universal Service Fund (USF) Fee - Not Included in Taxable Sales Price" dated April 19, 2016.

NOTE: Previously, this article replaced the article titled "Change in Taxes Included in Taxable Sales Price" dated November 12, 2013.

State Universal Service Fund (USF) Fee
For sales on and after July 2, 2013, the state universal service fund fee is not included in the retailer's taxable sales price. Therefore, the retailer should not charge tax on this fee.

Prior to July 2, 2013, the retailer was required to collect and remit tax on the state USF fee.

The definitions of "sales price" and "purchase price," were amended, effective July 2, 2013, pursuant to 2013 Wis. Act 20. When taxes are imposed on a retailer, the tax is not included in the retailer's taxable sales price if both of the following apply:

  1. The retailer separately states the tax on the invoice, bill of sale, or similar document that the retailer gives to the purchaser; and
  2. The law imposing or authorizing the tax provides that the seller may, but is not required to, pass on and collect the tax from the user or consumer.

Federal Excise Tax on Heavy Trucks and Trailers
Beginning September 1, 2014, the federal excise tax imposed on the first retail sale of heavy trucks and trailers under s. 4051 of the Internal Revenue Code is included in the retailer's taxable sales price.

NOTE: Wisconsin Tax Bulletin 182 (October 2013), and Sales and Use Tax Report 3-13 (December 2013) incorrectly stated that this federal excise tax is included in the retailer's taxable sales price effective July 2, 2013.

If you followed this guidance and overpaid sales tax as a result, you may file a claim for refund. Information about filing a claim for refund of overpaid sales tax is provided in Publication 216, Filing Claims for Refund of Sales or Use Tax.

If you receive a refund of sales tax and interest for tax that you collected from a buyer, you must return the tax and interest to the buyer or to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue within 90 days after the refund. Wisconsin Tax Bulletin 182, Sales and Use Tax Report 3-13, and Publication 216 are available on our website at revenue.wi.gov.

Page last updated October 2, 2014