Sales and rentals of seasonal piers, floating docks, swim rafts, and similar items that are removed each fall are subject to Wisconsin sales tax. Charges for installing or removing these piers, docks, and rafts are taxable. Charges for repairing, cleaning, maintaining, or providing other services to these items are also taxable. The sale of or service to an anchoring system for one of these items is a real property improvement (not taxable) if the anchoring system is permanently affixed to the real estate (that is, remains installed year-round).

The charge for moving a seasonal pier, floating dock, swim raft, or similar item from one location to another is not taxable if no repair or other service is performed to that item. For example, a seasonal pier is removed from one location, hauled to another location, and reinstalled at the new location and no repair or other service is performed to the pier. The only reason for the removal and reinstallation of the pier is to move it to a different location (that is, the pier is not being removed in the fall and reinstalled in the spring). The charge for moving the pier is not taxable.

A permanently-installed dock or pier is a nontaxable real property improvement (that is, a dock or pier that is affixed to the real estate and is intended to remain installed year-round, rather than be removed at the end of the season, is a real property improvement). The seller must pay sales or use tax on its purchase of the pier and other materials and supplies used in making the real property improvement.

Charges to use a pier for boat docking are taxable.

September 10, 2015