As a result of the decision by the Wisconsin Tax Appeals Commission in Cannon & Dunphy, S.C. vs. Wisconsin Department of Revenue (August 15, 2015), sales of paper copies of patient health care records (medical records) are no longer subject to Wisconsin sales or use tax if the medical records are sold to the patient or to a person authorized by the patient to receive the medical records. Although the department appealed this decision, the department's appeal was dismissed on procedural grounds.

Note: Effective June 23, 2017, an exemption was created for medical records that are sold to a patient or to a person authorized by the patient to receive the medical records. (Section 77.54(64), Wis. Stats. as created by 2017 Wis. Act 17) This exemption makes the tax treatment of medical records consistent with the decision by the Wisconsin Tax Appeals Commission in Cannon & Dunphy, S.C. vs. Wisconsin Department of Revenue (August 15, 2015). Therefore, the tax treatment has not changed as a result of this exemption.

Sales of electronic copies of patient health care records (medical records) that are transmitted electronically continue to be nontaxable.

For purposes of this change in sales and use tax treatment, the terms "patient," "patient health care records," and "person authorized by the patient" have the same meaning as defined in sec. 146.81(3) through (5), Wis. Stats. (2013-14).

If you paid tax on sales or purchases of paper medical records, you may file a claim for refund with the Department of Revenue:

  • Sellers may file a claim for refund for sales tax paid to the Department of Revenue for sales of copies of medical records if the sale took place within the statute of limitations.* Note: If a seller files a claim for refund for tax that was collected from buyers, the seller must return the tax and related interest refunded by the department to the buyers from whom the tax was collected.
  • Buyers that paid the tax to a seller may request a refund directly from the seller. If the tax was paid to the seller or paid directly to the Department of Revenue, a buyer may file a Buyer's Claim for Refund with the department within the statute of limitations.*

*The statute of limitations for claiming refunds is generally four years from the unextended due date of the claimant's income or franchise tax return. See Publication 216, Filing Claims for Refund of Sales or Use Tax, for exceptions and additional information about filing claims.

November 16, 2017