Hospitals and Medical Clinics: Do You Owe Wisconsin Sales Tax on Your Sales

NOTE: This article replaces the article dated September 26, 2014 and reflects the department's change in its tax treatment of sales of copies of paper Medical Records.

Although most of the medical services you provide are nontaxable, you may also make sales that are subject to Wisconsin sales tax. This article provides information about taxable sales commonly made by hospitals and medical clinics.

Which sales are taxable?

Your sales price from selling, licensing, leasing, or renting tangible personal property, taxable services, and certain digital goods is subject to Wisconsin sales tax, unless you receive a fully completed exemption certificate from your customer, or your customer is an exempt organization and provides you with their Certificate of Exempt Status (CES) number. A business or organization cannot use the CES number of a separate exempt organization to claim an exemption on its purchases.

A hospital or medical clinic is liable for sales tax on its sales of taxable products or services to other business entities. 1 Also, a hospital or medical clinic is liable for sales tax on taxable sales made by auxiliaries that are part of the same entity as the hospital or medical clinic (e.g., gift shop sales and fundraising sales such as ice cream socials and cookbooks).

Examples of taxable sales and rentals made by hospitals and medical clinics include, but are not limited to:

  1. Medical alarm monitoring services. 2
  2. Medical equipment, supplies, and fixed assets. 3
  3. Soft drinks.
  4. Parking or providing parking spaces for motor vehicles.

1 Sales of taxable products or services to other business entities are taxable, unless an exemption applies. For example, a hospital's sales of equipment sterilization services to a separate entity (medical clinic) operating within the hospital are taxable, unless the separate entity claims a valid exemption.

2 Medical alarm monitoring services are taxable telecommunications message services. More information is provided in Part X.B.13. on page 38 of Publication 201, Wisconsin Sales and Use Tax Information.

3 An exemption may apply to the sale of medical equipment and supplies, such as those described in Part XI.B.7. on page 46 and Parts XV. and XVI. on page 73 of Publication 201, Wisconsin Sales and Use Tax Information.

Obtaining a seller's permit?

If you make taxable sales in Wisconsin, you must have a Wisconsin seller's permit. You may apply for a seller's permit using one of the following methods:

Questions?

If you have questions, email us at dorbusinesstax@wisconsin.gov or call us at (608) 266-2776.

Page last updated November 4, 2015