Wisconsin Department of Revenue

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The Wisconsin Department of Revenue administers the major tax laws of the state and oversees the collection of individual income tax, sales tax, corporate income tax, and excise tax. In addition, the department forecasts state economic activity and estimates state revenue, using that information to help formulate state tax policy. The mission of the DOR is to provide the revenue needed to fund state and local government services.

While local governments in Wisconsin are responsible for property tax collection, the state Department of Revenue helps with property assessment. It also helps local jurisdictions with financial management.

Wisconsin DOR strives for 100% voluntary compliance with tax laws. To that end, it works to keep taxpayers informed of relevant tax policies, laws, and rate changes. The department website boasts a number of instructional videos, from Tax 101 to MTA: File and Pay Sales and Use Tax. It offers information on subjects as varied as alternate fuel taxes and Ambulatory Surgical Center Assessment.

The department is comprised of several divisions: Division of Enterprise Services; Division of Income, Sales and Excise Tax; Division of Lottery; Division of Research and Policy; Division of State and Local Finance; and the Division of Technology Services.

Most important to the collection of tax revenue is the Division of Income, Sales and Excise Tax. It administers income (corporate and individual), state and local sales and use taxes, and withholding, franchise, estate, excise, recycling and other taxes. Within it, the Tax Operations Bureau processes individual and business tax returns and collects over $9 billion in tax revenue annually.

To accomplish its tasks, the division is supported by the Technical Services Section and the Criminal Investigation Section, which conducts investigations (both in the office and in the field) when illegal activity is suspected. The Audit Bureau audits income, sales, withholding, motor vehicle fuel and other excise tax returns, as well as a variety of tax credit claims. The Compliance Bureau handles all delinquent taxes. Voluntary taxpayer compliance is always the goal.

Wisconsin has been a full member of Streamlined Sales Tax since October 2009.

Wisconsin Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificates

Taxable products or services in Wisconsin may be purchased without tax, provided an exemption certificate is given to the seller. The seller has 90 days to obtain the exemption certificate or capture and maintain the purchaser's name and business address, TIN and state of issue, type of business, and reason for the claimed exemption.

Sellers must keep an exemption certificate on file for all exempt transactions in order to be relieved of any liability for payment of the tax. In the event the seller and the buyer do business together on an ongoing basis, a continuous exemption certificate may be used. Continuous certificates exempt future sales as well as the current sale, and may be used indefinitely; they do not expire.

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue website provides an abundance of useful information about sales and use tax and exemptions, as well as all the relevant forms.

A member of SST, Wisconsin accepts the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Exemption.

Create an exemption certificate for Wisconsin or any other state with Avalara CertExpress.

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