News and Insights

Wisconsin Sales Tax is Due on Electronic Access to Construction Plans and Information

Tax Development Jun 11, 2012

Beginning July 1, 2012, charges to electronically access or obtain construction plans and construction project information will be subject to Wisconsin sales and use tax. Wisconsin imposes tax on specified digital goods, additional digital goods, and certain digital codes. Under Wisconsin law, news or other information products are considered additional digital goods when delivered electronically.

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue (“Department”) has determined that electronic access to construction plans and construction project information is taxable as the sale of digital goods. According to the Department, construction-project information or construction plans are considered digital information products and are subject to tax when transferred electronically, whether sold by subscription or a project-by-project basis. Other examples of “news or other information products” that are taxable digital goods include real-time information of commodity or stock prices, current job opportunities, information alerts sent via e-mail, newsletters transferred electronically, and online news services.

Wisconsin does not tax all digital goods. Charges for participating in a business seminar via webinar, access to a website that allows the user to search a database that returns personal information (e.g., address or telephone number), and Web-hosting services are examples of nontaxable digital goods.

Although the Department will consider the construction plans and construction project information accessed electronically taxable digital goods beginning July 1, 2012, only sales sourced to a location in Wisconsin will be subject to sales and use tax. If the purchaser does not provide information regarding where the digital goods will first be used, the sale should be sourced to the purchaser’s address.