The Wisconsin Legislature recently passed a sales tax holiday for August 2018.
What does this mean for the general consumer?
A sales and use tax exemption is created for sales of certain items during a five-day period in August 2018. The temporary exemption period, referred to as a sales tax holiday, will begin at 12:01 AM on August 1, 2018, and continue through 11:59 PM on Sunday, August 5, 2018.
During the sales tax holiday, the following items are exempt from Wisconsin sales tax (list is not all inclusive):
- School supplies, if the sales price of any single item is $75 or less
- Clothing, if the sales price of any single item is $75 or less
- A computer purchased for the purchaser’s personal use, if the sales price of the computer is $750 or less
- School computer supplies purchased for the purchaser’s personal use, if the sales price of any single item is $250 or less
During the sales tax holiday, the following items are taxable for Wisconsin sales tax purposes (list is not all inclusive):
- Cases for electronic devices
- Game consoles
- Belt buckles sold separately from clothing
- Nonprescription sunglasses
- Most sport or recreational equipment (except athletic uniforms $75 or less)
- Most school art supplies
- Text and reference books
Wisconsin’s Sales Tax Holiday Information is available on the department’s website. Resources available include answers to common questions and printable lists for exempt and taxable items during the sales tax holiday.
What does this mean for the retailer?
The retailer has a job ahead of them. They need to think about the volume of people that may take advantage of this sales tax break and staff their stores and/or online shipping departments accordingly. Additionally, and probably the more challenging issue, is programming the point of sale equipment to handle the specific exempt items while taxing the remaining taxable products and services correctly. The retailer shouldn’t wait until the last minute to program their systems!