Sales and Use Tax for Public Schools

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1 Sales and Use Tax for Public Schools Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials March 11, 2015 Janet Abrams and Becky Haines Wisconsin Department of Revenue In today's presentation, "schools" refers to Wisconsin public elementary and secondary schools. "Schools" do not include: - Art schools - Charm schools - Dance schools - Driving schools - Flying schools - Modeling schools - Music schools 1

2 The following ARE NOT Wisconsin public elementary and high schools: Private elementary and high schools Other states public elementary and high schools School related organizations which are not subject to the control and supervision of school officials What sales are subject to sales tax? - Tangible personal property - Certain coins or stamps - Certain leased tangible personal property affixed to real property - Certain digital goods These are referred to collectively as tangible personal property, items, property, and goods. - Specified services 2

3 "Tangible personal property" Personal property that can be seen, weighed, measured, felt, or touched or that in any other manner perceptible to the senses, and includes electricity, gas, steam, water and prewritten computer software, regardless of how it is delivered to purchaser. "Items" Coins or stamps of the United States that are sold, licensed, leased, rented, or traded as collector's items above their face value. 3

4 "Property" Leased tangible personal property that is affixed to real property, if the lessor has the right to remove the leased property upon breach or termination of the lease agreement, unless the lessor of the leased property is also the lessor of the real property to which the leased property is affixed. "Goods" Specified digital goods, additional digital goods, and digital codes. These digital goods are characterized by the fact that they are transferred electronically to the purchaser (i.e., accessed or obtained by the purchaser by means other than tangible storage media) 4

5 Taxable Services (not all-inclusive): Repair or other service to tangible personal property Parking (for motor vehicles and aircraft) Admissions to amusement, athletic, recreational, and entertainment events or facilities Landscaping Rates State tax 5.0% County tax - 0.5% Baseball stadium district tax - 0.1% Football stadium district tax - 0.5% Local food and beverage tax - 0.5% Premier resort area tax - 0.5% or 1.25% 5

6 Use Tax Counterpart of sales tax Imposed on storage, use, or consumption of tangible personal property, property, items and goods. Use Tax If Wisconsin did not have a use tax, persons could buy items in another state to avoid paying Wisconsin tax on such purchases. 6

7 Purchases by School All purchases made by Wisconsin governmental units are exempt from Wisconsin sales and use tax. Other states governmental units are not exempt. Purchases by School Wisconsin public elementary schools and high schools are considered to be Wisconsin governmental units. Therefore, all purchases by Wisconsin public elementary schools and high schools are exempt from tax. 7

8 Purchases by School Invoices must be made in name of public school to be exempt from tax. For sales to employees to be exempt: 1. The WI governmental unit gives the retailer a purchase order or similar written document (such as a letter indicating that the employee is traveling on government business and funds are being provided to the employee to pay any expenses), and 2. The retailer (such as a motel or restaurant) issues the billing or invoice for the meal or lodging in the name of the governmental unit. The retailer must keep a copy of the documents mentioned in 1 and 2. Purchases by Employees How does a school ensure that a school employee traveling on school business is not charged tax on meals and lodging? 1. The school must give the seller a purchase order or similar written documentation (for example, a letter stating that the employee is traveling on school business and that funds are being provided to the employee to pay any expenses) AND 2. Billing must be in the name of the school 8

9 Purchases by Employees Suggestion: If the employee is traveling on school business, paying for lodging and being reimbursed by the school, the school may want to mail or fax a purchase order or letter to the hotel prior to the employee's arrival. This may alleviate problems caused by the employee losing the letter or forgetting to give the letter to the lodging provider, which could result in the employee paying the tax and the school later having to request a refund of the tax from the lodging provider. Sales by Schools Exempt Sales Tangible personal property, items, property, and goods sold by elementary and secondary schools Tickets or admissions to elementary and secondary school activities (if proceeds used for educational, religious, or charitable purposes) Admissions to sports activities, such as league entry fees, if more than 50 percent of the participants are 19 years old or younger 9

10 Sales by Schools Examples of exempt sales by schools Books Musical instruments Computers School supplies (e.g., pens, paper) Candy Sports equipment Clothing (e.g., sweatshirts) School lunches Hats Uniforms Locks Yearbooks and annuals Motor vehicles Used school equipment Sales by Schools Examples of exempt sales of admissions and other nontaxable services School athletic events (e.g., high school football game Art or science fair Student awards banquet Furnishing rooms and lodging to students and nonstudents Library and book fines Tuition 10

11 Sales by Schools Taxable sales by schools Parking Admissions to amusement, athletic, recreational and entertainment events or facilities (e.g., gymnasium rented for party) Charges for "open swim," "open gym," etc. Sales by Schools Multipurpose Facilities Fees or admission charges to the general public by the school to permit persons to swim, play golf, baseball, softball, racquetball, basketball, volleyball, or tennis, or dance in or on the school s facilities, except for when: 1. The person uses the facility for a nonrecreational type of event (religious meeting, political meeting, trade show, educational seminar, swimming lessons). 2. The organization paying for the facility use is exempt from tax (e.g., a church). 3. The facility will be used for a recreational, amusement, entertainment, or athletic event, but the person renting the facility sells admission to the event to the public. 11

12 Sales by Schools Multipurpose Facilities 1. The person uses the facility for a nonrecreational type of event (religious meeting, political meeting, trade show, educational seminar, swimming lessons). Records to Keep: The school should keep records showing the amount of receipts it received for this purpose and the name and address of the person or organization who paid the school for use of the facility. Sales by Schools Multipurpose Facilities 2. The organization paying for the facility use is exempt from tax (e.g., a church). Records to Keep: If the organization is a federal, state, or municipal government agency or other public school, the school must keep a copy of the purchase order from such organization and the amount received. If the organization (e.g., church) has a certificate of exempt status number (CES number), the CES number should be recorded on the invoice. (Non-profit organizations organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific or educational purposes may apply to the Department of Revenue for a certificate of exempt status and if approved, will be issued an exempt status number by the Department.) 12

13 Sales by Schools Multipurpose Facilities 3. The facility will be used for a recreational, amusement, entertainment, or athletic event, but the person renting the facility sells admission to the event to the public. Records to Keep: The school must obtain a fully completed exemption certificate claiming resale from the person to verify that the charge is exempt from tax. Occasional Sale Exemption If a school's sales qualify as exempt occasional sales, no seller's permit is required. Occasional sale exemption applies if ALL of the following are met: A. School is not engaged in a trade or business. B. Entertainment is not involved at an event where admissions are charged, AND C. School does not have and is not required to have a seller's permit 13

14 Occasional Sale Exemption A. School is not engaged in a trade or business A school is engaged in a trade or business if it exceeds BOTH of the following standards: 1. Its taxable sales of services (not including sales of tickets to events), or its events, occur on more than 20 days during the year 2. Its taxable receipts from sales of services exceed $25,000 for the year Occasional Sale Exemption B. Entertainment is not involved at an event where admissions are charged Entertainment is involved (at an event for which an admission is charged by the school) if the total amount that ALL entertainers are paid more than $500, including amounts for entertaining, reimbursement of expenses, and prize money. 14

15 Occasional Sale Exemption C. School does not have and is not required to have a seller's permit A school that would otherwise qualify for exempt occasional sales, except for the involvement of entertainment, may do the following: Obtain a seller s permit for the day or days of the event involving entertainment, Pay the sales tax on sales of taxable services on these days, and Request inactivation of the seller s permit after the event. If the above three steps have been taken, the school may still make exempt occasional sales on days not covered by the permit. If the school does not request inactivation of its permit after the event, its sales do not qualify for the exemption. Construction Projects Sales of real property improvements are not taxable Contractor is consumer of materials and owed tax on purchase of materials School's exemption does not "flow through" to the contractor School may, however, purchase materials directly from vendor (who is not also the installer) 15

16 Construction Projects Sales of tangible personal property to school are exempt from tax Contractor may purchase materials without tax, for resale, that are physically transferred to school in its sale of tangible personal property Construction Projects Examples of Real Property vs. Personal Property Real Property Parking lot Building Security monitoring equipment (that is permanently affixed to the realty and is installed to prevent unauthorized entry into the building Sidewalks Personal Property Auditorium seating Basketball backstops Flag poles (except their concrete foundations) Chalkboards and whiteboards Laboratory cabinets Projection screens Trophy cases 16

17 School-Related Organizations Tax treatment depends on: 1. Whether the organization is subject to the control and supervision of the school, and 2. Who has control over the use of the organization's funds School-Related Organizations If school has control over the school-related organization's funds, the organization is NOT separate from the school The school-related organization is entitled to the same exemption on its purchases as the school If the school has or is required to have a seller's permit, the school-related organization's sales of taxable services are taxable (same extent as school) The school-related organization's sales count towards school's occasional sale exemption standards 17

18 School-Related Organizations If school DOES NOT have control over the schoolrelated organization's funds, the organization is considered to be a separate organization from the school The school-related organization IS NOT entitled to the same exemption on its purchases as the school (but may qualify for its own CES) The school-related organization may qualify for the occasional sale exemption The school's sales do not count towards the school-related organization's occasional sale exemption standards (and vice versa) Sales and Use Tax Updates How to keep on top of changes: Go to DOR website at Subscribe to receive alerts Sales and Use Tax Reports (quarterly) Wisconsin Tax Bulletins Publications Pub 245 for schools Pub 201 for general sales and use tax information Pub 206 for occasional sale exemption for nonprofit organizations Fact sheet 2106 for occasional sale exemption Fact sheet 2107 for rentals of multipurpose facilities 18

19 Questions? 19

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