Nonresident Entertainers

  1. Who is a nonresident entertainer?
  2. What are the Wisconsin nonresident entertainer withholding requirements?
  3. When is the employer required to withhold?
  4. Who is an employer?
  5. How do I obtain a lower rate?
  6. What is the total contract price?
  7. Where do I remit the amount withheld?
  8. How do I receive a waiver of the withholding requirement?

  1. Who is the nonresident entertainer?

    A nonresident entertainer is a nonresident person (a person who is not a legal resident of Wisconsin) or a foreign corporation, partnership, or other type of entity, not regularly engaged in business in Wisconsin who furnishes amusement, entertainment, public speaking services or performs in sporting events in Wisconsin for a consideration.

    A foreign corporation, partnership, or other entity is one organized under the laws of a state other than Wisconsin or a foreign country.

  2. What are the Wisconsin nonresident entertainer withholding requirements?

    Effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, Wisconsin law requires "nonresident entertainers" to file a surety bond or cash deposit if the accumulative total contract price for a performance or performances in Wisconsin exceeds $7,000. This bond or deposit must be filed to guarantee payment of income or franchise taxes, sales or use taxes and any penalties and interest. It must be filed with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue at least seven days before the performance.

  3. When is the employer required to withhold?

    If the bond or deposit is not filed and the total contract price for the Wisconsin performance exceeds $7,000, the "employer" is required to withhold 6% of the total contract price from the payment made to the nonresident entertainer. Submit the amount withheld to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue within five days after the nonresident entertainer's performance.

  4. Who is an employer?

    An employer is any Wisconsin resident who contracts for the performance of a nonresident entertainer in Wisconsin. If there is no such person, then the "employer" is the resident person having receipt, custody, or control of the proceeds of the event. If there is no resident person, "employer" is any nonresident having receipt, custody or control of the proceeds.

  5. How do I obtain a lower rate?

    The nonresident entertainer may request a rate less than 6% of the total contract price, on the basis that the ordinary and necessary deductible expenses in performing the services required by the contract would merit a lower rate. A signed and dated statement along with information explained in Appendix A of Publication 508, Wisconsin Tax Requirements Relating to Nonresident Entertainers, must be delivered to the department at least 30 days prior to the performance date.

  6. What is the total contract price?

    The total contract price is the amount of consideration indicated in the contract as the price for the nonresident entertainer's performance, including amounts payable in money or the cash value of any medium other than cash. It also includes any specific amounts to be paid to the nonresident entertainer or subcontracted services required by the nonresident entertainer. If there is no contract covering the nonresident entertainer's performance in Wisconsin, the total contact price is the amount of consideration payable as a condition or result of the entertainer's performance in Wisconsin.

    Effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, total contract price does not include travel expenses. Travel expenses are payments to, or on behalf of, an entertainer that are 1) made under an accountable plan and 2) for actual transportation, lodging, and meals that are directly related to the performance.

  7. Where do I remit the amount withheld?

    Nonresident entertainer withholding payments should be made electronically through our Online Services for businesses at tap.revenue.wi.gov/services.

  8. How do I receive a waiver of the withholding requirement?

    Nonresident entertainers who are exempt from Wisconsin income or franchise tax should request a waiver from the Department of Revenue. The request should indicate the reason the entertainer is exempt from Wisconsin income tax and include supporting documents to prove the exemption (for example, a copy of the ruling from the Internal Revenue Service or, for entertainers not organized in the United States, a statement from the tax or other authority of their country to verify tax-exempt or nonprofit status).

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
Nonresident Entertainer Program
PO Box 8966
Madison, WI 53708-8966
Phone: (608) 264-1032
Fax: (608) 327-0230
Email: DORIncome@revenue.wi.gov

Page last updated April 29, 2014