Reporting Sales Tax on Sales of Used Motor Vehicles, Boats, Snowmobiles, Recreational Vehicles, Trailers, Semitrailers, All-Terrain Vehicles, and Aircraft

NOTE: This Article Has Been Replaced by a Revised Article Dated October 27, 2011. See the new article...

All retailers that are registered to collect and remit Wisconsin sales and use taxes must also collect and remit the applicable state, county, and/or stadium sales and use tax on its sales of the following items:

The requirement to collect and remit tax on these sales applies, even if the retailer is not a "dealer" or "registered dealer" of the item sold.

Who is a Retailer? A retailer, as used in this article, is a person who holds a Wisconsin seller's permit or use tax registration certificate issued by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue to collect and remit sales or use tax on taxable sales made by the person.

Retailer Should Provide Receipt: The retailer should sign the Certificate of Title and give this to the buyer along with a receipt showing the tax. The buyer must provide the receipt when registering or titling the item to prove that the tax has been paid. Without a receipt showing the tax, the buyer will be required to pay the tax when registering or titling the item.

Reporting the Tax: The retailer should report the tax on the sales and use tax return that it files with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.

Items Used Personally Rather Than in a Business: If an individual holds a seller's permit or use tax registration certificate and sells a motor vehicle or other item that it did not use in its business, but which it used personally, the individual is not responsible to collect tax on the sale. The buyer must pay the applicable tax when registering or titling the item.

When Do County and Stadium Taxes Apply? Whether or not a retailer is required to collect and remit county and stadium taxes depends on the type of item sold.

Motor vehicles, boats, recreational vehicles, and aircraft: The retailer is required to collect and remit the county and/or stadium taxes in effect for the location where the item will be customarily kept. If the buyer will customarily keep the item outside Wisconsin, the retailer is not required to collect and remit county or stadium tax on the sale.

Snowmobiles, trailers, semitrailers, and all-terrain vehicles: Generally, the retailer is required to collect and remit the county and/or stadium taxes in effect for the location where the buyer receives possession of the item. Additional information is provided in Publication 201, Appendix I, on page 104.

For all of the items above (motor vehicles, boats, recreational vehicles, aircraft, snowmobiles, trailers, semitrailers, and all-terrain vehicles), the retailer should obtain a written statement from the buyer indicating the location where the buyer will customarily keep the item.

Sales to Nonresidents: Sales of motor vehicles, aircraft, and truck bodies (including semitrailers) to nonresidents of Wisconsin who do not use such property other than to remove it from Wisconsin, are exempt from sales and use taxes. This exemption is limited to motor vehicles, aircraft, and truck bodies. Wisconsin sales of other products to nonresidents are taxable.

Prior to October 1, 2009, a person who was not a "dealer" or "licensed dealer" was not required to collect and remit the applicable Wisconsin state, county, and/or stadium sales and/or use tax on their sales of used motor vehicles, boats, snowmobiles, recreational vehicles as defined in s. 340.01(48r), Wis. Stats., trailers, semitrailers, all-terrain vehicles, and aircraft.

Last updated December 21, 2010