Did you know that you can usually avoid paying sales tax when purchasing retail products for the purpose of reselling them?
For the state of Wisconsin, you’ll need to present a Wisconsin Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate to the merchant from whom you’re buying the merchandise to be resold.
Here are the basics of how to obtain, complete, and use this certificate and also what to do you if one is presented to you.
If you Wish to Use a Wisconsin Resale Certificate
Wisconsin has a pretty easy process—you’ll just need to print out the Wisconsin Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate, add your businesses name and address, and under the Reason for Exemption section you’ll check Resale and provide your Wisconsin seller’s permit number.
After that, you’ll just need to sign the document and give it to the vendor for their files.
If you are Presented with a Wisconsin Resale Certificate
If you’re a seller with nexus in Wisconsin and a buyer provides Wisconsin Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate to purchase items for resale, you’ll need to make sure the buyer has completely filled out and signed the form. If the Resale box is checked as their Reason for Exemption you’ll need to double check that they’ve provided a Wisconsin seller’s permit number. (Here’s a resource on how to check the validity of a resale certificate in each state.)
If the buyer is out-of-state and does not have a Wisconsin seller’s permit number, they’ll need to provide their home state’s seller’s permit number or a statement indicating the out-of-state buyer is a seller who is not required to hold a permit. Without this, the certificate will not be considered to be fully complete and valid by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
Make sure that you file away every such certificate your business receives for audit purposes.
If you have any questions about the certificate, the best information source is to contact the Wisconsin Department of Revenue Customer Service Bureau by mailing PO Box 8949, Madison WI 53708-8949 or by calling (608) 266-2776.
As you can see, using a resale certificate in Wisconsin isn’t too painful. I hope this guide has made the process clear, but if you’d like to share your experience or have further questions, please start the conversation in the comments below.