Wisconsin to tax electronic access to construction plans

Beginning July 1, 2012, contractors, pro dealers and others who want to electronically access or obtain construction plans and construction project information in Wisconsin will be subject to state sales tax and use tax. The Wisconsin Department of Revenue has determined that electronic access to construction plans and project information is taxable as the sale of digital goods.

According to an explanation provide by Ryan, a Dallas-based tax services firm, construction-project information or construction plans are considered digital information products and are subject to tax when transferred electronically, whether sold by subscription or a project-by-project basis. Other examples of "news or other information products" that are taxable digital goods include real-time information of commodity or stock prices, current job opportunities, information alerts sent via email, newsletters transferred electronically and online news services.

Although the state revenue department will consider the construction plans and construction project information accessed electronically taxable digital goods, only sales sourced to a location in Wisconsin will be subject to sales and use tax. If the purchaser does not provide information regarding where the digital goods will first be used, the sale should be sourced to the purchaser's address.