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Grocers - How Do Wisconsin Sales and Use Taxes Affect Your Operations?

  • Electrical supplies, such as flashlights, bulbs, batteries, and fuses

  • Garbage cans, bags, and wastebaskets

  • Greeting cards, gifts, and wrapping paper

  • Grilling supplies, such as charcoal, char- coal starter, rotisseries, and matches

  • Grocery bags (disposable or reusable)

  • Hardware supplies, such as nails, screws, nuts, bolts, paint and paint supplies, steel wool, and sandpaper

  • Hygiene products, such as soap, shampoo, combs, deodorant, shaving cream, and ra- zors

  • Lawn and garden supplies, such as tools, hoses, fertilizers, flowers, seeds, and insect and pest control products

  • Medical supplies and first aid products, such as aspirin, band-aids, cough drops, rubbing alcohol, ointments, and suntan lo- tion

  • Music and video supplies, such as records, tapes, CD’s, and head cleaners

  • Office and school supplies, such as pens, pencils, crayons, note pads, binders, sta- tionery, tape, glue, rubber bands, scissors, paper clips, staples, and staplers

  • Paper and plastic products, such as nap- kins, paper towels, paper plates, and plastic utensils

  • Pet food and supplies, such as collars, flea and tick spray, dog biscuits, and pet toys

  • Reading materials such as books, maga- zines, and periodicals (newspapers are exempt from Wisconsin sales tax)

  • Toiletries such as toilet paper, facial tissue, bubble bath, toothbrushes, and feminine hygiene products

  • Toys and games, such as balls, board games, and dolls

  • Water softener salt and conditioners

    • Wearing apparel, linens, clothing, gloves, washcloths, hosiery, zippers, sewing sup- plies, thread, shoelaces and polish, sun- sunglasses, stockings, and watches Exempt Sales of Non-Food Items A grocer’s sales of non-food items which are exempt from Wisconsin sales tax and for which an exemption certificate is not needed include, but are not limited to:

    • Newspapers

    • Fuel for motor vehicles subject to tax un- der Chapter 78, Wis. Stats.

    • Prescription drugs

    • Durable medical equipment for home use

    • Mobility-enhancing equipment

    • Prosthetic devices

    • United States and Wisconsin flags

  • 2.

    Purchases of Inventory Items by Grocers A grocer’s purchases of items which are going to be resold may be made without Wisconsin sales and use tax. The grocer may be required to provide its supplier with an exemption cer- tificate claiming resale. Exemption Certificate Not Required - Items that qualify for the exemption for food and food ingredients for human consumption may be purchased by the grocer without Wisconsin sales and use tax and without issuing an ex- emption certificate. The listing on page 16 (Exempt Food and Food Ingredients and Bev- erages) shows examples of these items. Exemption Certificate Required - Certain foods and food ingredients, and non-food items which a grocer purchases and resells, may be purchased without Wisconsin sales and use tax if the grocer provides the supplier with an exemption certificate claiming resale. The listing on page 17 (Taxable Food and Food Ingredients and Beverages) shows examples of these items. (Note: The products identified in the section titled “Exempt Sales of Non-


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