customers, but instead are returned to the bakery and reused, the bakery is considered to be the consumer of these types of items. Purchases by the bakery of these types of items are subject to Wisconsin sales and use tax.
Example - Purchases of Reusable Cake Decorations: Bakery purchases reusable cake decorations from Supplier. Bak- ery’s customers are required to return the decorations to Bakery after the cake is eaten. Bakery does not charge its cus- tomers for use of the decorations. Bakery is considered to be the consumer of the reusable decorations and must pay Wisconsin sales or use tax on its pur- chases of the decorations.
Catering Sales and Purchases
Sales by Caterers
Food and food ingredients that are sold as prepared food, candy, soft drinks, or dietary supplements by caterers are subject to Wis- consin sales tax. A caterer’s sales of alcoholic beverages are also subject to Wis- consin sales and use tax.
“Caterer,” as used in this publication, means a business engaged in the selling and serving of prepared food, candy, soft drinks, dietary supplements, and alcoholic beverages on premises designated by a purchaser.
Charges by a caterer for preparing, serving, and delivering prepared foods, candy, soft drinks, dietary supplements, and alcoholic beverages are subject to Wisconsin sales tax.
The method a caterer uses to bill a customer for the meals does not affect the taxability of the charge (e.g., price per plate, price per meal, lump sum, price per type of service).
Example 1 - Price Per Service: Caterer agrees to prepare, deliver, and serve pre- pared food for Customer at a wedding dinner and reception. Caterer bills Cus- tomer $200 for preparing the food, $50
for transporting the food to the location of the dinner and reception, and $300 for serving the food to the guests. The entire $550 charge is subject to Wisconsin sales tax.
Example 2 - Price Per Meal: The cater- ing department of Grocer is hired to provide a meal for 200 people at Com- pany. The meal consists of prepared foods and soft drinks. Grocer charges Company $15 per meal plus a $3 per meal gratuity. The entire $3,600 charged by Grocer to Company is subject to Wisconsin sales tax.
Example 3 - Lump Sum: Caterer agrees to provide, prepare, and serve enough prepared food and beverages, including soft drinks and alcoholic beverages for 200 people for a fee of $5,000. The en-
tire $5,000 charge Wisconsin sales tax.
Example 4 - Chef and Bartender Ser- vices: Customer hires a chef to prepare food for an event. Customer also hires a bartender to prepare and serve alcoholic beverages and soft drinks at the event. Customer purchases the food and food ingredients needed by the chef, all of which are exempt food and food ingre- dients. Customer also purchases all of the alcoholic beverages and soft drinks. The chef’s charges to Customer for the service of preparing the food and food ingredients are not subject to Wisconsin sales or use tax since the services are performed on exempt food and food in- gredients. The charges by the bartender for preparing and serving the alcoholic beverages and soft drinks are subject to Wisconsin sales or use tax.