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

include dishes, pots and pans, utensils, scales, and display cases.

Disposable Serving Items - Purchases of disposable items which are transferred to customers in conjunction with the sale of foods, food ingredients, and beverages, may be made without Wisconsin sales and use tax as purchases for resale. Examples in- clude plastic and paper cups and plates, plastic eating utensils, paper napkins, straws, disposable place mats, and toothpicks. The deli must provide the supplier of these items an exemption certificate claiming resale to purchase them without Wisconsin sales and use tax.

Example - Disposable Serving Items: Deli provides paper plates and plastic cups, forks, and knives to its customers who purchase meals. Deli must provide the supplier of these items with an ex- emption certificate claiming resale to purchase them without Wisconsin sales and use tax.

  • Dividers used to separate the food sec- tions within a container

  • Styrofoam trays used to transfer meals to customers

  • Tape and rubber bands used to keep con- tainers closed

  • Cups used to transfer beverages sold to customers

Examples of items which do not qualify for the exemption for containers and packaging and shipping materials include:

      • Wrapping equipment such as tape dis- pensers, paper holders, and staplers

      • Price tags

  • E.

    Flower Shop Sales and Purchases

    • 1.

      Sales by Flower Shops Flowers, plants, floral arrangements, and similar items sold by a florist are subject to Wisconsin sales and use tax.





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packaging materials which are used to trans- fer deli items sold to customers are not subject to Wisconsin sales and use tax. The containers may or may not be returnable. To claim this exemption, the deli must provide its supplier with either the isconsin Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate (Form S-211), or another fully completed exemption certificate claiming the appropri- ate exemption. Note: Packaging and shipping materials for use in packing, pack- aging, or shipping meat or meat products are

exempt from Wisconsin sales and use taxes.

“Florist,” as used in this publication, means a business which sells cut flowers, potted plants, floral arrangements, and who pre- pares such flowers, floral arrangements, and potted plants. This includes a flower or gar- den shop in a grocery store. A “florist” as used in this publication does not include a person who sells cut flowers, floral ar- rangements, and potted plants primarily by mail or via the Internet.

Example: A florist sells a customer one dozen roses arranged in a vase for $50. The $50 charge by the florist is subject to Wisconsin sales tax.

Examples of items purchased by delis which qualify for the container exemption include:

  • Bags used to package meat and cheese

  • Containers used to transfer potato salad

and fruit salad to customers

If a florist sells and delivers flowers, plants, floral arrangements, etc., the florist’s entire charge, including the delivery fee, is subject to Wisconsin sales tax.

Example: A Wisconsin florist receives an order from a customer to deliver a


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