Sales Tax Updates in Wisconsin

Tax Professionals' Resource
December 28, 2012 — 1,464 views  
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Following are some highlights from the recent Wisconsin Department of Revenue Tax Bulletin:

Voluntary Disclosure

Those who are wary of contacting the Department of Revenue because they have failed to file returns, or those that have discovered underpaid taxes, should not hesitate to voluntarily contact the taxing authorities. With the Department of Revenue's Voluntary Disclosure Program, assorted fees and penalties can be waived. The department also maintains that other benefits can be obtained by taxpayers who choose voluntary disclosure.

Electronic Filing for Employers is Encouraged

Even though only employers with 50 or more W-2 employees are required to file electronically, those with less than 50 workers are encouraged to do so also. The Department of Revenue asks that W-2 information be filed in a PDF format.

Wage Attachment Procedures

Employers are encouraged to electronically manage wage attachment payments and inquiries on the My Tax Account section of the department's web page. Specific wage attachment accounts will be listed on the site.

Levy Notice and Wage Attachment Changes

The department has redesigned the Notice of Employee Wage Attachment. This notice is sent to employers if the department wishes to request withholding from employee wages due to delinquent taxes. A new Notice of Levy is also forthcoming. The new notices, which will arrive in November, are meant to lessen confusion and clarify exactly what the recipients of these letters must actually do. The new design boasts plain language and an easy to understand format.

No More Tax Booklets

The department used to mail certain basic tax forms annually to taxpayers. This action was taken because of the need to reduce costs, the availability of forms online and the many free filing options available. Forms for 2012 will still be available at the department's website, but taxpayers are encouraged to file electronically if possible.

Successor Liability

When a business is sold, the new owner can now be held responsible to the seller's unpaid sales and use taxes. Even if the new owner has only purchased assets, and has set up a totally new entity, the State of Wisconsin can hold the buyer responsible for any unpaid sales and use taxes. Any potential business buyer must first obtain a clearance certificate from the department before the final business transfer is completed. This certificate is proof that the seller has paid all sales and use taxes that were due.

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue publishes a monthly update of tax news, and professionals are advised to access this online.

Tax Professionals' Resource