Except as provided in sub. (2)
, no person may divulge or circulate or offer to obtain, divulge or circulate any information provided by a company taxed under this subchapter, except a company taxed under s. 76.28
, to the department, including information which may be furnished by the department as provided in this section. This subsection does not prohibit publication by any newspaper of information lawfully derived from that information for purposes of argument or prohibit any public speaker from referring to such information in any address. This subsection does not prohibit the department from publishing statistics classified so as not to disclose the identity of particular taxpayers. This subsection does not prohibit employees or agents of the department from offering or submitting any return, claim, schedule, exhibit, writing or audit report or a copy of, and any information derived from, any of those documents as evidence into the record of any contested matter involving the department in proceedings or litigation on state tax matters if that evidence has reasonable probative value.
(2) Persons qualified to examine returns for specified purposes.
Subject to sub. (3)
and to rules of the department, any information under sub. (1)
is open to examination by only the following persons and the contents thereof may be divulged or used only as follows:
The secretary of revenue or any officer, agent or employee of the department.
The attorney general and department of justice employees.
Members of any legislative committee on organization or its authorized agents provided the examination is approved by a majority vote of a quorum of its members and the tax return or claim information is disclosed only in a meeting closed to the public. The committee may disclose information to the senate or assembly or to other legislative committees if the information does not disclose the identity of particular returns, claims or reports and the items thereof. The department shall provide assistance to the committees or their authorized agents in order to identify returns and claims deemed necessary by them to accomplish the review and analysis of tax policy.
Public officers of the federal government or other state governments or the authorized agents of such officers, where necessary in the administration of the tax laws of such governments, to the extent that such government accords similar rights of examination or information to officials of this state.
The person who filed or submitted the information, or to whom the information relates or by the person's authorized agent or attorney.
Any person examining information pursuant to a court order duly obtained upon a showing to the court that the information is relevant to a pending court action or pursuant to a subpoena signed by a judge of a court of record ordering the department's custodian of returns or claims to produce information in open court in a court action pending before the judge.
Employees of the legislative fiscal bureau to the extent that the department considers the examination necessary for those employees to perform their duties under contracts or agreements between the department and the bureau relating to the review and analysis of tax policy and the analysis of state revenue collections.
Employees and members of the public service commission, and employees of the department of transportation, to the extent that the department of revenue considers the examination necessary for those members and employees to perform their duties.
(3) Restriction on use of information.
The use of information obtained under sub. (2)
is restricted to the discharge of duties imposed upon the persons by law or by the duties of their office or by order of a court as provided under sub. (2) (f)
(4) Charge for costs.
The department may charge for the reasonable cost of divulging information under this section.
(5) District attorneys.
District attorneys may examine information under sub. (1)
Such information may be examined for use in preparation for any judicial proceeding or any investigation which may result in a judicial proceeding involving the taxes under this subchapter if any of the following applies:
The taxpayer is or may be a party to such proceeding.
The treatment of an item reflected in such information is or may be related to the resolution of an issue in the proceeding or investigation.
The information relates or may relate to a transactional relationship between the taxpayer and a person who is or may be a party to the proceeding which affects or may affect the resolution of an issue in such proceeding or investigation.
When the department allows examination of information under par. (a)
If the department has referred the case to a district attorney, the department may make disclosure on its own motion.
If a district attorney requests examination of information relating to a person, the request must be in writing, clearly identify the requester and the person to whom the information relates and explain the need for the information. The department may then allow the examination of information so requested and the information may be examined and used solely for the proceeding or investigation for which it was requested.
Such information may be examined for use in preparation for any administrative or judicial proceeding or an investigation which may result in such proceeding pertaining to the enforcement of a specifically designated state criminal statute not involving tax administration to which this state or a governmental subdivision thereof is a party. Such information may be used solely for the proceeding or investigation for which it is requested.
The department may allow an examination of information under par. (c)
only if a district attorney petitions a court of record in this state for an order allowing the examination and the court issues an order after finding all of the following:
There is reasonable cause to believe, based on information believed to be reliable, that a specific criminal act has been committed.
There is reason to believe that such information is probative evidence of a matter in issue related to the commission of the criminal act.
The information sought to be examined cannot reasonably be obtained from any other source, unless it is determined that, notwithstanding the reasonable availability of the information from another source, the information constitutes the most probative evidence of a matter in issue relating to the commission of such criminal act.
If the department determines that examination of information ordered under par. (d)
would identify a confidential informant or seriously impair a civil or criminal tax investigation, the department may deny access and shall certify the reason therefor to the court.
History: 1991 a. 39
CAR LINE COMPANIES; ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATIONS
Car line taxes. 76.39(1)(1)
For the purposes of this section:
"Car line company" means any person, not operating a railroad, engaged in whole or in part in the business of leasing or furnishing car line equipment to a railroad.
"Car line equipment" means any railroad car or other equipment used in railroad transportation under an agreement providing for rental of such car or other equipment.
"Department" means the department of revenue.
"Gross earnings" means all receipts by a car line company from operation of car line equipment.
"Gross earnings in this state" means all gross earnings on intrastate business of a car line company from operation of car line equipment, and also gross earnings on interstate business in the proportion that the Wisconsin car miles are of the total car miles of such interstate business. The gross earnings not based on mileage shall be allocated to this state in the ratio of each carrier's average annual freight car miles in Wisconsin to the carrier's total freight car miles in all states.
There is levied annually a gross earnings tax in lieu of all property taxes on the car line equipment of a car line company equal to 3% of the gross earnings in this state. Every railroad company operating in this state shall, upon making payment to each car line company for use of its cars, withhold 3% of the amount constituting the gross earnings in this state of such car line company.
Every railroad company operating in this state shall file annually with the department, on or before April 15, on a form prepared by the department, a true and accurate statement of all rentals paid to each car line company during the previous calendar year and shall remit to the department the amount of the tax required to be withheld under sub. (2)
. Every car line company, which during the previous calendar year has received gross earnings in this state from a source other than a railroad company operating in this state, shall, on or before April 15, on a form prepared by the department, file with the department a true and accurate statement of such gross earnings in this state and the name of the company from which received and shall remit to the department the amount of the tax imposed under sub. (2)
on such gross earnings in this state. The payment dates provided for in sub. (3a)
shall apply. Upon written request received by the department before April 15, the department may grant an extension of not to exceed 30 days for the filing of the report and the payment of the taxes levied in this section. If any railroad company or car line company fails to file such report when due, or as extended by the department, unless it is shown that the failure is due to reasonable cause and not due to wilful neglect, there shall be added to the amount required to be shown as gross earnings tax on the report 5% of the amount thereof if the failure is for not more than one month, with an additional 5% for each additional month or fraction thereof during which the failure continues, not exceeding 25% in the aggregate. If any railroad company or car line company fails to pay all taxes due within the time prescribed or as extended by the department, the unpaid taxes shall be delinquent, and shall be subject to interest under sub. (4)
. All taxes, late filing fees, penalties and interest shall be deposited in the general fund.
The tax due under this section shall be paid to the department. Payments of semiannual instalments of the total liability for the calendar year shall be due on or before September 10 of the year prior to the assessment and on April 15 of the year of the assessment. If any railroad company or car line company fails to pay on or before September 10 at least 50% of the tax liability for the current calendar year or 50% of the tax liability for the subsequent calendar year, the amount not paid is delinquent and is subject to interest under sub. (4) (c)
. If any railroad company or car line company fails to pay on or before April 15 the difference between the current year's assessment and the amount paid toward that assessment, the amount not paid is delinquent and is subject to interest under sub. (4) (c)
. Companies with a tax liability under this section of less than $2,000 are not required to make semiannual payments but shall pay the full amount of taxes due on or before April 15 of the year of the assessment.
The records, books, leases and all accounts pertaining to the car line business of any railroad or car line company shall be subject to audit by the department. In any case in which it is determined that the amount of tax paid was in error, the department shall determine the additional tax or refund, as the case may be.
Additional assessments may be made provided notice thereof is given within 4 years of the date the annual statement was filed; however, if no statement was filed or if the statement filed was incorrect and was filed with intent to defeat or evade the tax, an additional assessment may be made at any time upon the discovery of gross earnings in this state by the department. Refunds may be made provided claim therefor is filed in writing with the department within 4 years of the date the annual statement was filed.
All additional assessments and claims for refund shall be subject to the same procedure for review and final determination as is provided with respect to additional assessments and refunds of income or franchise taxes in chs. 71
, except that appeals of denials of claims for refunds shall be made directly to the tax appeals commission and except as the same may conflict with this section. Delinquent taxes shall be subject to interest at the rate of 1.5% per month until paid.
All refunds shall be certified by the department to the department of administration which shall audit the amount of the refunds and the state treasurer shall pay the amount, together with interest at the rate of 9% per year from the date payment was made. All additional taxes shall bear interest at the rate of 12% per year from the time they should have been paid to the date upon which the additional taxes shall become delinquent if unpaid.
Delinquent taxes, penalties, interest and late filing fees shall be a lien upon the property of any railroad company or car line company prior to all other liens, claims and demands, except as provided in ss. 292.31 (8) (i)
, which lien may be enforced in any action in the name of the state in any court of competent jurisdiction. All provisions of law for enforcing payment of delinquent income or franchise taxes under ch. 71
or enforcing payment of delinquent taxes based on the value of property under this chapter shall be available to collection of taxes on gross receipts in this state levied under this section.
Powers of investigation. 76.46(1)
The department may, whenever in its opinion such action is necessary, examine or cause to be examined the books and records of any railroad company or car line company in order to verify the accuracy of the reports submitted to the department.
If any railroad company defined in s. 76.02
, or any car line company defined in s. 76.39
, refuses or neglects to make any reports required under subch. I
, or refuses or neglects to permit an examination of its books and records, accounts and papers, when requested so to do by the department, or refuses or neglects to appear before the department in obedience to its summons, it shall be estopped to question or impeach the action or determination of the department, or validity of any assessment made by the department.
No such company shall be allowed in any action or proceeding to question the assessment and taxation of its property as determined by the department, unless it has made and filed with such department a full and complete report of the facts and information prescribed by law and called for by the department.
History: 1979 c. 102
License fees, electric cooperatives. 76.48(1g)(b)
"Book cost of utility plant" has the meaning set forth in the uniform system of accounts prescribed by the U.S. rural electrification administration in bulletin 181-1, dated January 1, 1978.
"Electric cooperative" means a cooperative association organized under ch. 185
that carries on the business of generating, transmitting or distributing electric energy to its members at wholesale or retail.
"Gross revenues" means total operating revenues, except revenues for interdepartmental sales and for interdepartmental rents, less deductions from the sales and use tax under s. 77.61 (4)
and, in respect to any electric cooperative that purchases more than 50% of the power it sells, less the actual cost of power purchased for resale by an electric cooperative, if the revenue from that purchased electric power is included in the seller's gross revenues or if the electric cooperative purchased more than 50% of the power it sold in the year prior to January 1, 1988, from a seller located outside this state. For an electric cooperative, "gross revenues" does not include grants awarded to the electric cooperative under s. 16.958 (2) (b)
. For a retail electric cooperative, "gross revenues" does not include public benefits fees collected by the retail electric cooperative under s. 16.957 (5) (a)
, public benefits fees received by the retail electric cooperative from a retail electric cooperative or municipal utility under a joint program established under s. 16.957 (5) (f)
. For a wholesale supplier, as defined in s. 16.957 (1) (w)
, "gross revenues" does not include any public benefits fees that are received from a municipal utility, as defined in s. 16.957 (1) (q)
, or retail electric cooperative or under a joint program established under s. 16.957 (5) (f)
"Sales factor" means a fraction the numerator of which is the electric cooperative's total sales of electricity in this state, not including sales to out-of-state purchasers that are delivered to transmission facilities in this state, for the tax period and the denominator of which is the electric cooperative's total sales of electricity for the tax period.
Every electric cooperative shall pay, in lieu of other general property and income or franchise taxes, an annual license fee equal to its apportionment factor multiplied by its gross revenues multiplied by 3.19%. Real estate and personal property not used primarily for the purpose of generating, transmitting or distributing electric energy are subject to general property taxes. If a general structure is used in part to generate, transmit or distribute electric energy and in part for nonoperating purposes, the license fee imposed by this section is in place of the percentage of all other general property taxes that fairly measures and represents the extent of the use in generating, transmitting or distributing electric energy, and the balance is subject to local assessment and taxation, except that the entire general structure is subject to special assessments for local improvements.
Every electric cooperative shall on or before March 15 in each year make and return to the department of revenue, in the form and upon the blanks that the department prescribes and furnishes, a true statement of the gross receipts from the operation of its business during the preceding calendar year together with such other information that the department requires to enforce this section. The statement shall be verified by the president and treasurer of the electric cooperative making the return. Upon written request, the department may grant an extension of not to exceed 30 days within which to file the return. If any electric cooperative fails to file the return within the time prescribed by law, or as extended by the department, the department shall add to the taxes due from the electric cooperative $25, and the electric cooperative may not contest the imposition of that penalty in any action or proceeding.
On or before May 1 in each year, the department of revenue shall compute and assess the license fees provided for in sub. (1r)
and certify the amounts due to the state treasurer and file a duplicate thereof with the department of administration. The department shall notify each electric cooperative of the amount of the license fees so assessed. The fees shall become delinquent if not paid when due and when delinquent shall be subject to interest at the rate of 1.5% per month on the amount of license fee until paid. The interest shall be collected by the department and, upon collection, forwarded to the state treasurer and retained by the state. The payment dates provided for in sub. (3a)
License fees due under this section shall be paid to the department on an estimated basis. Payments of semiannual instalments of the estimated tax liability for the subsequent year shall be due on or before May 10 and November 10 of the current year. With respect to the license fee assessment under sub. (3)
, each electric cooperative shall on each May 10 pay or be credited an amount which is equal to the difference between the May 1 assessment and the sum of the semiannual instalment payments made in the preceding calendar year. The additional amount shall be added to the semiannual instalment due on May 10. If there has been an overpayment the amount of the overpayment shall be credited to the semiannual instalment due May 10. If any electric cooperative fails to make semiannual payments of at least 55% of the tax assessed for the current calendar year or 50% of the tax assessed for the subsequent calendar year, any amounts not paid when due shall become delinquent and shall be subject to interest under sub. (3)
. Associations with a liability under this section of less than $2,000 are not required to make semiannual payments but shall pay the full amount of license fees due on or before May 10 of the year of assessment.
All license fees provided in sub. (1r)
shall be deposited in the general fund for use of the state.
Additional assessments may be made, if notice of such assessment is given, within 4 years of the date the annual return was filed, but if no return was filed, or if the return filed was incorrect and was filed with intent to defeat or evade the tax, an additional assessment may be made at any time upon the discovery of gross revenues by the department. Refunds may be made if a claim for the refund is filed in writing with the department within 4 years of the date the annual return was filed. Refunds shall bear interest at the rate of 9% per year and shall be certified by the department to the secretary of administration who shall audit the amounts of such overpayments and the state treasurer shall pay the amount audited. Additional assessments shall bear interest at the rate of 12% per year from the time they should have been paid to the date upon which they shall become delinquent if unpaid.
All additional assessments and claims for refund shall be subject to the same procedure for review and final determination as is provided with respect to additional assessments and refunds of income or franchise taxes under chs. 71
, except that appeals of denials of claims for refunds shall be made directly to the tax appeals commission and except as such procedure conflicts with this section.
Motor carriers and urban transit companies; municipal taxation.
No city, village or town shall impose a license tax upon either of the following:
Any common motor carrier of property or of passengers, any contract motor carrier or any private motor carrier on account of any operation of a motor vehicle which is subject to registration or taxation under ch. 341
Any corporation or other person engaged in urban mass transportation of passengers as defined in s. 71.38
History: 1987 a. 312
Fire and marine insurers; license fees.
Every insurer doing a fire or marine insurance business, other than domestic insurers and insurers excepted under s. 76.61
, shall pay to the state, in respect to marine insurance a tax of 0.5% and in respect to fire insurance a tax of 2.375% on the amount of its gross premiums, as calculated under s. 76.62
. In case any insurer discontinues business in this state and reinsures the whole or a part of its risks without making payment of this tax, the insurer accepting such reinsurance shall pay the tax. If several insurers make such reinsurance the tax shall be apportioned among the insurers in proportion to the original premiums upon the business in this state so reinsured by each such insurer. Upon the payment of the tax provided in this section, and the fees required by s. 601.31
, such insurer may be licensed to transact its business until May 1 in the ensuing year, unless before then its license is revoked or forfeited according to law.
History: 1971 c. 125
; 1979 c. 102
; Stats. 1979 s. 76.60; 1989 a. 31
Town mutual insurers; taxes, charges, dues and license fees.
No town mutual insurer organized under or subject to ch. 612
shall be required to pay any taxes, charges, dues or license fees to the state except those charges and dues provided for in ss. 601.31
History: 1971 c. 125
; 1973 c. 243
; 1975 c. 372
; 1979 c. 102
, 236 (3)
, (4); Stats. 1979 s. 76.61.
License fees; calculation of.
All license fees and taxes levied under any provision of law upon gross premiums other than life insurance premiums against any insurer shall be uniformly calculated on the amount of gross premiums received for direct insurance less return premiums and cancellations and returns from savings and gains on all insurance other than reinsurance by the insurer during the preceding year in this state.
History: 1979 c. 102
; Stats. 1979 s. 76.62; 1989 a. 31
Casualty insurance; license fees. 76.63(1)
Every insurer doing a casualty or surety business, other than domestic insurers and insurers exempted under s. 76.61
, shall pay to the state 2% of its gross premiums, as calculated under s. 76.62
, on all policies or contracts which have been written on the lives of residents or on property in this state.
Every domestic stock insurer which insures against financial loss by reason of nonpayment of principal, interest and other sums agreed to be paid under the terms of any note or bond or other evidence of indebtedness secured by a mortgage, deed of trust or other instrument constituting a lien or charge on real estate shall pay to the state on or before March 1 in each year 2% of its gross premiums, as calculated under s. 76.62
, on all policies or contracts which have been written on the lives of residents or on property in this state.
History: 1971 c. 125
; 1975 c. 372
; 1979 c. 102
; Stats. 1979 s. 76.63; 1989 a. 31