The records, books, accounts and papers of any light, heat and power company are subject to inspection and examination by the secretary of revenue or by the person that the secretary designates for that purpose.
If any light, heat and power company that is required under this section to file a report fails to file a report within the time prescribed by law or as extended under sub. (7)
, and upon a showing by the department under s. 73.16 (4)
, there shall be added to the amount required to be shown as license fees on the report 5 percent of the amount of such fees if the failure is for not more than one month, with an additional 5 percent for each additional month or fraction thereof during which the failure continues, not exceeding 25 percent in the aggregate.
If any light, heat and power company fails to make a report as required by sub. (7)
within the time required, the department may enter an assessment against such company in a sum representing the approximate amount of the license fees, together with penalties and interest, for which such company may be liable as estimated by the department. Notice of such assessment shall be given by certified mail, and unless a report conforming to the requirements of this section is filed within 15 days of such notice, such estimated assessment shall become final. Thereafter the light, heat and power company assessed shall be forever barred from questioning the correctness of the same in any action or proceeding.
Every light, heat, and power company shall, on or before March 1 in each year, make and return to the department, in the form and upon the forms that the department prescribes, a true statement of the operation of the company's business during the preceding calendar year, including provision of the “amount shown in the account plus leased property" for purposes of the payment to municipalities and counties under s. 79.04
. The statement shall be certified by the president and treasurer of the company or 2 of the company's principal officers. For sufficient reason shown, the department may, upon written request, allow any further time for making and filing the statement that the department considers necessary but not to exceed 30 days. If any company fails to file the statement within the time prescribed or as extended under this subsection, the department shall add to the taxes due from that company $25, and no company may contest the imposition of that penalty in any action or proceeding.
(8) Transfer of ownership.
If any light, heat or power company discontinues service through sale, merger or abandonment of its property or otherwise, the company acquiring that property or undertaking to provide service in the area of the former company shall assume the license fees due under this section, but the liability of the acquiring company is limited to those license fees which have accrued from January 1 of the previous calendar year to the date of the order of the public service commission approving the sale, merger or discontinuance of service.
(9) Property subject to local tax.
The license fees imposed by this section upon the gross revenues of light, heat and power companies as defined in sub. (1) (e)
shall be in lieu of all other taxes on all property used and useful in the operation of the business of such companies in this state, except that the same shall be subject to special assessments for local improvements. If a general structure is used and useful in part in the operation of the business of those companies in this state and in part for nonoperating purposes, the license fees imposed by this section are in place of the percentage of all other taxes on the property that fairly measures and represents the extent of the use and usefulness in the operation of the business of those companies in this state, and the balance is subject to local assessment and taxation, except that the entire general structure is subject to special assessments for local improvements. Property under s. 76.025 (2)
shall not be taxed under this section, but shall be subject to local assessment and taxation.
(10) Standing to challenge assessment.
In case any light, heat or power company fails to make a report as required by sub. (7)
within the time required, the department may enter an assessment against that company in a sum representing the approximate amount of the license fees, together with penalties and interest, for which that company may be liable as estimated by the department. Notice of that assessment shall be given by certified mail, and unless a report conforming to the requirements of this section is filed within 15 days of that notice, that estimated assessment shall become final. Thereafter the light, heat or power company assessed shall be forever barred from questioning the correctness of the assessment in any action or proceeding.
(11) Payment before contesting.
No action or proceeding, except a petition for redetermination under sub. (4)
, may be brought by a light, heat or power company against this state to contest any assessment of a tax under this section unless the taxpayer first pays to this state the amount of tax assessed. If the taxpayer prevails in an action or proceeding, this state shall settle with the taxpayer, including payment of interest at 3 percent per year on the amount of the money paid from the date of payment until the date of judgment.
License fee for selling electricity at wholesale. 76.29(1)(1)
In this section:
“Department" means the department of revenue.
“Gross revenues" means total revenues from the sale of electricity for resale by the purchaser of the electricity.
“Tax period" means each calendar year or portion of a calendar year.
There is imposed on every light, heat, and power company and electric cooperative that owns an electric utility plant, an annual license fee to be assessed by the department on or before May 1, 2005, and every May 1 thereafter, measured by the gross revenues of the preceding tax period in an amount equal to the apportionment factor multiplied by gross revenues multiplied by 1.59 percent. The fee shall become delinquent if not paid when due and when delinquent shall be subject to interest at the rate of 1.5 percent per month until paid.
Confidentiality provisions. 76.30(1)(1)
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.
The secretary of revenue and employees of that department for the purposes of preparing and maintaining the list of persons with unpaid tax obligations as described in s. 73.03 (62)
so that the list of such persons is available for public inspection.
An assessor employed by a local unit of government if the department determines that providing the information is necessary to verify whether real or personal property located in a taxing jurisdiction is subject to the taxes and fees imposed under this subchapter or to general local property taxes.
(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.
Determination of ad valorem tax receipts for hub facility exemptions.
By July 1, 2004, and every July 1 thereafter, the department shall determine the total amount of the tax imposed under subch. I of ch. 76
that was paid by each air carrier company, as defined in s. 70.11 (42) (a) 1.
, whose property is exempt from taxation under s. 70.11 (42) (b)
for the most recent taxable year that the air carrier company paid the tax imposed under subch. I of ch. 76
. The total amount determined under this section shall be transferred under s. 20.855 (4) (fm)
to the transportation fund.
History: 2001 a. 16
CAR LINE COMPANIES; ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATIONS
Car line taxes. 76.39(1)(1)
For the purposes of this section:
“Average net rate of taxation" means the average net rate of taxation determined under s. 76.126
as of June of the year prior to the assessment.
“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 the gross earnings in this state multiplied by the average net rate of taxation. Every railroad company operating in this state shall, upon making payment to each car line company for use of its cars, withhold the amount of the tax imposed under this subsection on the 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, and upon a showing by the department under s. 73.16 (4)
, there shall be added to the amount required to be shown as gross earnings tax on the report 5 percent of the amount thereof if the failure is for not more than one month, with an additional 5 percent for each additional month or fraction thereof during which the failure continues, not exceeding 25 percent 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 installments 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 percent of the tax liability for the current calendar year or 50 percent 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 percent 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 secretary of administration shall pay the amount, together with interest at the rate of 3 percent per year from the date payment was made. All additional taxes shall bear interest at the rate of 12 percent 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.
See also ch. TA 1
, Wis. adm. code.
Powers of investigation. 76.46(1)(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 percent 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 percent 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 low-income assistance fees collected by the retail electric cooperative under s. 16.957 (5) (a)
, low-income assistance 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 low-income assistance 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)