Tax in Wisconsin: a complete guide

1 min readLast updated January 15, 2024by Rachel Carey

Looking into your prospective tax burden in the state of Wisconsin? This article will take you through what you need to know, from state income tax all the way to how much tax you’ll pay in retirement.

Wisconsin state income tax 

Wisconsin has a graduated state income tax ranging from 3.5 percent to 7.65 percent. The amount you pay depends on your income and marital status.  

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The table below shows the various tax rates according to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue: 

Taxable income2023 tax rate
$0 - $9,210 3.50 percent
$9,210 - $18,420 $322.35 + 4.40 percent
$18,420 - $202,780 $727.59 + 5.3 percent
$202,780 and over $10,498.67 + 7.65 percent

Wisconsin has a flat 7.90 percent corporate income tax rate. 

If you’re unsure about filing your taxes, a financial advisor can help. Here, they can review your income sources and develop a unique tax strategy just for you.    

Wisconsin Sales Tax 

Wisconsin State has a state sales tax rate of 5 percent.  

Like other states, local governments in cities and counties can add their own sales tax on top of the state rate, increasing the overall amount residents pay in sales tax.

CountyLocal sales tax rateCombined sales tax rate
Milwaukee County 0.5 percent 5.5 percent
Washington County 0.5 percent 5.5 percent
Manitowoc County 0 percent 5 percent
Rock County 0.5 percent 5.5 percent
Winnebago County 0 percent 5 percent

Certain items are exempt from sales tax, this includes: 

  • Groceries 

  • Prescription medicine 

  • Certain agricultural equipment 

Wisconsin does not hold an annual sales tax holiday.  

Wisconsin Property Tax 

Like other states, in Wisconsin, property taxes are levied on a local level.  

Taxes on individual properties are calculated by multiplying the tax rate (sometimes called the mill rate or millage) by the property value, offset by state property tax credits.  

The state has some of the highest property tax rates in the country, with the average rate standing at 1.51 percent. This is the eighth highest in the US. 

Wisconsin Motor Tax 

Wisconsin residents must pay the five percent sales tax when purchasing vehicles. As with sales tax, counties and cities impose their own rates of up to 0.5 percent.  

Vehicle owners should also be aware of fuel taxes in the state. Regular gas is taxed at 30.9 cents per gallon, and diesel is at 30.9 cents per gallon. This is some of the highest rates in the country.  

Wisconsin Estate Tax 

Wisconsin does not impose inheritance or estate taxes.  

However, it’s important to remember federal estate tax can still apply if your estate is above a certain threshold ($12.92 million in 2023); otherwise, there will be no fees on the estate or inheritance you leave behind.    

Also, if you live in Wisconsin but inherit an estate from someone living in a state with estate tax, you must abide by local regulations.    

Wisconsin Retirement Tax

When it comes to taxing retirement income, similar to other states, Wisconsin partially taxes the income.  

Income from Social Security is tax-exempt. While income from pension and other retirement accounts, such as 401(k) and IRAs, are subject to state income tax.  

However, in Wisconsin, taxpayers aged 65 and over can deduct up to $5,000 from their income subject to income tax if they meet certain criteria, including: 

  • Have a federal adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $15,000 

  • Have a federal AGI of less than $30,000 if married (regardless of whether filing jointly or separately) 

For further tax guidance and to ensure you’re not paying more tax than you need to, it’s wise to speak to an expert. A financial advisor can help you handle all your tax queries and ensure you’re not paying more tax than needed.       

Find your financial advisor with Unbiased.

Senior Content Writer

Rachel Carey

Rachel is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She has nearly a decade of experience writing and producing content across a range of different sectors.

Need help with your taxes?

A financial advisor can help you with all of your tax planning needs