FFL transfer question


September 16, 2003, 02:49 PM
Just recently I got 2 new babies: 1911 and rifle ;-)

I used different FFL dealer to make a tranfer... In one case I paid transfer fee and sales tax and in second case - just transfer fee.
So the question is: did second dealer forget to add sales tax and I have to call him up and square it or I should call the first one and tell him that it was my first and last transfer through him.
Both transfers were from another states.

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September 16, 2003, 07:33 PM
This has been debated, but in essence the dealer didn't own anything to sell to you therefore he can not charge a sales tax. No monies for a sale went thru his hands, only a fee he charged for his services of transfering. Some say that this practice is now becoming a tax of some sort, but I can't see a retail sales tax law having control over a non-sale.

Gary G23
September 16, 2003, 07:35 PM
Dealer number one was legally correct. Yes I'm a dealer.

September 16, 2003, 07:50 PM
Florida has a "services tax" which is essentially a sales tax that some professions must collect, such as beauticians. So it is entirely possible that state/local governments require the FFL to collect a sales tax for doing a transfer.

Was the amount of the tax collected based on the gun's purchase price or the FFL's transfer fee?

September 16, 2003, 08:49 PM
I was charged tax from cost of the handgun plus dealer's fee.

And again it was out of state transaction and dealer did not SELL me the gun, correct?

September 16, 2003, 09:03 PM
Did you purchase the guns directly with the seller (and send them your dealer's FFL) or did you have your dealer find the guns for you and pay him the price of the guns?

September 16, 2003, 09:22 PM
They way I understand it, you don't pay sales tax (Because as you said, he didn't sell it to you. You paid a use tax, which just happens to be the same rate as sales tax! :p

So, the first dealer didn't rip you off, so much as the second dealer is either paying the tax out of pocket or (more likely) not paying the tax. I personally wouldn't worry too much about, but I'd be more apt to use the dealer that didn't charge tax. :D

September 16, 2003, 09:36 PM
I have never paid sales tax for a transfer and have used numerous transferring entities (read FFLs). I am not saying it is right or wrong but I do have a question?

What exactly is the tax charged on. For example say I buy a gun from my buddy in MD and he mails said gun to my FFL in TN. Well I get said gun we will say it is a Glock 30 how is a tax supposed to be administered.

1)I have no sales receipt it is just a gun that came in the mail to me? Does the FFL charge a sales tax on "assessed" value?

2)I have a sales receipt and my good buddy just happend to let his LNIB Glock 30 go for say $50.00:rolleyes: and puts said receipt in the box. So does the FFL charge me sales tax on the $50.00?

3)Gun is given to me free of charge and a note saying such is furnished with the gun? What then?

I am just curious as I don't know whether this is right or wrong but I just cannot see how it could be enforced.

GaryG23, I am not saying you are wrong but I am curious as to how you would levy such a tax in the above situations.

What about other goods bought online, you know those goods that are perfectly safe for us serfs to have sent directly to us, such as DVDs, Clothing, Knives or to keep this on topic BB guns. None of the above would incur a state sales tax? Why guns? Other then the fact that there is a checkpoint in place to do this....the FFL.

September 17, 2003, 06:13 AM
The way I understand the services tax is you only pay for the service itself. So theoretically, if the FFL was required to tax you for the transfer, the tax only applies to the amount of his transfer fee.

If they charged you based on the cost of the gun, it would really suck to have to pay a service tax on a $10,000 NFA purchase going to the guy doing the transfer, a sales tax (depending on applicable laws) to the original dealer selling you the item and $200 for a tax stamp.

September 17, 2003, 02:16 PM
Whether the firearm dealer is required to collect a "use" tax depends on the laws of the state you live in. This is merely a forced-hand collection of a tax you are supposed to pay when you do your state taxes.

I know here in NY you are supposed to pay a use tax on anything you buy out of state. When I transferred my guns, I simply told them I had moved and that these were my guns. That was that for taxes.

So whether you pay the tax or not still depends on the honor system. If you tell the dealer that you're just getting back a gun that's yours, or that you didn't pay for it, on loan, whatever...they can't collect any taxes. That's how a dealer gets out of dealing with the issue. A dealer that's been audited though....he'll probably collect the tax.

I think places that sell used goods tend to get audited a lot, and most gun dealers tend to sell used guns, so I can see why you won't find consistent behavior in this area.

September 17, 2003, 02:46 PM
So is the tax based on the service of transferring the firearm, I.E. $15-$75 transfer fee not the actual cost of the firearm in question?

If it is based on the transfer fee it really isn't a big deal.


September 17, 2003, 04:44 PM
In TN they can tax you on the "handling/transfer" fee. So if a dealer says he will do the transfer for $25 he can charge you the $2.32 tax if he wants to. He CANNOT charge you for tax on the background check OR the $600 Sig he just handed you. I don't know about the laws in your state but something smells fishy and I think it's the dealer. I would ask the second (honest) dealer what the law is and then I would confront the first (dishonest) dealer with my receipt in hand, get my refund and THEN tell him to choke on his greed. I'm gonna call some MN dealers.

September 17, 2003, 10:48 PM
I called my Wisconsin Sales Tax guys and asked them again, to be sure.

If all the FFL is doing is effecting the transfer & nics/wisc handgun hotline check for the customer WHO PURCHASED THE GUN OUT OF STATE, there is NOT a taxable occurance.

If the FFL is charging the customer the DELIVERY FEE for an out of state purchase (by the customer), the Delivery Fee is taxable.

If the FFL is buying the gun, the gun and any delivery fee is taxable, but the nics check isn't.

Different states will/might vary.....and of course, next week if I call, I might get a different answer anyway!! :banghead:


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