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Does your WA FFL charge sales tax on a transfer??

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by d1esel, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. d1esel

    d1esel Ridgefield WA. Member

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    I contacted a local FFL to handle the transfer of a pistol I purchased online. This is how the conversation went.

    Me: Hi, I will be purchasing a handgun on the internet. Would you be able to do the transfer for me? And what would the fees be?

    FFL: Shur, The transfer fee is $30.

    Me: OK, great. So $30 out the door?

    FFL: yes

    Me: Are there any additional fees?

    FFL: There is no tax because it's considered a service.

    The gun came in today. So, I head over there to do the paper work. Every thing's going good. I like my new gun, the FFL is easy going and knowledgeable. I'm felling really good about the transaction and the FFL. I pay him the $30. He takes a long pause, and proceeds to tell me I have to pay sales tax on the gun.:huh: We engage in a polite debate. AT which point he informs me all FFL's are required to collect sales tax on transfers. The main reason I went with this guy is because he was not charging me tax. So now he's got my gun, my money and is charging me the tax he said did not apply. He seems like a good guy. So I'm gonna give him the benefit of the doubt. And chalk this up to miss communication.
    What do you guy's think?
     
  2. spectra

    spectra The Couve Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

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    I always thought that the FFL was required to charge tax even on a transfer. Seems kind of lame but hey the state needs all the money they can get:(
     
  3. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Even if the state requires you to pay tax on a transfer in WA, I would say "you know, I need to check with the attorney generals office on this regarding your business practices" and then shut up. It's a bluff without anything in writing, but the first person to speak loses. I sounds like this guy is either trying to hose you, or just didn't know the rules. If you asked the question and he didn't know the rules, it's his problem, unless of course the amount is so small it's not worth the hassle.

    I DO NOT know the law in WA State, but whether or not the FFL is required to pay the taxes to the state, he should have informed you up front so you could make the decision whether you wanted to proceed with the deal or not.

    BTW, the state doesn't care who pays the money, just that they get it. If you are satisfied with the deal you got plus paying the transfer fee and sales taxes go for it, it not, and the FFL misinformed you, you have a case to demand that they reimburse you or pay the sales tax. It's a matter of how much you want the gun and how much trouble you are willing to go thru, but unless you have something in writing, it's your word against theirs. In any case, I would not use this FFL again.
     
  4. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    I was assuming from the OP's post that the FFL was wanting sales tax on the sale price of the gun. If it's just sales tax on the price of the transfer, pay the few bucks.
     
  5. d1esel

    d1esel Ridgefield WA. Member

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    He Is asking for sales tax on the purchase price of the gun.
     
  6. Ethereal

    Ethereal Kent, WA Member

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    Yeah big difference there between the price of paying sales tax on $30 for the shop transferring in your gun as opposed to them raking you for the cost you paid for the firearm....
    This brings to mind Wade's old policy (not sure if they do this anymore) of charging you $30 for the transfer fee and then tacking on an additional 10% of what you paid for the gun. It was their way of deterring people from buying guns without them... I don't know if this is exactly what you're dealing with, if so I'm sorry to hear that it still goes on. You'd think in this market any shop would be happy enough to make the small amount they charge for just doing transfers... :(
     
  7. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    :eatpop:
     
  8. Ethereal

    Ethereal Kent, WA Member

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    you're right, I doubt you charge your clients sales tax, but something tells me you're covered no matter what. Whether or not sales tax is officially charged by the business, one way or another they are responsible at the end of the year to pay taxes on what they collected. It doesn't matter if that money is for goods or services. The shop charges a person $30+tax for the service of transferring in a gun....... I don't see a problem with this specific charge. Anything more I take issue with, just like the employees at SuperCuts(TM) would take issue with you not wanting to pay sales tax on that sharp new haircut, eh? :thumbup:
     
  9. d1esel

    d1esel Ridgefield WA. Member

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    Many Clark County FFL's charge sales tax on purchase price. Brightwater Ventures comes to mind. I would like to have some Vancouver FFL members chime in.
     
  10. coctailer

    coctailer Portland, OR/Hastings, MI/Vancouver,WA I run with scissors.

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    I charge $35. That includes all taxes.
     
  11. d1esel

    d1esel Ridgefield WA. Member

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    You where my second choice. What's your take on this situation?
     
  12. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    About thirty five dollars! :p
     
  13. torpedoman

    torpedoman land of corrupt politicians Member

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    call the attorney general and ask i'm sure he will know but i think you are being HOSED.
     
  14. Ethereal

    Ethereal Kent, WA Member

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    Gunfixx I think we're on the same page just different translations...:confused: Going back over you're posts I think I see now what it is.
     
  15. glocksrule

    glocksrule Battle Ground, WA Member

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    I have done transfers at Brightwater Ventures in Vancouver. Mike collected a tax on the purchase price of what I said that I paid for it. He stated to me that he is mandated by the state to collect taxes on all transfers from in/out of state. I was honest and told him what I paid. However, I probably could have said $1.00. Ther is no way for anyone but the seller and myself to know what I paid.
     
  16. haythrower

    haythrower SW WA Member

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    Check out the state's web page on taxes:

    http://dor.wa.gov/content/FindTaxesAndRates/RetailSalesTax/

    And I quote:

    Sales of tangible personal property for use outside of Washington by residents of: Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Alberta, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Quebec, and the Yukon Territory. Tax exempt sales to these residents are at the discretion of the seller. Note: When making tax exempt sales, the seller must see photo identification, such as a driver's license, issued by the buyer's state of residence. The seller must also record certain information. This exemption only applies to sales of goods which will not be used in Washington.


    So you may have to pay the tax, or cancel the deal - I would think the dealer would be willing to do that.
     
  17. Thule

    Thule Monroe, WA Member

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    The dealer is wrong for charging you tax on the cost of the rifle because he did not sell you the rifle. It is not his tax to collect.

    Let me repeat - all he is doing is charging you a fee so that you comply with the rules enforced by the ATF. He is not selling you the gun. It's already your gun; you bought it from the seller online wherever you got it from and he is just doing transfer paperwork for you and charging you a fee for it. Anything else is none of his business.

    The gun could be coming from your long lost brother for from an out of state charity auction - it doesn't matter!

    ...anyway, I could go on but it pisses me off to hear this kind of crap happening :p

    It's fine if he charges you additional tax for the transfer fee though. That's money he is collecting for his services so that's fair game.

    I'd do one of two things: 1) if he won't budge on the tax issue, tell him you paid $1 and tell him to prove otherwise. or 2) assuming you've done all of the paperwork already, ask to see the firearm, and when he hands it to you toss $30 on the counter and walk out of the door. It was your gun before it arrived at his shop and it still is. Just make sure you've completed all of the paperwork first.
     
  18. tionico

    tionico Thurston County Well-Known Member

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    As sick and disgusting as it is, Gunfixx has it right. By law, everything I purchase, inside or outside of Washington, comes with a tax burden... the monkeys in the Marble Zoo here in Olympia have seen to that. I drive to Portland, Oregon, and buy a four thousand dollar camera, put it in my car, and drive back across the Columbia, the "use tax" is legally due. Of course, who pays it> ? I sure don't.... but that's another issue.

    If I buy something on eBay, Gunbroker, wherever, have it shipped into Washington, I am obliged to pay the use tax on the actual purchase price plus freight. Who does? Not me...... now, if some FFL Dealers performing the transfer service decide to charge the tax, I believe they are out of line, as they can only charge SALES TAX. What is due is not SALES TAX, but, by legal definition, a USE TAX. A reseller, or a Washington business, cannot assess and collect a USE TAX, only SALES TAX. I know, I am a Washingto business. If I did not SELL a tangible item, I cannot charge SALES TAX on that item. Nor am I allowed to collect USE TAX. That is the obligation of the private citizen who bought it, inherited it, found it on the real property he bought. Since that item never was entered into his own inventory, he never sold it, and this cannot collect SALES TAX. It would be interesting to find out whether each FFL who charges "sales tax" on MY items brought in from out of state, or purchased from a private party within this state, actually reports and pays ahead the "sales tax" he "collected" on every such transaction. Some will...... but not all. I would insist that the ENTIRE TRANSACTION, including the landed price of the gun being transferred, be listed on the Dealer's invoice. THAT is the shop's legal record of the transaction, total taxes collected, and thus the basis of his periodic reporting to the Department of Revenue.

    Our reigning queen wishes that ALL out of state entities, inlcuding eBay sales, report and collect sales tax to her queenly coffers. It is to this end she pushed for the "destination based sales tax", which is one of the key steps for preparing to establish this travesty. She is concerned about all the money going out of state for goods coming in, and for which she cannot get her grubby paws on the tax monies she wants. To which I say "well, if that is an issue, how about getting your filthy paws OUT of Washington's businesses, and allow them to be more competitive with local establishments? Hoe about keeping Washington businesses sufficiently competitive we can survive HERE, and compete in the national markets made possible by internet?". I laughed in scorn when I read recent headlines" Boeing Snubs Washington Again". (they will be building the 787 in North Carolina, not Everett.... any guesses as to WHY????). I plan on removing myself, and my business, from Washington State as soon as practicable. The burdens this government place upon small businesses is incredible... but they just don't GET IT.....


    One more tactic... if you can't find a FFL transfer dealer who will only charge for the "service" of the BATF paperwork, but insists on assessing and collecting the "use tax" on YOUR personal property as well, either find a dealer who does not do this (none are required to collect "use tax", and cannot collect "sales tax"), insist that the seller include NO paperwork, invoice, etc, for the firearm, forwarding that to you at your own mailing address, and NOT including that along with the firearm. That way, there is no record of your purchase price, thus he has no basis for assessing the tax.

    a smelly business all round. And to think the early colonists revolted on the basis of a one cent the pound tax on tea........ how wimpy we have become.
     
  19. coctailer

    coctailer Portland, OR/Hastings, MI/Vancouver,WA I run with scissors.

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    I'm not sure.
    I think some dealers were told by the Dept or Revenue that they must collect sales tax on the price of the gun.

    I don't do it because I am LITERALLY NOT SELLING YOU A GUN.

    I am only transferring it to you. You already are the owner of the gun after you pay fore it and before I ever see it.
     
  20. tionico

    tionico Thurston County Well-Known Member

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    oh, let's see now... maybe they realise there is a LOT of salt water here in Washington, easily accessible to all in the Western regions........ they don't tax tea any more, at least, not directly (they consider it a food item, nontaxable.. I know, because I sell the stuff). But there are other things we COULD do ir suitably riled.....

    as to yard sales and such, there is an exemption to a seller's collecting sales tax, when the "sales event" takes place over less than three days. Not sure how that applies to sommething like a two-day gun show.... I seem to remember something about the exemption applies to those not normally in that course of business. "Casual sales" sort of a thing.

    Cocktailer is right, in that he never has the transferred gun in his inventory. If the state is asking you to collect SALES TAX, then it must be in your inventory and you are selling the item. As mentioned, there is no place for a reseller to collect USE TAX on a tangible item they have not owned as part of their inventory..... only when the seller BUYS an item to put into their inventory, then, rather than reselling it they use it themselves.

    So, for any FFL Dealer to charge SALES TAX on a gun they are only transferring is wrong, as it is not IN their inventory. And they cannot charge USE TAX because that is outside their course of business.

    That remains between the purchhaser of the firearm and the state. And, as someone said above.... "good luck".

    Now, if those monkeys were to exhibit better wisdom when spending all those tax dollars they snaffle from us, I might feel rather differently about it. But they don't so I don't. Until they begin listening to WE THE PEOPLE and running this state better, I'll give them as little as possible. Waste, pork, inside-buddy-good-deals, padding.... it all amounts to theft..... and I refuse to play except when forced.