Washington Private firearm sale. Taxed by FFL?

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Recently I purchased a gun from out of state from a private party. He payed a certain amount on his end for the transfer. It got here to my FFL which was a wharehouse style store. I then payed a transfer fee and before getting checked out I was asked what I payed for it for tax purposes. I was unaware and am still not sure how they can be taxing me on the purchase when it was a private party sale. No money exchanged hands through either FFL for the sale. Any thoughts? Anyone with experience on this?
 

WAW44

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Not sales tax. I think technically a use tax applies, but that can be discounted based on depreciated value or difference between source state and WA tax rate. Thus, some FFLs don't bother because if the buyer insists then they have to get into calculation of actual market value and stuff, while others are being d...ks and collect it from purchasers on an assumption the buyer won't push back or know the law. Find a different FFL.

Per the other reply, this applies to private sales, not sales from FFL. If you can't show private sale, by having a copy of sellers ID, then FFL sale is assumed.
 
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If the selling party enclosed a copy of their drivers license, you should not have had to pay tax. WA is clear on this. However, If an out of state FFL was brokering the deal, and their FFL license was enclosed in the package, but no drivers license from the seller, you get dinged on tax. FFL to FFL gets taxed. Private party sending directly to WA FFL does not, as long as sellers ID copy enclosed.

BUT, some FFLs in WA that I know of, collect sales tax on guns mailed from private parties out of state, even though they are not required to. I think many of them are pocketing this cash for themselves. They base the tax on the actual price paid, or the estimated value of the gun, or the value difference of the guns if it was a trade. An agreed upon bill of sale (or trade) between the seller and buyer can be invaluable when enclosed with the firearm if you are dealing with a greedy WA FFL.
 
OP
O
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If the selling party enclosed a copy of their drivers license, you should not have had to pay tax. WA is clear on this. However, If an out of state FFL was brokering the deal, and their FFL license was enclosed in the package, but no drivers license from the seller, you get dinged on tax. FFL to FFL gets taxed. Private party sending directly to WA FFL does not, as long as sellers ID copy enclosed.

BUT, some FFLs in WA that I know of, collect sales tax on guns mailed from private parties out of state, even though they are not required to. I think many of them are pocketing this cash for themselves. They base the tax on the actual price paid, or the estimated value of the gun, or the value difference of the guns if it was a trade. An agreed upon bill of sale (or trade) between the seller and buyer can be invaluable when enclosed with the firearm if you are dealing with a greedy WA FFL.
Thank you for your input. Im just not sure how a private party can send it to an FFL without another FFL involved on their end. Isnt this the only legal way it can be done?
 
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Thank you for your input. Im just not sure how a private party can send it to an FFL without another FFL involved on their end. Isnt this the only legal way it can be done?
It is legal, but not every FFL will accept a gun mailed from a private party. Their internal rules. This can stem from a WA FFL not wanting to give a copy of their license to a private party, to avoid future fraud. By law, a copy of the receiving FFLs license must be enclosed in the shipment. Many people use an out of state FFL as an escrow to prevent scam/fraud, but unless you have a copy of the out of state seller’s DL, you are going to pay tax.
 

gmerkt

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On this point, I don't know the law by reading. Just by experience. I recently sold a rifle through an FFL to another Wash. resident. I talked to the dealer on the phone, a good ole boy in a one man pawn shop. He told me he has to collect state sales tax (or use tax or whatever it's called, same rate) from the private buyer. He claimed the Dept. of Revenue comes around every great once in a while and they will levee a fine if this tax isn't being collected. I shipped the rifle to the dealer as a private seller, with copy of Wash. DL. Shipping through an FFL within Wash. is different that a face-to-face private transfer through a dealer. I-594 had the tax exception/exemption written into it, supposedly to encourage compliance.

Thank you for your input. I'm just not sure how a private party can send it to an FFL without another FFL involved on their end. Isnt this the only legal way it can be done?
Federal law allows private persons to ship guns to receiving FFL's. And this is why they want a copy of the private shipper's DL, because they don't have an FFL number to back up their record of source. I don't know of any Wash. law that prevents doing it. Yet. I seem to recall something in print from the AG's office that said Wash. residents could still ship firearms to FFL dealers in accordance with federal law. Or words to that effect?

It is legal, but not every FFL will accept a gun mailed from a private party.
This. If you're gonna ship as a private person, ask first about what the receiving FFL is up for.
 
OP
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It is legal, but not every FFL will accept a gun mailed from a private party. Their internal rules. This can stem from a WA FFL not wanting to give a copy of their license to a private party, to avoid future fraud. By law, a copy of the receiving FFLs license must be enclosed in the shipment. Many people use an out of state FFL as an escrow to prevent scam/fraud, but unless you have a copy of the out of state seller’s DL, you are going to pay tax.
I just feel super screwed over by this. But then again I should be use to it living in wa state.
 

gmerkt

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I should add, when I sell a handgun privately, I do not choose to ship it privately. I take it to a local FFL who is pretty reasonable. The shipping I charge usually covers the amount my dealer pays for shipping, plus his paperwork. When the FFL dealer does the shipping, he has to run the gun through his books. To do it the right way, anyway. That way there is an established record that the gun actually existed and was shipped by a dealer. To date, I've never had one get lost in transit. But my thinking is that having shipped a handgun through a dealer, it might help legitimize the loss in a claims situation.

Another issue that can arise with shipping a handgun privately. You can't send it through the post office, as I send long guns privately. For the latter, I run the USPS shipping label at home and my mail carrier picks it up next day. He gives it an acceptance scan when he puts it on his truck. There is no "gatekeeper" at a retail counter to give me static based on misinformation. A handgun I would have to ship privately by UPS. Sometimes that can get pi$$y when they ask if you are a dealer. Not all UPS retail clerks are knowledgeable. FFL dealers can ship handguns through the US Mail, unlike private persons.

There is a Bud's Gun outfit called Ship My Gun that you can use, same rules apply, it's just that you get a pre-printed label that supposedly keeps the gatekeepers at bay. I don't know how well it works. Some people say they save money. I'm still gonna run handguns through an FFL dealer for the feel-good.
 
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Some years ago I bought a 1911 from a private party through Gunbroker. The seller enclosed their DL, but because the deal was brokered by Gunbroker, which has an FFL status, and the Gunbroker Bill of Sale was enclosed, Tropics Pawn didn’t exempt the tax. I was very PO’d over the whole thing.

I’ve run into equally troublesome issues with tax collection at Clark County Gunsmithing, and only by having the sellers DL, and agreed upon Bill of Trade (I knew this would be an issue), was I able to argue my way out of it.

WA is a greedy state, and so are many unscrupulous WA FFLs
 

WAW44

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I use Precise Shooter in Lynnwood, and Bullseye in Tacoma. Never charged tax by either on state transfers where firearms was being shipped in from out of state, including Gunbroker.

Again, find a different FFL and know the law.
 

AMT

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I specifically ensure that the seller includes a copy of their drivers license along with a hand written "Private party sale" on the sheet of paper (that the DL is copied on). I stress to the seller to tell their FFL to include that piece of paper with the firearm.

My FFL then receives a package from an FFL with the FFL paperwork inside. There is also a second piece of paper from the seller with the DL copy and hand written note that says it is a private party sale.

The only tax that i am charged is the transfer fee that is taxed.
 

bikemutt

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The last private transfer I did from another state was not subject to sales tax. The way my FFL explained it, if the handgun was being sold by the sending FFL, then it's subject to sales tax. If the sending FFL is simply acting as a shipper facilitating his non-licensee customer, then it's not subject to sales tax.

Sure felt good to fold up the $40 I figured I might have to pay and return it to my wallet :D
 

ma96782

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NOT about the TAX, But adding to the conversation.

Add BATF's EZ-check system to the "requirement" of having an inked - FFL copy in hand.

Aloha, Mark

PS....

SHIPPING TO AN FFL DEALER, WITHOUT A SIGNED INKED FFL IN YOUR HAND

The shipper/seller, for their protection, needs to verify the receiver is an FFL Dealer. They need to ask for the receiver's FFL Number.
The shipper should then go to this website to verify the license and address: ATF FFL Ez Check Site.
The shipper should print the screen they get.
They can then legally ship the firearm to the receiver, but only at the address verified at the Ez Check Site.
___________________

 

Tony617

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My FFL wants to see my order invoice if I order myself and have it shipped to him. I have used him to order firearms wholesale he will charge me sales tax and a transfer fee.
 

bikemutt

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My FFL wants to see my order invoice if I order myself and have it shipped to him. I have used him to order firearms wholesale he will charge me sales tax and a transfer fee.
As a business owner in WA, playing by the rules is how to roll if you value your business. There's little latitude with respect to how business sales are classified: taxable, or not. Some businesses may see through gray-area lenses; Dept of Revenue auditors wear an entirely different set of glasses.

That said, it's not guesswork. The rules concerning private party sales of firearms is clear with respect to sales tax collection; I have no use for a dealer who won't avail him/herself of the facts.
 
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Recently I purchased a gun from out of state from a private party. He payed a certain amount on his end for the transfer. It got here to my FFL which was a wharehouse style store. I then payed a transfer fee and before getting checked out I was asked what I payed for it for tax purposes. I was unaware and am still not sure how they can be taxing me on the purchase when it was a private party sale. No money exchanged hands through either FFL for the sale. Any thoughts? Anyone with experience on this?
If there is sales tax in your State, the tax should be applied to the cost of the service provided. You already paid the value of the goods in another venue. The "Warehouse" that handled the transfer, doesn't put the value amount of the firearm on their bottom line, so only the transfer fee would be taxed. If they're trying to tax you for the value of the firearm, they are ripping you off.

This exact thing was attempted on me some twenty-five years ago. I gave the dealer an earful, and he backed down. He knew that I knew the score and his attempt at taking in an unearned extra few bucks wasn't going to work.
 

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