Remote sales of firearms
Licensed out-of-state dealers without physical nexus in Washington, and who meet the registration threshold for retail sales, are required to collect sales tax on retail sales of firearms into Washington (except for those sales meeting the requirements of RCW 82.08.833). The licensed out-of-state dealer should determine the sales tax rate using the delivery address in Washington. If the licensed out-of-state dealer has nexus, then they also owe retailing business and occupation (B&O) tax on the sale.
Licensed out-of-state dealers without physical nexus in Washington, who do not meet the registration threshold for retail sales, are not required to collect Washington sales tax on sales delivered in Washington.
Firearms transfer by licensed dealers
If the licensed out-of-state dealer collected sales tax, then the licensed Washington dealer should keep documentation of the collected tax, such as a copy of the invoice, receipt or other document that states the sales tax separately. If the licensed Washington dealer has documentation showing that the licensed out-of-state dealer collected the correct amount of sales tax, then the licensed Washington dealer does not have to collect use tax from the customer.
If the licensed out-of-state dealer did not collect sales tax from the customer, or did not collect the proper amount of sales tax, then the licensed Washington dealer must collect the appropriate amount of use tax on those transfers. Licensed Washington dealers should report this income under both the state and local use tax classifications. The licensed Washington dealer does not owe retailing B&O tax on these transfers.
Licensed Washington dealers are not required to collect Washington use tax on:
transfers between private parties or other unlicensed persons
- keep documentation showing transfer is between unlicensed parties
firearms delivered outside of Washington
- see online information about reporting
If the licensed Washington dealer collects a fee to transfer the firearm or a background check fee, these fees are subject to B&O tax under the service and other activities classification. Retail sales tax is not due on these fees if the documentation shows the fees separately.
The licensed Washington dealer must keep any documentation outlined above for a period of four years plus the current year.
“Licensed dealer” means a dealer who has a Federal Firearms License (FFL) pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Sec. 923(c).
“Unlicensed person” means any person who is not an FFL gun dealer under Chapter 9.41 RCW.
“Transfer” means the intended delivery of a firearm to another person regardless of whether there is consideration or promise of payment including, but not limited to, transfers, sales, gifts and loans of firearms.