Remote sales of firearms
Licensed out-of-state dealers with nexus in Washington are required to collect sales tax and pay retailing B&O tax on retail sales of firearms into Washington. Nexus may be established by a physical presence or by exceeding $100,000 in Washington receipts. See our website for more information on nexus. The licensed out-of-state dealer should determine the correct sales tax rate using the delivery address in Washington. Licensed out-of-state dealers without nexus in Washington are not required to collect Washington sales tax or pay retailing B&O tax on sales delivered in Washington.
Firearms transfer by licensed dealers (Sales/Use Tax and B&O tax)
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
- dealers must maintain documentation relating to transfers between unlicensed parties
firearms delivered outside of Washington
- see online information about reporting
If the licensed Washington dealer charges its own fee to transfer the firearm or perform a background check, 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.
Semiautomatic assault rifle transfer fee remitted to Department of Licensing
In-state licensed firearms dealers are now required to collect an $18 mandatory fee on the sale or transfer of a semiautomatic assault rifle. This fee, which is collected and sent to the Department of Licensing, is not subject to retail sales tax or B&O tax. Dealers should not include the fees collected in their gross income calculation on their excise tax return. Note, other types of fees may be subject to tax. See our Special Notice – Tax Implications of Firearms transfers.