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Do you pay taxes when a rifle is shipped to an FFL?
#1
I'm looking at buying a rifle online vs. buying it at a nearby store. If I buy it from the out-of-state online store and it is sent to a local FFL, will I have to pay PA taxes at the local FFL in addition to the transfer fee?

I was hoping that it would be like many online purchases (tax free), but I also just remembered Corbett's "you can't hide from the PA government" internet sales tax demands.

Just looking for a little clarity. Thanks!
Regards,
Paradigm
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#2
Paradigm;70382 Wrote:I'm looking at buying a rifle online vs. buying it at a nearby store. If I buy it from the out-of-state online store and it is sent to a local FFL, will I have to pay PA taxes at the local FFL in addition to the transfer fee?

I was hoping that it would be like many online purchases (tax free), but I also just remembered Corbett's "you can't hide from the PA government" internet sales tax demands.

Just looking for a little clarity. Thanks!

I've bought a gun online before where the transfer was taxed and I've bought a gun online before where the transfer wasn't taxed. I would assume transfers are taxed since it isn't food or clothes, but rather a service.
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#3
I think some FFLs collect the sales tax, but others do not. Depends on the FFL. If you're trying to dodge it, don't ask the FFL because he probably will just to cover his ass. You can take a chance, but technically, you're responsible for the tax.
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#4
If you're referring to a modern firearm (post 1898 weapon subject to 27 CFR 178, et al.) as opposed to antique or black powder, then it must ship to a dealer. In this case it really doesn't have much to do with internet taxation since it isn't being shipped directly to you.

For the purposes of taxation, a firearm purchase legally occurs when the firearm is transferred from a dealer to the end purchaser, irrespective of the purchasers involvement prior to this point. An example of this would be a non-licensee winning an auction on Gunsamerica or Gunbroker. While the buyer "bought" the gun in the financial context, it hasn't been transferred yet.

My understanding: for the purposes of taxation, if the FFL that transferred your firearm to you is located in Pennsylvania, then in the eyes of PA Dept of Revenue the purchase occurred in Pennsylvania. Irrespective of whether the FFL collects the tax or not, PA Dept of Revenue feels you owe them tax.

If you're looking to save money, consider calling around to local FFLs. Among the questions to ask besides transfer fees, hours, etc would be their cut or percentage if you have it shipped to them. From this information you should be able to get a hard number from most or all of them, and you'll be able to do a simple cost comparison.

Edit to add:
You can always contact them yourself with this question (link to PA Dept of Revenue).

† - for the scope of this discussion, a firearm is a modern post 1898 weapon subject to 27 CFR 178, et al.
Subject matter expert on questions no one's asking.
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#5
I worked for an FFL for almost two years. If the gun is bought from out of state, there should be no sales tax. If it was bought from an FFL in state, the seller collects the sales tax with your purchase price. A few states, like Texas, will charge you tax when the gun gets there.
Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum
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#6
Thanks, everyone!

For clarification, it's a brand new deer rifle. The dealer is in Texas. The website says that only TX residents pay tax. It would be shipped to a PA dealer of my choosing (haven't picked one in my area yet).

Unfortunately, I'm trying to figure out apples and oranges.

The cheapest price I've found locally is at Gander Mountain, so I could order it there, but the sales tax would blow out the price. It would be about $40-50 higher, which isn't huge, but that's two boxes of ammo or a nice start toward a scope.

Decisions...
Regards,
Paradigm
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#7
Paradigm;70500 Wrote:Thanks, everyone!

For clarification, it's a brand new deer rifle. The dealer is in Texas. The website says that only TX residents pay tax. It would be shipped to a PA dealer of my choosing (haven't picked one in my area yet).

Unfortunately, I'm trying to figure out apples and oranges.

The cheapest price I've found locally is at Gander Mountain, so I could order it there, but the sales tax would blow out the price. It would be about $40-50 higher, which isn't huge, but that's two boxes of ammo or a nice start toward a scope.

Decisions...

Call and place the order yourself. If Gander Mountain orders it, you pay tax. If you order it, there's no tax. You just have to make sure the seller gets a copy of GMs FFL and then tell them to expect the package.
Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum
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#8
For the internet purchaser, if the E-tailer has a physical store in PA, such as Gander Mtn, Cabelas, Dicks, etc., you pay sales tax on any taxable item, if ordering from their internet site. Order a firearm from Gander Mtn and have it shipped to a different FFL (not sure if G.M. allows this as policy), you pay state sales tax on the internet sale. Order non-FFL items from the same and have items shipped to your house, you pay state sales tax.

Now, order a complete upper along with a complete lower, obviously makes a whole rifle, you should pay a federal excise tax (FET) of 11% on this sale. Individual gun parts, short of making a complete firearm such as a stripped lower, ordered don't have a FET.

In short, the internet sales transaction does the taxing, if necessary by law.
I'm only here for the 'Foxes with Firearms' thread.

If they take our guns, who will protect our children?


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#9
Gun;70544 Wrote:For the internet purchaser, if the E-tailer has a physical store in PA, such as Gander Mtn, Cabelas, Dicks, etc., you pay sales tax on any taxable item, if ordering from their internet site. Order a firearm from Gander Mtn and have it shipped to a different FFL (not sure if G.M. allows this as policy), you pay state sales tax on the internet sale. Order non-FFL items from the same and have items shipped to your house, you pay state sales tax.

Now, order a complete upper along with a complete lower, obviously makes a whole rifle, you should pay a federal excise tax (FET) of 11% on this sale. Individual gun parts, short of making a complete firearm such as a stripped lower, ordered don't have a FET.

In short, the internet sales transaction does the taxing, if necessary by law.

Excise tax only applies if you order the complete upper and complete lower at the same time. If they are ordered at different times or from different places, there's no excise tax. Most places won't sell you a complete kit and receiver because then it goes on their books that they manufactured it. Most FFLs don't have a manufacturers FFL.
Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum
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#10
Warpt762x39;70582 Wrote:Excise tax only applies if you order the complete upper and complete lower at the same time. If they are ordered at different times or from different places, there's no excise tax Yes, this part I covered. Most places won't sell you a complete kit and receiver because then it goes on their books that they manufactured it. Most FFLs don't have a manufacturers FFL.

A complete kit would include the receiver, and the dealer, such as P.S.A., would have the appropriate SOT.
I'm only here for the 'Foxes with Firearms' thread.

If they take our guns, who will protect our children?


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