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Old October 22, 2012, 10:08 AM   #1
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WA State - B&O tax on private sales ?

Hello everyone - - this is directed to people in Washington state. As you may know, we're charged sales tax on out of state gun purchases. They call it a "Business & Occupations" tax - - but its calculated at the same rates as sales tax. Roughly, depending on the location the gun is received, its about 8-8.5%. Its calculated on price of the gun, shipping, insurance, and any accessories bought with the gun in the deal.

My question is this - - - is this tax charged on out of state private sales ? If you were to buy a gun from a private party off of GunBroker or GunsAmerican , for example - - - would the tax be charged ?

My guess is that it is charged. Those in govt love to tax. I'm watching a few auction items and would like to know for sure beforehand. I'll make sure the seller includes a printed invoice. It also impacts what I'm willing to bid on. I only buy hard to find items out of state now.

Thank you - -

Last edited by Pointshoot; October 22, 2012 at 10:15 AM.
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Old October 22, 2012, 10:32 AM   #2
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Without being familiar with WA tax, it sounds like you answered your own question.
we're charged sales tax on out of state gun purchases
A purchase from gunbroker or similar source still has to get transferred to you in most cases via an FFL just like if you bought from Bud's or similar source. They have the log the transfer either way, and I'm guessing that's when they become responsible for collecting tax on the transaction.
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Old October 22, 2012, 01:34 PM   #3
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Not sure what your tax forms look like in WA, but line 17 of the Ohio form is intended to be used to report any unpaid sales tax - i.e. from online sales.

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Old October 22, 2012, 02:09 PM   #4
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Technically, yes, although it is true for anything, not just guns. Usually, however, you will have paid sales tax anyway if you actually bought something somewhere else. Otherwise, what you owe is called a use tax, or at least it is here. Of course, you only have to pay the tax once.

People also love for governments to spend money, too, you know. No one really seems to be willing for the government, particularly the federal government, to spend less.
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Old October 22, 2012, 03:37 PM   #5
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In WA state....

B&O tax is just that...Business and Occupation tax. If you are in the "business" of buying and selling firearms, and have both a federal and state business license to do so...yes you will pay Business and Occupation tax. 1% of gross on retail. If you are not in the "business" and do not have a state issued license to be in that, you do not pay B&O tax..

Use tax is basically sales tax for something you did not pay sales tax on, that you use in your business, or something that has been purchased outside the state that, if purchased within the state, would qualify for sales tax.

If you purchase a firearm from someone out-of-state, and the purchase goes through a state licensed will be charged "use" whatever that FFL's local sales tax rate is. You will not be taxed for B&O tax...that is the dealer's business tax, not yours.

If you have a C&R, and purchase outside the state, and do not go through a WA state licensed dealer, you will be liable for the "use" tax, but it will be "voluntary" to report that purchase.

Last edited by hermannr; October 22, 2012 at 03:49 PM.
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