What is a tax stamp? When Do You Need It and Where You Can Get

A tax stamp is a label used to show that the proper sales tax has been paid on an item. Tax stamps are required on most items sold within the United States and usually have to be purchased from the state in which one resides. In some states, such as Massachusetts, there may be mandated fees on certain items that require a tax stamp. Tax stamps are essential because many states pay for certain services with their revenue from the required tax stamps.

Tax stamps are usually purchased simultaneously as the item that one is purchasing rather than paying sales tax. This can be done either by an individual or an organization; there will usually be an official tax stamp document if an organization does it. The exact requirements for a tax stamp vary from state to state.

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The following are examples of items that may require a tax stamp: ammunition, cigarettes, motor fuel, firearms, boats, and real estate.

Due dates for purchasing the required tax stamps vary by state. If the appropriate tax stamps are not purchased by the due date, there will be a penalty, usually more expensive than buying the tax stamp.

A person can purchase tax stamps in various ways. For example, some people go to their state’s department of revenue or another designated location that sells them, while others can buy them online through certain websites. However, if one buys several tax stamps from someone, whether they are online or through another source, it may be illegal to do so unless the person is an authorized reseller.

If one chooses to purchase their tax stamp rather than directly purchasing the item that requires the tax stamp, they must make sure that no other requirements are necessary besides paying the tax stamp itself. For example, if someone purchases a boat that requires a tax stamp in Massachusetts, they will also need to register the boat with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

When do you need a tax stamp?

 If you’ve ever dealt with guns or firearms in any way, you know that there are all kinds of ways to be involved with them. First, there are government rules and regulations surrounding gun ownership; organizations like the NRA can significantly impact your rights; then there’s the fun part where you get to shoot them (assuming you can afford to buy one).

But what about when you’re dealing guns? For instance, if I were to find out where my nearest fully automatic weapon dealer was, would I need a tax stamp? The frustrating but truthful answer is. It depends. This guide will give you an idea of when you may want to consider applying for a tax stamp so that your next gun purchase doesn’t become a huge hassle.

How do I know what kind of gun I’m buying?

If you’re buying a gun to collect or for fun, then the ATF will not care. However, if you’re planning on selling it shortly after purchase, make sure that the firearm isn’t considered a “destructive device.” If it’s been made from an explosive bomb or certain kinds of ammunition, this means that you’ll need to apply for a tax stamp as well as pass all other federal and state background checks. You don’t want to jump through those hoops only to find out that you’ve committed a felony by mistake.

Is there any way around this? Absolutely! Since you technically already own the gun, you can get a tax stamp from your local ATF office without actually buying the gun. However, the paperwork and wait period for this is rather long, so it’s worth applying for in advance.


This one is pretty straightforward: if you need a special permit to own or purchase any ammunition, then you will also need a tax stamp to buy it. It includes items such as .50 calibre cartridges and armour-piercing rounds.

Can I ask my friend/neighbour/second cousin, who owns many guns, when I can borrow his?

If you’re planning on borrowing someone else’s firearm(s) simply because they have more than you do, then don’t bother asking them and go straight to the source: the ATF. They’ll give you a straightforward answer: it’s illegal for them to loan their guns to someone else, and in turn, it is also unlawful for that person to borrow another firearm without having a tax stamp.

Following all of these rules doesn’t seem like much fun!

That’s because they aren’t! As long as you follow all the guidelines and don’t try cutting any corners, everything will be fine. But overnight trips to your local ATF office can offer enough problems of their own; there are only so many hours in a day, and there could be easier ways of getting what we want. That said, remember that if you break even one rule, it comes to owning firearms, then you’re already in trouble.

So, do you need a tax stamp? If you don’t know for sure, go with yes until you can get it cleared up! And if all else fails, remember not to panic and call the experts over at Beacon Firearms. We’ll help keep your items legal while staying on budget!

Please use this information as a reference only and seek out professional advice from a secondary source before drawing any hard conclusions. This article written by a third-party author may or may not reflect the opinions of Kitco Metals Inc. 

The information contained within this article does not constitute financial advice and should not use as such. Kitco Metals Inc is under no obligation to update or keep current the information provided in this article.

We’ll be talking about how to buy a tax stamp and where.

So you want to know where you can buy a tax stamp? Well, there are some places that you can go. You might not even have to leave your house and still find one that way!

But before we get into that, let’s talk about what it is first. When describing getting a tax stamp, it is essential to remember one key detail: different symbols bring different levels of responsibility according to the ATF (Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau). The reason for this level of commitment comes from the wording on the 4473 Form (the actual registration document) itself. When filling out form 4473, purchasers must indicate if they intend on using their new gun for business or personal use. If you are using it for business purposes, then you are required to get a tax stamp. It is not the case if you are buying your firearm(s) solely for personal use.

Tax stamps may only be obtained by individuals or businesses who manufacture NFA firearms, including machine guns, short-barreled shotguns, and suppressors. The ATF website has specific details about whether your home state allows these types of items, so please check out the link I have provided here. That being said, I will move forward with explaining how one can go about obtaining one!

The first option involves going directly through the manufacture of an NFA firearm (by an individual) or the NFA Branch of ATF (by a business). While this option is certainly available, it comes with a price. The manufacturer will need to know you intend on using your firearm(s) for personal use only if that’s the case. They also have to make sure they are not manufacturing restricted state items. For example, suppose you live in California and would like to obtain a silencer. In that case, you first need to seek out other options as possessing one is highly illegal and punishable by heavy fines and even jail time. Even though we do our best here at Gun News Daily! to keep up-to-date on all gun laws across the nation, we still recommend double-checking for your safety before attempting such a risky endeavour.

The second option for buying a tax stamp involves becoming a Special Occupational Taxpayer (SOT) or finding someone. A SOT registration opens up more doors as you can now legally manufacture firearms and suppressors without first going through a manufacturer, provided they are intended to be used solely for personal use. This works because being a SOT allows individuals or businesses to obtain the manufacturing license themselves, making it easier to acquire stamps than dealing with an outside source. To become one yourself, you will have some work cut out as the ATF website goes into great detail about exactly what is required here. You can also hire your local Class III dealer to help you if they already hold the SOT and knows what they’re doing (i.e., you trust them). But again, keep in mind that the ATF website does an excellent job of describing everything here.

The final option is finding a Class III dealer who already has the SOT and is willing to help you out. This route will typically come with a hefty fee (anywhere from $500 to $1,000) depending on whether or not your dealer charges for their time helping you get the tax stamp(s). And again, it is essential to remember that some dealers can charge more than others, so shop around before settling on someone just because they have a lower mark-up price! You should expect them to ask for all of your personal information (i.e., social security number, etc.) before they will even consider helping you out. Expect everything to take some time as well; typical wait periods can range anywhere from six months to more than a year, depending on the backlog of your local ATF branch office. Again, please make sure you understand all of your state laws before trying any of these options (some states do not allow suppressors).

The process for each option is far too complicated and lengthy to explain in detail here, so I would highly suggest reading up on what’s required through either my sources or the ATF website itself, which has fantastic information available. And don’t forget that if it is just business use, then no tax stamp is required! You are allowed to sell and ship suppressors and machine guns so long as you hold the proper licensing and only to other licensed individuals without a tax stamp.

The ATF website is also chock full of helpful information, so if you do not understand something, I highly suggest looking around their site to see if they have what you are looking for. You can always give them a call or send an email too! They are here to help, after all! The National Firearms Act Branch can be reached via telephone at (304) 616-4500, fax at (304) 616-4501, or by writing to NFA Branch Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives PO Box 530298 Atlanta, GA 30353-0298

Finally, please note that the above was not meant to be legal advice. Please contact the ATF or your state’s law enforcement/local authorities for more information about gun laws and the process required to buy a tax stamp.

As always, thank you all so much for tuning in! We appreciate every one of our readers, and we certainly hope that you learned something from today’s post. If there is anything specific that you would like us to cover, please feel free to share those ideas through either email (which can be found on our ‘Contact’ page) or by leaving it as a comment below! Thank you again! All the best


A tax stamp is a legal measure to prevent contraband from being sold. If you are an individual who sells tobacco, alcohol, firearms, or other products that require special licensing and permits in your state, you will need this document for every sale. Make sure you know how to get the right kind of stamps before attempting any sales without one because doing so can result in fees and fines as well as criminal charges if caught by law enforcement officers. To find out more about what types of items might require tax stamps and where they can be obtained, check out our blog post on the topic here!

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