Transfer of Tax-Free Registrations
Firearms and Ammunition Excise Taxpayers and Others
Purpose. This circular advises firearms and ammunition
excise taxpayers that ATF is receiving from the Internal
Revenue Service (IRS) the files of persons registered to
sell or purchase firearms tax-free under section 4222 of the
Internal Revenue Code. As a result of this transfer, ATF is
issuing new registration numbers to these persons.
Background. Treasury Order 120-03, dated November 5,
1990, transferred the administration and enforcement of the
firearms and ammunition manufacturers excise tax under
section 4181 and related provisions of the Internal Revenue
Code to ATF. With the publication of T.D. ATF-308,
effective January 1, 1991, ATF established regulations to
require firearms and ammunition excise tax returns, claims,
and related documents previously filed with the Internal
Revenue Service (IRS) to be filed with ATF.
Under Subpart K of 27 CFR Part 53 and Subpart N of 26 CFR
Part 48, persons who are required to be registered to
purchase tax-free firearms or ammunition under section 4222
of the Code shall furnish written evidence to the seller in
support of a tax-free sale. The written evidence includes
the registration number of the buyer as stated on IRS Form
637 (Registration for Tax-Free Transactions Under Chapter
31, 32 and 38 of the Internal Revenue Code) or ATF Form
5300.28, Application for Registration for Tax-Free
Transactions Under 26 U.S.C. 4221.
ATF Registration Numbers. By March 1, 1993, all persons
who have valid certificates of registry under section 4222
of the Code to purchase or sell firearms or ammunition
tax-free should have received their ATF registration number.
Registration numbers issued by the IRS to sell or purchase
firearms and ammunition free of tax will be changed to the
The first digit of the ATF tax-free registration number will
designate the ATF region which issued the registration
number. The second through sixth digits are a unique
sequence number. The letter or letters following the first
six digits and preceding the hyphen represent the
registration categories of tax-free transactions as shown on
the instructions for ATF Form 5300.28 or IRS Form 637. The
last three letters represent the ATF region and will always
end with the letter "F".
Use of ATF Registration Numbers. All registrants can
use the number issued by ATF to identify themselves as
eligible to sell or purchase firearms or ammunition free of
the excise tax. Buyers are encouraged to use their ATF
tax-free registration number on written statements to
manufacturers or vendors in lieu of the IRS registration
numbers. The use of the ATF registration will help to
identify these persons as being properly registered to
purchase firearms or ammunition tax free.
Questions. Any questions concerning this circular
should refer to its number and can be addressed to any ATF
regional office or to: Chief, Firearms and Explosives
Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 650
Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20226.