1. What is Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax (FAET)?

Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax (FAET) is a tax imposed by Chapter 32 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 4181) on the sale of firearms and ammunition by manufacturers, producers, and importers.

Chapter 32 also imposes taxes on other commodities such as:

  • Tires
  • Gasoline
  • Coal
  • Vaccines
  • Sport fishing equipment
  • Bows and arrows

2. What agency collects FAET?

Since its inception in 1919, different Federal agencies have been responsible for overseeing the collection of FAET. From 1919 to 1990, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was responsible for collecting FAET. On January 1, 1991 , this function was transferred from the IRS to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).

On November 25, 2002 , President Bush signed into law the Homeland Security Act of 2002. The Homeland Security Act divided the functions of ATF into two new agencies: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in the Department of Justice and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) in the Department of the Treasury. On January 24, 2003 , TTB became responsible for administering the collection of FAET and handling the regulatory and taxation aspects of the alcohol and tobacco industries. The TTB's National Revenue Center performs all duties supporting the collection of FAET.

3. What Federal laws and regulations pertain to FAET?

The following Federal laws pertain to FAET:

  • 26 U.S.C. Chapter 32 (Manufacturers Excise Taxes)
  • 26 U.S.C. Chapter 65 (Abatements, Credits, and Refunds)

The following Federal regulations pertain to FAET:

  • 27 CFR Part 53 (Manufacturers Excise Taxes- Firearms and Ammunition)
  • 27 CFR Part 70 (Procedures and Practices)

4. How does FAET relate to other provisions of law and regulations?

The laws and regulations regarding FAET are in addition to, and not a substitute for, any other provisions of laws and regulations. You must comply with other Federal laws and regulations governing the manufacture and importation of firearms and ammunition (such as the Gun Control Act, the National Firearms Act, and the Arms Export Control Act). You must also comply with all state and local laws and regulations.

5. Where can I find information on other Federal firearms laws and regulations?

For information on the:

Refer to this section of the law:

…and this section of the regulations:

Gun Control Act

18 U.S.C. Sec. 921-930

27 CFR Part 478

National Firearms Act

26 U.S.C. Sec. 5801-5872

27 CFR Part 479

Arms Export Control Act

22 U.S.C. Sec. 2778

27 CFR Part 447

These laws and their implementing regulations are administered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in the Department of Justice.

Page last reviewed: January 14, 2015
Page last updated: January 25, 2018
Maintained by: Regulations and Rulings Division