Today at the National Shooting Sports Foundation Import/Export Conference, I inquired of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF or BATFE), as to the requirements for a refund of one’s previously paid Special Occupation Tax (SOT) that I previously blogged about here.
Gary Schiable, the Prophet of the NFA Branch and everything NFA, responded that indeed a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) can request refund of his/her/its SOT, where the FFL was not in the business of being a SOT during that tax year. He stated that there is no specific form and that he had seen several over the years, which were approved, where the FFL simply submitted a letter stating that he/she/it was not in the business of being an SOT during that tax period.
If you have paid your SOT and were not in the business of being an SOT, you should request a refund. However, simply not conducting any transfers is not sufficient to entitle you to a refund. Hence, if you advertised that you would conduct NFA transfers but did not have any customers, you would not be entitled to a refund, as you were in the business of being an SOT.