[Ansteorra-archery] The arrow tax

Eadric Anstapa eadric at scabrewer.com
Tue Oct 7 12:16:06 PDT 2008

I just realized I have a typo.

I typed:

    /For instance "arrows" were taxable.  Many shafts, fletches, nocks,
    and target style points were not (hunting broadheads were not).   /

What I meant to type was:

    For instance "arrows" were taxable.  Many shafts, fletches, nocks,
    and target style points were not (hunting broadheads _*were taxed*_).  



Doug Copley wrote:
> Wow,I was not aware of any of this!! Thanx for the information and the 
> background on it.
> Vincenti
> Eadric Anstapa wrote:
>> The federal excise tax on archery equipment has been around for 
>> decades and I never had a problem with it.  It was not just for 
>> archery equipment but also various other  firearms and hunting and 
>> fishing equipment.  The tax was traditionally 12.4%.  I have never 
>> had a problem with it  because the funds raised from this tax  were 
>> relegated specifically to wildlife conservation an education efforts 
>> and therefore sportfishing and hunting type items is what was taxed.  
>> For instance any bow over 30# had to be taxed.  Any bow under 30 
>> pounds and any arrow under 18 inches did not have to be taxed (unless 
>> the short arrows were intended for use in a taxable bow i.e. crossbow 
>> bolts) (the tax for bows is 11%)
>> If you manufacture and sell bows or crossbows then you have to 
>> collect and submit the tax else you are guilty of federal tax 
>> evasion. The statutes defined  "manufacturer" to include any person 
>> who produces a taxable article from scrap, salvage, or junk material, 
>> or from new or raw material, by processing, manipulating, or changing 
>> the form of an article or by combining or assembling two or more 
>> articles.  The term also includes a "producer" and an "importer'.
>> The problem was that there were a lot of people doing lots of hinky 
>> things to get around collecting the excise tax.
>> For instance "arrows" were taxable.  Many shafts, fletches, nocks, 
>> and target style points were not (hunting broadheads were not).   So 
>> what was happening is that people would sell incomplete arrows and 
>> therefore they would avoid the tax.
>> Every wonder why if you ordered a set of arrows from some place like 
>> Red Feather, F/S or other supplier they would ship finished shafts, 
>> with nocks and fletches installed, shafts cut to your specified 
>> length and with point tapers on them,  but the points would not be 
>> installed but only included in the box?   That was so they could say 
>> that they had not sold completed "arrows"  and therefore would avoid 
>> the federal excise tax.
>> Ever see a bow marked as 30xx#  rather than 30#?  That was partially 
>> so they could sell it as a 30# bow (untaxed) even it it actually drew 
>> over 30#.  The same would be true for any bow that was marked as 30-35#.
>> Arrows spined 30-35# people would often avoid the tax by simply 
>> saying that they were not necessarily intended for bows over 30#.
>> They then starting taxing all arrow components such as nocks, points, 
>> shafts, etc. at 12.4% if they were suitable to be shot from a taxable 
>> bow.  But there were people who had creative ways to get around 
>> that.  the would play with the "suitable to be shot from a taxable 
>> bow" part of it.
>> So to get people to pat the tax back in 04 to get people to collect 
>> the tax for arrows they changed it to a per shaft tax.  They started 
>> off at 39 cents and then crept up.  At the time a typical good set of 
>> wooden shafts cost about $2 a shaft.  So the that was a pretty high 
>> tax equal to about a 20% tax on traditional archers using wooden 
>> shafts.  But a high tech modern carbon fiber shaft might sell for $10 
>> a shaft so a 4% tax was hardly noticed and even a typical good 
>> quality name brand aluminum shaft cost about $5 a shaft so a 8% tax 
>> didn't seem onerous.  remember these costs are collected by the 
>> manufacturer, they are an excise tax and not a sales tax, and since 
>> they are a fixed cost they are built into the cost out of the factory 
>> and most archers and hunters were and still are not even aware that 
>> the excise tax was even there.
>> To be sure  the 39 cents per arrow shaft that crept up to 43 cents 
>> unfairly burdened the traditional archer While the modern compound 
>> bow shooter using Easton GameGetter shafts, or Gold Tip or Carbon 
>> Tech hunter shafts hardly noticed the increase.
>> Once they started taxing the shafts they dropped the tax on 
>> individual components like fletches, nocks, and points.   So while 
>> your shafts may have had a 43 cent tax on them,  you effectively 
>> should have seen  a 12.4% reduction in price on points, nocks, 
>> fletches, etc.  But I never saw any reduction in price on those 
>> components and those manufacturers just seem to pocket that extra 12.4%.
>> So the low end domestic manufacturers of wooden shafts for children 
>> complain that they are driven out of business and that their sales 
>> have dropped sharply.  While they did did carry an unnecessarily high 
>> portion of the tax burden ins  the part of the equation here that is 
>> not considered is that the availability of inexpensive imported 
>> composite shafts for the low-end and children's market has 
>> increased.  A big part of the reason why the sale of wooden 
>> children's arrows has decreased so dramatically is that the  more 
>> people are instead buying fiberglass and carbon for the kids since 
>> those shafts stay straight and last forever in typical use.
>> Don't get me wrong.  I am happy the tax has been modified so that it 
>> is no so regressive, doesn't place as much of a burden on the low 
>> end, and doesn't place more of the burden on the traditional archer.  
>> the latest revision of that tax code was flawed and they are trying 
>> to correct that but in general I support the tax because those monies 
>> were earmarked to go do things rather than simply going into the 
>> general fund for congress to waste as they see fit.
>> Regards,
>> -EA

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.ansteorra.org/pipermail/ansteorra-archery-ansteorra.org/attachments/20081007/9ef2ac0e/attachment.htm>

More information about the Ansteorra-archery mailing list