Will my beneficiaries have to pay a transfer tax when my NFA trust distributes my assets?

inheritanceThe short answer is “No. At least not currently.”  But that qualifier is an important part of the answer.

Currently the ATF allows transfers of NFA items to devisees, heirs, or specified beneficiaries to be tax-free via a Form 5.

The reason that such transfers are tax-free is because the ATF considers such transfers to not be “voluntary transfers” but rather “transfers by operation of law.

However, this is a policy only and is not backed up by a promulgated regulation. Therefore, there is the possibility that they may change their position at some time in the future.

If they were to make such a policy change, it would not only affect items owned by NFA trusts but also those owned by individuals and would certainly face stiff opposition from both NFA collectors and industry groups.

My personal prediction is that we will not see a change in this policy unless it is politically motivated and part of a larger attack on NFA ownership.

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