Federal Excise Tax

If you’re an ATA member in the archery and bowhunting business who makes or sells taxable archery products, you may have to pay a Federal Excise Tax.

What is the Federal Excise Tax?

The FET is a 10- to 11-percent tax manufacturers pay on the first sale of firearms, ammunition and some archery equipment. The tax is part of the 1937 Wildlife Restoration Act, more commonly called the Pittman-Robertson Act. Archery equipment was added to the FET in 1972. Since then, bows, arrows and all equipment attached to a bow to shoot archery are subject to the FET.

Revenues generated by the FET are collected by the IRS and sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to distribute to state wildlife agencies for habitat restoration, hunter education, wildlife research, public-access programs and other high-priority nationwide conservation projects. The FET helps boost the archery and bowhunting industry by ensuring people have places to hunt and animals to pursue, which helps create more foot traffic and generate more revenue for archery store owners.

The ATA provides all members quarterly updates of FET earnings via email as soon as they are released by the IRS.

Download FET Collections Table (2010-Present)

Download FET ATA-Member Resources

How Does the F.E.T. Impact Me?


Is My Business Affected?

All firearms-, ammunition- and archery-industry members – with few exceptions – who manufacture, produce or import taxable equipment must pay the FET.

If you manufacture arrow shafts, bows with a draw weight of 30 pounds or more, or an accessory that attaches to a bow, you’re required to make quarterly FET payments to the IRS.

Arrow shaft tax rates change each year, as well. Your ATA provides an early estimate of the next years arrow shaft tax each September before the IRS release as a service to our members.


How Does the F.E.T. Program Work?

All companies responsible for paying FET must file a quarterly excise tax return using IRS Form 720. The form is due by the last day of the month following the close of the quarter. For example, for taxes accruing during the first quarter of the calendar year (January-March), taxpayers must file a return by April 30. Taxes on the sale of archery equipment should be paid with a company’s quarterly return, not in deposits.

The ATA provides their members with FET information, advice and advocacy. They also send updates as they occur, provide an FET seminar at the ATA Trade Show, and work directly with the IRS, U.S. Congress, state wildlife agencies, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Download the FET Guide to learn more. Still have questions? Send us an email with your specific question and we’ll connect you with experts!

For FET-related questions and concerns, contact:

Dan Forster, Vice President and Chief Conservation Officer

Email Dan