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Learn about Tax on Gold and Precious Metals

Taxes involving gold and other precious metals are not always a specific subject, but that doesn’t mean you should leave it to your accountant. Many easy-to-read articles cover the most important aspects of taxation for investors in precious metals, including some of the key terms used in the industry.

Nowadays, gold and silver continue to prove their worth as sound investments because of war, market uncertainties, and other events that affect many investors. You might begin asking questions like “is there tax on gold?” and what you can do to avoid penalties. The answer is yes since both of these precious metals are subjected to exports, imports, sales, and purchase taxes. 

About the Taxations

Taxes for precious metals are fees imposed on the possession, transfer, or export of gold, silver, platinum, or palladium. Almost every country in the world has some form of a levy on them. Some countries’ intent on these levies is to discourage speculation and encourage investment in more profitable assets.

In the United States, the IRS considers gold a collectible and is subjected to an income tax. The gains for these collectibles that you hold for less than a year will be determined as short-term capital or ordinary income. The ones you’re holding for the long-term will get a maximum rate of 28%. If you belong to the 28% or higher income bracket, the net long-term gains will remain 28%. Some of the collectibles may be in the form of the following:

  • The denominations include numismatic coins, metal bullion, wafers, bars, and more
  • Commemorative or round coins
  • Certificates that come from government Mints
  • Exchange-traded funds such as GLD and the ones tied to precious metals like mining stocks.

It’s best to talk to a lawyer or a qualified accountant to know where you stand before investing. If you sell them for a profit, the rate will be 28% or less. If you sell this at a loss, this will offset the capital gains you’re having.

Reporting and Privacy

One of the reasons investors love owning precious metals is that they tend to be confidential and private. These features can’t be said with other forms of investments nowadays. Generally, there are a lot of questions about these but here are some things that you may be interested to know:

The first thing is that there are two issues to consider regarding confidentiality and privacy. These are the processes of buying and selling. You can see more info about trading in gold in this link here. Most of the buyers in the US will often want a private transaction. Fortunately, there’s no need to report if you meet BOTH of these conditions:

1. Actual cash like certified checks, money orders, etc. are used to make the purchases

2. The transaction exceeds $10,000

In these two events, some dealers must file Form 8300 with the IRS. They may need to make Suspicious Activity Reports because of the Anti-Money Laundering rules and US Patriotic Act.

The transaction will be confidential, and most of the payments are encrypted on many sites. Others will not sell your information or email address to private or public agencies. Another exception is when you start selling silver or gold in your individual retirement account, this is going to trigger your custodian to make a required report on Form 5498. This is going to disclose your investments every year. This will enable the IRS to properly check for taxes and calculate what you owe at a specific withdrawal time.

What Happens When You Sell?

Owner Reporting

Suppose you decide to sell to a foreign buyer, the country’s laws where you made the sale will apply. There are two different reporting guidelines where the first applies to you, and the other is for the dealers.

When you’re going to sell in the United States for a profit, the laws will require you to report this as an income tax return regardless of the dealer’s obligation.

Dealer Reporting

In specific situations, the dealers may be required to file Form 1099-B to the IRS for the proceeds they have paid to a non-corporate seller. See more about Form 1099-B in this URL: This will help the IRS know whether the sellers have appropriately reported their income tax returns or not.

The International Council for Tangible Assets also has published several guidelines for the reports that need to be filed to the IRS for dealers. These are only guidelines and not a ruling, and they can be subject to change without notice or open to interpretation. As you would have likely known by now, most things are not generally black and white with the IRS, and it’s essential to check with the professionals for more information.

Things to Know About Jewelry

Silver and gold jewelry is considered to be collectible. So, if you decide to sell them, you’re going to be subjected to a maximum of 28% capital gains rate. The current laws do not generally require most dealers to report the sales, even if they involve 24K or 22K bullion-grade pieces.

This is another reason why so many people prefer jewelry: it’s attractive and a real, tangible asset that’s discreet. It also tends to reduce the hassle when you cross borders. Some bullion may attract special declarations that you need to file to the IRS. However, a gold necklace is just another accessory, and you won’t need to report it.