Guide to Taxation on Precious Metals

If you are a precious metal collector or investor, it is crucial to know how this type of investment affects taxes. You have to know the tax implications of owning and selling gold bullion or other physical precious metals. The tax regulations governing investments in actual gold, silver, platinum, or palladium will be thoroughly broken down in this extensive book.

Taxation of Physical Gold and Precious Metals Investments

The taxation of physical gold and silver investments is contingent upon the duration of ownership and the method of disposal. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) classifies these precious metals as capital assets, thereby making them subject to capital gains tax.

Follow this guide before you purchase from any dealers so you know about potential taxation.

Taxes on Precious Metals

Sales tax and capital gains tax are the two primary tax forms that apply to precious metals.

Revenue or Sales Tax

Purchasing goods and services, including precious metals, is subject to a sales tax. The sales tax on precious metals in the US is determined by the state in which the transaction takes place.

Precious metals are subject to sales tax in some states but not others. For instance, Texas does not charge sales tax on the purchase of precious metals.

Capital Gains Taxes

The income derived from the sale of an asset is subject to capital gain tax. The difference between the purchase and sale prices of precious metals is taxable as a capital gain.

The length of time you had the asset, your tax rate, and the type of metal you were selling are some factors that affect how much capital gains tax you owe.

Types of Capital Gain Taxes On Precious Metals Investments

If you hold onto actual gold or silver for less than a year before selling it, any profit is subject to normal income tax.

TypesLong-Term Capital Gains

Selling physical gold or silver after keeping it for more than a year will result in a profit that must be taxed at the long-term capital gain rate. The current long-term capital gains tax rate ranges from 0% to 20% depending on your income band. However, short-term gains on precious metals are taxed at ordinary income rates.

TypesCollectibles Tax

The IRS classifies physical gold, silver, and platinum coins, rounds, and bars as collectibles. You will pay a higher capital gains tax rate of 28% if you sell these assets at a profit after owning them for more than a year.

Types Tax-Deferred Accounts

In tax-deferred funds, such as Individual Retirement funds (IRAs), physical gold and silver can be held. By doing this, you can delay paying taxes on your income until the money is withheld. However, keeping precious metals in an IRA comes with particular guidelines and limitations.

Sales Tax On Precious Metals

Investors must think about the effects of sales taxes while buying silver investments. In most states, precious metals must pay taxes or sales tax just like any other retail purchase.

However, a few states have made precious metals sales tax exempt. As a result, different states have different sales tax rates, which can range from 0% to 10%.

Precious Metals Investment Tax-Friendly States

Are you interested in diversifying your financial holdings with bullion made of precious metals like gold and silver? It’s important to know which states will provide you with the best value for your money, though.

Fortunately, some states exclude you from paying taxes when you sell precious metals, while others may charge you a high tax rate.

However, be cautious of any potential tax repercussions if you’re looking to purchase precious metals in another state. Precious metals might be subject to up to 10% in state taxes, which will severely reduce your investment gains.

Precious Metals Tax Liability

It’s typical to wonder if taxes must be paid when selling bullion at a profit when making an investment in precious metals. To be clear, we shall go over the fundamental rules governing taxes on gold coins and other precious metals coins.

The classification of precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum as capital assets implies capital gains. Because the IRS views precious metals as collectibles for tax purposes, they may be liable to taxation at the higher collectible capital gains rate of 28%.

Understanding that capital gains taxes won’t be levied until the product is sold is crucial. So, for instance, if someone purchases 20 ounces of gold at $1000 per ounce, and the price of gold has since increased to $1,200 per ounce, but the gold is still in a depository, no capital gain has yet been realized.

Determining the COST BASIS, or the beginning price of the metals, is the key step in figuring out if a tax liability exists.

For instance, in the scenario from before, the cost base would be $20,000 or $1,000 per ounce multiplied by 20 ounces. An investor who decides to sell their metals at the current price of gold, which is $1200 per ounce, will make a profit of $200 for every 20 ounces sold. This amount equals a $4000 overall profit.

When Are Capital Gain Taxes Owed?

One’s annual tax report must include all pertinent information as well as any income from the sale of valuable metals. Each year, tax liabilities would be settled as well.

If an investor chooses to sell their precious metals at a price less than their original acquisition price, no capital gain will result. The investor will actually suffer a capital loss. Other capital gains made in the same tax year or in a subsequent one can offset this loss.

When using such a loss to offset normal income, there are some limitations and guidelines that must be followed; therefore, consulting with a certified public accountant or tax specialist is advised to ensure compliance.

To Sum Up: Avoid capital Gains Tax

The price of investing in or collecting precious metals can be greatly impacted by sales tax. People must do their homework and understand the repercussions of their purchases because state tax rates and laws vary greatly.

By making use of any exemptions or exceptions and effectively managing their costs, investors and collectors can maximize their returns and gain from owning precious metals. It is also vital to seek tax advice from a tax professional or experts.

Tim Schmidt


Tim Schmidt is an Entrepreneur who has covered retirement investing since 2012. He started IRA Investing to share his expertise in using his Self-Directed IRA for alternative investments. His views on retirement investing have been highlighted in USA Today, Business Insider, Tech Times, and more. He invested with Goldco.