Capital Gains Tax on Gold

Gold has been traded for a long time and is still considered a respectable trading medium.

It is one of the oldest precious metals, renowned for being easily accessible, reliable, and elegant. Owning physical gold investments is necessary, and this article will help you understand and minimize capital gains taxes if possible.

Bullion gold is now more popular than pure gold. Government-approved gold bars and coins have the weight and purity to make physical asset investments.

Gold has generated an annual average return of 12% since the early 2000s. However, its demand has increased by about 32% each year. Given that it is the most widely accepted form of funding, gold is one of the most sought-after precious metals on the market.

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What Are Gold Investments?

In 1933, Franklin Roosevelt enacted a restriction on owning gold to stabilize the economic and social development of the United States of America. Gold hoarding was prohibited since it slowed down the economy. 

Gold Coins and Bars

Gold bullion is the only precious metal available for investment at the moment. The purity of the metal must be 0.99 and 24 karats in weight. In the United States, gold coins have a standard weight of 1.1 oz. or one troy ounce. Other significant factors affect the spot price of gold.  

Markup amounts on gold coins may affect gold’s price and even raise it. With bullion bars, however, there is no option for markup value. They come in different sizes, approved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Closed-End Funds

Closed-end funds are for investment in their source in fixed quantities. These can be traded on a stock exchange and remain unaffected due to active management.

Gold Mutual Funds

Most mutual funds are expertly run and focus on mining stocks rather than physical gold and silver. They can get invested in other precious metals even though they are gold funds.

Gold-Traded Exchange Notes

Exchange-traded Notes are debt instruments exchanged for shares on the financial trading market. Despite not paying any interest, they are comparable to bonds and net assets. The ETNs must come in first to receive the funds.

However, financial firms will take their fees before giving investors a performance advantage. Investors in ETN may profit from an underlying index that has a longer maturity without purchasing precious metals.

Physical Gold Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

On a broad gold exchange, traded funds can be bought and sold. The investors might not be able to access the physical gold in this situation, and they won’t have to pay for storage, markup, or other expenses.

Gold Futures Contracts

A contract for the purchase or sale of gold at a set price, location, and time is known as a gold futures contract. They give investors the ability to leverage their positions, allowing tiny changes in the price of gold to result in significant gains or losses.

Stocks in Gold Mining

In the gold industry, mining stocks are well-known for their stable cash flow and status as investments backed by physical gold. Most mining stocks have probable reserves that are straightforward to assess. These make them excellent investment opportunities. The fact that mining companies have hundreds of deposits rather than just one prevents their value from collapsing.

Tax Implications for Selling Physical Precious Metals

Physical metals such as gold, silver, platinum, and others are called collectibles and capital assets by the Internal Service Revenue.

As a result, you will be subject to taxation of income tax and ordinary capital gains tax if you own precious metals such as gold or silver. Bullion coins, bars, rare coins, and ingots are subject to capital gains taxes. Capital gains tax will be due a year after you obtain the metals as part of your regular income tax.

You may be subject to short-term capital gains taxes if you buy and sell stocks, funds, and securities while investing in gold ETFs. On the other hand, the physical transfer of metal is taxed differently, unlike the earlier transaction.

The capital gains tax might be as high as 28% or equal to the marginal tax rate. Gains made quickly are subject to ordinary income tax.

Capital Gains Tax Advice

Precious metals, mainly collectibles, are subject to this capital gains tax. Gains from precious metals will be taxed as long-term capital gains if they exist for longer than a year. Gold retained for less than a year faces a tax treatment categorized as a short-term gains tax.

A maximum rate of 28% gets applied to long-term capital gains taxation. If you have a short-term capital gain, your annual taxes will be an ordinary income tax. You will also be subject to 28% capital gain taxes if your tax bracket is higher.

Short-Term Capital Gains & Long-Term Capital Gains Tax

Mining stocks and gold funds are considered securities, but precious metals ETFs and gold trusts are collectibles.

On the other hand, closed-ended mutual funds get traded as collectibles. You will only be subject to a tax rate of no more than 28% if you sell gold for a profit.

However, the rate will offset any capital gains if selling gold results in a loss. Gold and other precious metals get taxed according to their monetary value rather than their mass. If you sell the gold, your earnings will be subject to tax. The sale is handled like any other valued property for people thinking about selling gold jewelry. When you sell your gold, you will only be taxed on the capital gain. In other words, the new gold rate will be used to calculate capital gains.

Investing in securities and resources that don’t purchase actual gold is the greatest method to prevent this. Finding ETFs and funds that specifically state this approach in their investment is a particularly wise course of action. Investments in financial instruments such as futures contracts and options are not considered physical asset investments.

Calculation of the Taxes on Gold

Subtract the fair market value (FMV) from the purchase price to determine the current value of gold. Even if you inherit a gold item, you still need to figure out its original value, account for gains or losses, and multiply it by the current time. You will pay 28 dollars in taxes if your current rate is 200 dollars, your selling price is 200 dollars, and your capital gain is 100 dollars.

However, if you receive gold as a gift or through inheritance, your cost will be determined by its fair market value. As a result, you will not be obligated to pay taxes if you receive a gift of gold for which you did not get paid. More tax-deferred investment opportunities are available through passive foreign investment corporations or PFICs.

Reporting of Gold Transactions

The IRS should be notified of any gold transactions, and tax liabilities should be noted and filed on Schedule D Form 1040 on your income tax return as opposed to at the time of the transaction. Furthermore, the capital gains, losses, selling price, and other information relating to the gold transactions will be reported in Schedule D Form 1040. This category includes gold-backed securities such as shares, bonds, ETFs, and funds in addition to collectible gold.

However, sales of gold for more than $1,000 are eligible for rapid reporting. The 1099-B must be filed at the time of the transaction if $1,000 is sold in a year.

Avoid Capital Gains Tax on Gold

Here we include different strategies to start collecting and investing in gold if you’re seeking tax treatment liability or a tax-deferred method.

1031 Exchange

With this deal, you may put off paying taxes while investing your current profit in more gold. You will not be taxed on your transactions if they meet IRS requirements. As a result, you won’t pay taxes when you buy more gold; rather, you’ll only pay taxes when you sell it for cash.

Usually, you have 45 days after selling the previous investment to make this new one. If you sell gold, you would need to reinvest the proceeds in precious metals because the investment must be similarly positioned. Additionally, you must have a third party retain the funds because they become taxable the moment capital gains hit your account.

 Self-Directed Roth IRA

Retirement funds are excellent for investing with a tax advantage. You use after-tax money to operate a Roth IRA.

Additionally, you can invest in any form of precious metal using a self-directed IRA and use the payout as your retirement fund; for more details, read this guide to rolling over a gold IRA. Your earnings will be retained, and there won’t be any taxes due on withdrawals from Roth and precious metals IRAs. However, you must invest in gold bullion that is subject to IRS restrictions if you have an IRA.

—> Read more about gold IRAS.


High-quality gold output is getting harder to come by as demand for gold rises. Unlike natural gas and oil, the general availability of gold will not alter over time.

As a result, gold has not changed over the years and will keep doing so by only changing appearances. Since the price of gold does not change in response to global economic downturns, it has the most solid base.

Additionally, the cost of buying and selling gold is essentially the same. Between 2011 and 2013, gold prices once more experienced extreme fluctuations. Gold is therefore seen as a haven against inflation.

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Tim Schmidt


Tim Schmidt is an Entrepreneur who has covered retirement investing since 2012. He's also a published author, and his views on investing have been featured in USA Today, Tech Times, The Huffington Post, Nasdaq, and many more.