Below bullion buyers can learn about current US based bullion dealer IRS reporting rules. Not only when selling bullion but also when buying bullion.
As well too, get a general understanding as to what federal US tax laws of the land, mean for silver and gold taxes and current US Congressional efforts ongoing to change them.
I’m no tax professional.
Not one of us here is a tax pro.
Consult your own.
I work in the bullion industry and have years of anti-money laundering (AML) training under my belt.
Hence I can do my best here to shed some light on this often misinformed matter. Perhaps bookmark this page, you’ll need a good 10 to 15 minutes to consume and fully understand it.
Within this post, I’ll attempt to better illustrate current US based bullion dealer IRS precious metal reporting requirements as taught to me via ICTA and various AML consultants.
This post pertains to anyone doing bullion business in the USA, and for bullion selling US citizens wherever you may reside.
Laws of the land are indeed made by humans. They can and do often change over time, nothing is set and fixed forever.
Efforts are being made in the US Congress to change laws, but for now take heed.
Here is a brief intro on the matter to begin with.
Gold Reporting (Silver, Platinum, Palladium) to the IRS
You can find a handy Gold Reporting InfoGraphic below illustrating IRS reporting matters.
The main two topics covered are:
(#1) which payment methods / quantities remain private when buying your bullion from US based bullion dealers.
(#2) which bullion products and what quantity sizes are reported to the IRS via their 1099-B form when sold back to US based bullion dealers.
Learn why many of these current payment and bullion reporting rules exist (e.g. combatting money laundering, tax evasions, and precedent stemming from old CFTC statutes).
Of course this topic mainly deals with private bullion transactions, private US citizen to US based bullion dealer and vice versa.
There are some exceptions on the tax and reporting side, if you are using a Bullion IRA.
If you reside outside the USA, often many similar AML statues will pertain to you too. As for bullion taxes in your local jurisdiction, consult your foreign tax pro.
Below is an illustration and infographic on US based bullion dealer IRS reporting rules according to our knowledge today.
How to Sell Gold Without Paying Taxes?
Take a loss.
Buy high, sell low.
It’s certainly a smart ass answer.
But it’s the general truth at the moment.
Physical bullion IRA tax exceptions aside. In general, if a US citizen sells bullion for more than they bought it for, the IRS will want it’s cut of the profits.
Render to the IRS, that which is the IRS’.
What was the cost basis on the bullion you sold?
If your cost basis was lower than what you sold your bullion for, a portion of the profit goes to the IRS.
EXAMPLE: I bought this silver in 2008 for $12 oz. I just sold it for $15 oz. The IRS is going to want its cut of the $3 profit.
Same holds true for any precious metal and or other ‘collectible’. And yes paper bugs, same rules apply even in some annual fee charging surreal ETF proxy, not just bullion alone.
Now dumbed down misinformation abounds online, so chances are high you have seen people generalize things. Often claiming bullion is taxed at a 28% rate. Although they often forget to attach the word ‘maximum’ to that claim.
Currently you have to be making over $155k a year as a single tax filer, or over $300k year filed jointly, to be taxed that highly on your bullion profits.
Median US citizens makes about $60k per year, so average people selling bullion for a profit will likely be in a federal tax bracket lower than 28%.
How to Avoid Gold Taxes?
If you don’t like current US federal tax statues, you have a few options I suppose.
Perhaps you will never sell your bullion. Yea, you could just give it away to loved ones, bypassing bullion or gold taxes and fall quietly into death’s arms.
Dark humor aside. More than likely, that is not the vast majority of bullion stacker’s plans or those of you reading this, so let’s move on.
Maybe you’ll lose your bullion in a boating accident. Although kind of kidding here, somehow that reoccurring joke still gets copied and pasted in all precious metal forums everywhere, and at all times. It is such a great joke, people have to explicitly ask what it even means.
I know, I know.
You’ll just give up your US citizenship and sovereign man to foreign lands. You’ll find a country which won’t tax your bullion sales profits somewhere, someday.
Bon voyage and good luck.
Congressional Bill to end Silver Taxes, Gold Taxes, Bullion Taxes
Maybe you’ll rally around a Congressional House Bill that somehow passes and reestablishes US citizen’s ability to use and or sell specific gold and silver bullion items, without having to consult their tax professionals in the process.
Of course you could buy, hold, and then perhaps sell bullion in your IRA for a profit, while often simultaneously protecting yourself against potential lawsuits. Indeed with Traditional bullion IRAs or Roth IRAs, until you actually begin withdrawing funds from the IRA itself, your profits from your bullion sales can then of course be used to buy and invest in other qualified IRA investment assets and asset classes if you so choose.
Gold Tax Loss Write Off
Taking a loss on precious metals and or bullion sales can be painful no doubt, but it can also be softened by taking some tax write offs as a result.
You can currently write off up to $3,000 USD per year against other capital gains and as well carryover additional losses into subsequent years to come based on the current IRS website. Again consult your tax pro, not this post nor my amateur tax research.
At these historically low precious metal values, many readers are likely sitting on some theoretical fiat losses if they were forced to indeed sell some bullion at the moment.
Sure you might have to sell some bullion today for emergency saving$.
Or perhaps you are a selling someone, who short term speculated with the wrong asset class and timeframe (e.g. 40:40 in the podcast, and by late 2015 silver spot was around what it is today, $14 oz).
In my opinion, most bullion stackers today, should not be net sellers of bullion for other asset classes until commodity values rise while other asset classes and currency bubbles come back down to reality.
Average investors are still damn clueless about bullion and the reasons one should always have some capital allocated in bullion. They’ll be the ones you perhaps sell some to if you so choose at higher valuations.
Gearing Up for the 2020s & Beyond Bubbles
Simply owning prudent bullion allocations for the longterm makes common sense especially today.
See it for what it is. A longterm wealth insurance, and a speculative asset class which has and can indeed outperform all others again.
When bullion and physical precious metals get over valued versus other asset classes simply sell some. Then reallocate and move the proceeds elsewhere, of course after taxes.
Good luck, and see you in the comment sections.
About the Author
James Anderson has both worked and invested in the physical investment grade bullion markets beginning prior to the 2008 global financial crisis. He has a BA in finance from Loyola University New Orleans.