Avoiding Taxes on Gold
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) treats gold and other precious metals as collectibles, applying a higher tax rate – typically 15%-20% depending on their holding period – than most investments.
There is no legal way around paying taxes when selling gold. But careful tax planning may help minimize what you owe.
1. Invest in ETFs
Recent years have witnessed gold ETFs become an increasingly popular investment option as investors search for safety during periods of increased stock market risk and volatility. But for new investors, the tax ramifications associated with such investments may come as an unpleasant surprise.
Physical gold investments differ significantly from stocks in that gains are subject to higher taxation at 28% as collectibles – equivalent to stamps, antiques and gems in U.S. tax law – which can significantly decrease after-tax returns by 13%.
There are ways you can avoid these high taxes by investing in ETFs instead of physical gold. First, select an ETF focused on precious metals rather than other commodities; secondly, make sure it’s an ETF and not an ETN; ETNs track commodity futures are taxed differently (K-1 forms must be issued), while ETFs that trade on an exchange use 1099s to report short- and long-term gains when selling shares.
2. Invest in Mutual Funds
Investment in precious metals entails costs beyond dealer markups, storage fees, and insurance; taxes can also be an expense when buying physical gold coins and bars. Depending on how your invest, your profits could be subject to capital gains taxes of up to 28% on profit gains made from gold purchases.
However, prudent tax planning can reduce your capital gains tax liability on gold and silver investments. Buying and selling in short time frames may help minimize taxes due, while using tax-advantaged accounts such as Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) to defer or avoid capital gains taxes is another effective method.
For additional tax savings when selling gold bullion or coins purchased from dealers who report their sales to the IRS, use their purchase price as your “cost basis.” This will significantly lower taxes due when selling these precious metals; so if investing in gold is something you are considering doing, consult with a financial advisor so as to maximize tax efficiency in your portfolio.
3. Invest in Exchange-Traded Funds
Gold has become increasingly popular as an investment due to rising inflation and geopolitical risks, but before investing, you must understand all associated tax implications.
The IRS recognizes physical gold quantities as collectibles and tax them at a maximum rate of 28%; however, with careful overall tax planning you may be able to reduce your gold tax liability and save on its tax bill.
One way to avoid paying high capital gains taxes on gold can be achieved by investing the proceeds of a sale into similar investments, which may significantly lower taxes. Before proceeding with such an endeavor, however, consult a financial advisor.
4. Invest in Investment Property
While taxes cannot be completely avoided, working with an expert financial advisor can help minimize them through smart investments and planning ahead to achieve financial goals like purchasing a home, saving for education or retirement.
If you own physical quantities of gold or precious metals and sell them at more than their initial purchase price, a capital gains tax must be paid as collectibles are subject to higher rates than traditional investments such as stocks.
However, investing in gold ETFs or mutual funds that hold physical gold bullion will incur taxes at the same rate as stocks; around 28%. Furthermore, you’ll pay dealer markups, storage fees, and management fees; however there may be ways around these expenses by investing in IRA-approved precious metals; alternatively you could take out a gold loan as another means of raising funds without selling your precious metals.
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