How Are Gold Investments Taxed?

Gold can be an asset in any portfolio. Its steady value makes it ideal for weathering market disruptions and diversifying holdings with precious metal investments.

But how are these investments taxed? Physical gold investments such as jewelry and coins are considered collectibles by the IRS, which means their taxes can reach as much as 28%.


Gold coins and bars are considered collectibles, so any profit earned from selling them are subject to an IRS maximum 28% rate when sold for profit. However, the IRS allows you to defer this gain by holding physical metals for more than a year without using leveraged investments like futures contracts; furthermore dealers who sell precious metals must submit a 1099-B form when selling large quantities at once in order to prevent tax evasion.

Precious metal ETF’s and mutual funds are securities, meaning any profits from their sale are taxed at a maximum rate of 20% capital gains tax for long-term holders (LTCG). Investment vehicles like IRA and 401k accounts provide tax relief. But be aware: even though federal taxes may not apply when using these vehicles to invest, price fluctuations still exist and these vehicles may not suit all investors – be sure to consult your tax advisor first – investing through ETFs linked to precious metals may provide more tax efficiency for high income taxpayers than physical gold investments.


Gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) offer an effective way of following its price movements, typically trading like stocks while offering lower costs than their stock counterparts. But investing in one that contains physical precious metals will result in higher taxes due to IRS definition of collectibles as being taxed differently than long-term capital gains.

ETFs that specialize in futures contracts rather than directly investing in metals circumvent this problem by not subjecting futures contracts to the 28% capital-gains tax on collectibles, nor to any retirement account’s prohibition of collectibles for reduced speculative risk; instead, these rules were amended in the late 1980s to permit precious metal investments within an IRA or 401(k).

Mutual Funds

Physical gold investment can be expensive, but an IRA offers investors an affordable way to purchase precious metals without incurring capital gains taxes. Gold-backed ETFs also help investors reduce investment costs as these large funds typically charge significantly less for insurance, storage and shipping than individual bullion dealers.

These funds purchase large quantities of physical gold and provide investors with shares, the value of which directly correlates to its price. When selling at a profit, ordinary income tax rates of up to 28% apply.

If you invest in physical gold outside an IRA, the IRS considers it to be a collectible, which means it is taxed at the same rate as art and rare stamps. By contrast, long-term capital gains on stocks held over one year are taxed at either 15% or 20% for high income taxpayers – creating significant discrepancies that may reduce profits significantly. Consult a tax expert on how best to minimize taxes for gold investments.


Gold can serve as an attractive refuge in times of financial or geopolitical turmoil, as it has historically preserved its value more reliably than many other investments. But as with any investment decision, it’s vital to understand all possible tax consequences before purchasing precious metals.

Physical gold and silver sales gains are subject to a maximum capital gains rate of 28%, considerably higher than the standard 15% long-term capital gains tax rate that most taxpayers face due to IRS regulations considering them collectibles rather than paper assets such as stocks.

investors investing in gold through mutual funds or ETFs avoid this tax problem, since the IRS considers these investments regular income for short-term holding periods and long-term capital gains for longer holdings – making these methods of investing far more tax efficient than purchasing physical gold and selling it later on.

Raymond Banks Administrator
Raymond Banks is a published author in the commodity world. He has written extensively about gold and silver investments, and his work has been featured in some of the most respected financial journals in the industry. Raymond\\\'s expertise in the commodities market is highly sought-after, and he regularly delivers presentations on behalf of various investment firms. He is also a regular guest on financial news programmes, where he offers his expert insights into the latest commodity trends.

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