How is GLD Taxed in IRA?

Precious metals can add some glimmer to retirement funds, but should remain a minor component. Their gains from ETFs that trade precious metals are subject to the highest 28% capital-gains tax rate applicable to collectibles.

IRS rules permit Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) to invest in physical gold and silver coins that meet purity standards, but the metal must be secured and stored properly at an authorized depository.

Precious Metals ETFs

Precious metal ETFs offer an easy and cost-effective way to diversify your IRA portfolio, but you should be mindful of a few unique tax considerations when investing. This may include capital gains tax on ETF sales, qualifying for long-term capital gains rates, complying with wash sale regulations, as well as meeting essential reporting requirements.

Many precious metals ETFs track the performance of publicly traded companies that mine, refine and trade precious metals like gold. Their value therefore rises and falls with those they own but doesn’t fluctuate linearly like traditional stocks and bonds would.

Investment of precious metals through an IRA requires careful planning, so it is wise to consult with a tax professional or trusted financial advisor in order to meet your investment goals and take full advantage of any tax advantages. Working closely together and meeting with them regularly can help you realize your retirement savings goals while potentially reaping tax advantages along the way.

Physical Gold

Physical gold investment is ineligible for an IRA account due to IRS rules which forbid owning collectibles before reaching their required distribution age. A retail investor who purchases shares of a gold ETF, however, is considered the owner of an asset representing price performance of certain quantities of yellow metal.

GLD, the world’s largest exchange-traded fund backed by 40.8 million ounces of physical gold bullion, attracts many investors looking for exposure to this precious metal and protection against currency debasement or inflation. But others may prefer purchasing physical metal directly, according to Suzanne Hutchins of Newton Investment Manager’s Global Fund and Real Return Team within BNY Mellon (Newton IMT).

No matter if an IRA owner purchases gold through physical products or an ETF, if they hold onto it for more than one year the IRS views it as collectible and can incur significant penalties if purchased prior to reaching distribution age.


When investing in precious metals, investors should select an established custodian who provides transparent fees and can even provide a list of reliable dealers.

Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) linked to ownership rights of collectibles could trigger taxes and penalties if held within an IRA account, according to an IRS notice. Investors should consult with a Self-Directed IRA specialist before purchasing NFTs linked to such collectibles for inclusion within an IRA account.

The IRS doesn’t consider metal coins and bullion collectibles; however, ETFs that track a metal’s price as such when sold as they represent ownership in physical metal rather than just contracts to buy and sell futures contracts.

An individual selling collectibles in their IRA will be taxed at the top 28% capital-gains rate; however, their original purchase cost may be applied toward future payments from their IRA.


Concerns have been expressed regarding investing in physical precious metal coins and bullion for an IRA could be considered collectibles, making withdrawal taxable upon withdrawal. To circumvent this issue, investors can invest in an ETF that tracks a specific precious metal’s price – this way they avoid any potential tax issues with this form of investing.

However, the IRS still considers an IRA an individual retirement account and uses this statutory scheme to ensure IRAs are used for their intended purposes without becoming spent prior to retirement. Furthermore, law mandates an IRA custodian or trustee who will hold any assets belonging to an IRA owner (such as gold) while providing proper record-keeping.

McNulty created a self-directed IRA and hired Check Book IRA LLC as her custodian. Check Book assisted McNulty in setting up Green Hill Holdings LLC as her initial member; McNulty then became its manager. Green Hill then purchased American Eagle coins using funds transferred by Check Book; these coins were shipped directly to Green Hill Holdings for storage in McNulty’s safe.

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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