Gold IRS Reporting Requirements

    Profits or gains made upon liquidation of an investment has to be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) the same year in which they happen. Reporting to the IRS is usually taken care of automatically by the stock brokerage, bank or other investment firm. The person who owns the investment must then file his or her gains on the regular IRS income tax forms. The same way, the IRS demands that gains investors make from the sale of certain gold bullion and coin items be reported too, as you will find listed below.

    There has been and continues to be an immense amount of confusion about requirements of federal reporting when referring to the buying and selling of gold. Part of the dilemma results from the fact that it took the IRS an average of about seven years to publish regulations on gold reporting from the time the Tax required them. Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act. Many gold brokers themselves have an incomplete understanding of the regulations and have given the wrong information to investors in gold. It took some years of negotiations between the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA) and the IRS to be able to publish the specific regulations.

    Below are reportable items which are listed by the Internal Revenue Service. You will also see the threshold number of ounces that triggers the need to file a report to the IRS. Take note that the reporting requirement only happens when you sell, not when you buy.

    Reportable Transactions

    • Gold bars: any combination 32.15 ounces or more
    • South African Krugerrands: 25 ounces or more
    • Canadian Maple Leafs: 25 ounces or more
    • Mexican Onzas: 25 ounces or more
    • Silver bars: 1,000 ounces or more
    • Pre-1965 US 90-percent silver coins: 1000 dollar face value or more
    • Platinum bars: 25 ounces or more

    More than one selling transaction angered in for this purpose of circumventing the reporting laws will be treated as one single transaction. This includes transactions by two or more members of the same family. The report also demands the Social Security number of the seller. ICTA warns the following: “this information is provided to assist you and is not intended to be used by you as the sole guideline for complying with these regulations. You should consult your own tax professional... While a stricter interpretation of the regulations is possible, ICTA believes the above guidelines... fulfill the spirit of the negotiations and the intent of the Internal Revenue Service.”

    Even though gold coins are not listed in the Reportable Transactions, and are now exempt from reporting, we can not give you any guarantee that they will still be exempt in the future. As a matter of fact, since the intent of the law is to raise revenue, it is very possible that coins which are not on the list now will be added to the list in future regulations, especially if the price of gold goes up. It is also possible that the amount of coins required for the reporting threshold will be reduced as the price of gold rises for the same reason. Notice that from the point of view of the United States Treasury, this is an issue of revenue. Last, even though historic items like pre-1933 European and United States gold coins are exempted from the reporting requirement, that doesn’t mean you can escape paying taxes on your gains. You must still pay your taxes, it is your responsibility, whether the item falls into a reportable category or not.

    To summarize, the laws and regulations on gold reporting are complicated and lengthy. If you have doubts, the most advisable thing to do is to always discuss the topic with a tax consultant.