Can You Claim Losses on Gold?

Gold has become increasingly attractive as an investment option over recent years, as investors seek protection against inflation and geopolitical risk. But investing in gold may come with significant tax implications.

The IRS taxes physical gold and other precious metals as collectibles at a 28% long-term capital gains tax rate; most other investments have lower long-term rates of taxation; however, with proper planning capital gains taxes can be minimized on gold investments.

Cost basis

Gold bullion investments can provide protection from inflation, geopolitical risk and the threat of recession; however, tax nuances should be taken into account before investing. Dealer markups, storage fees and management costs all affect your return.

Investors may wish to consider purchasing gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs). These investments function like stocks in that they trade on stock exchanges and incur taxes at the same rate. ETFs also provide storage and insurance convenience.

Selling gold coins and bars to an IRS-recognized collector qualifies them for long-term capital gains tax of 28%; if selling other collectibles like American Gold Eagle coins that don’t appear specifically listed as collectibles you may also face ordinary income taxes and be taxed if sold through bullion dealers.

Capital gains

As with any investment, when considering gold investing, it’s essential to keep taxes in mind. The IRS considers physical gold investments to be collectibles and taxes them at a maximum rate of 28%, much higher than the 15% or 20% long-term capital gains tax rates typically applied to most other assets.

Physical gold’s taxable profit is calculated using the sales price minus its cost basis, which typically comprises its initial purchase price plus any storage and transport expenses incurred after acquisition. An inheritance or gift that results in receiving physical gold can also be treated as a sale subject to capital gain tax rates.

To effectively mitigate taxes on gold investments, it’s best to invest in exchange-traded funds (ETFs). ETFs offer lower fees for insurance, storage and shipping than individual coins do and they’re more liquid; you can easily sell them quickly so as to avoid paying costly capital gains taxes.


When selling physical gold assets like coins and bars, the Internal Revenue Service taxes your profits as collectibles. They calculate these gains by taking the total sales price minus your cost basis – this amount was originally paid when purchasing and storing the gold – from receipts or invoices; you may be able to offset gains through losses in other investments as well. An ideal way of investing in gold would be through exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that trade at a modest premium or discount relative to net asset value with no storage fees and shipping charges associated with ownership costs associated with storage, insurance costs etc.

One popular way of investing in gold is through futures contracts or options, which involve agreements to buy or sell specific quantities and qualities of metal at specific prices. Such investments are taxed at either 15% or 20% long-term capital gains rates; however, their total annual costs could reduce after-tax returns significantly.


Gold investors must keep meticulous records of their transactions and consult with a tax expert when purchasing or trading gold bullion coins, since profits generated through selling gold are subject to a maximum capital gains tax rate of 28%. There are ways of mitigating this tax burden such as buying/selling at various times during the year or investing in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with physical quantities of gold.

Though selling precious metal investments for less than you paid can be frustrating, the IRS allows you to write off losses as capital assets on your income tax return and use them either against reported capital gains or as deductions against other income. Furthermore, you can roll proceeds from sold investments directly into another similar one without incurring tax obligations; but do this within 45 days after selling!

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