How Do I Avoid Capital Gains Tax When Selling Silver?

How do I avoid capital gains tax when selling silver

Precious metals are considered capital assets, so any profits generated from their sale are subject to tax rates similar to that of regular income; however, such profits do not fall under payroll taxes such as FICA that would otherwise be withheld from an employee’s paycheck.

Sales of physical gold and silver coins, rounds, or bars must be reported to the IRS using Form 1099-B and your tax liability will need to be estimated accordingly. There may be ways of minimizing this liability though.


As precious metals are considered capital assets by the IRS, any profits derived from selling them must be reported and taxed at the same rate as paper investments (with a maximum rate of 28%); it would be wise to consult a financial professional that specializes in precious metals before making any buying or selling decisions to ensure your strategy matches up with your tax status.

As part of your tax liability calculation, the initial step should be calculating your cost basis of metals purchased; this information will allow you to determine your yearly taxes due based on how long they were held and your income tax bracket.

Reporting sales of precious metals requires filing Form 1099-B with the IRS when selling items with a face value greater than $1,000, such as U.S. 90% silver dimes, quarters and half dollars or gold coins with more than 1,000 troy ounces in face value. You may also need to file Form 8300 as cash transactions of over $10,000 are reported in order to prevent money laundering and other illegal activities.


Silver investments can provide a passive source of income that’s both rewarding and convenient, yet it’s essential that investors understand the tax ramifications and reporting requirements associated with buying and selling precious metals. Carlsbad-based First National Bullion and Coin’s experts offer guidance that can help investors avoid potential penalties.

Tax calculations begin with the original purchase cost basis for precious metals. Once that figure has been established, the IRS will subtract sale prices from that cost basis in order to ascertain your profit or any costs incurred from having coins appraised added onto it. Furthermore, capital losses on other collectibles could help offset gains for that year.

Physical precious metals in the US are subject to capital gains tax at their individual investor’s marginal tax rate; however, silver’s taxes tend to be lower than other assets and investors can use previous year capital loss carryover to defray these costs.

Cost basis

Many investors may not realize that precious metal coins and bullion sold when selling are subject to capital gains taxes, which measure any increase in value relative to when purchased initially. You can avoid paying this tax by reinvested your profits into another similar investment vehicle.

Physical gold and silver sales profits in the US are typically taxed as long-term capital gains, which may range from 0%-20% depending on your income bracket. By comparison, paper investments such as stocks or bonds are subject to ordinary income rates of taxation.

There are exceptions to this rule, however. You may be able to sidestep paying taxes if you gift precious metals inherited from an ancestor to family members without incurring tax consequences; but please consult a professional before taking this route as they will help calculate the cost basis accurately and provide expert guidance in this matter.


When selling silver bullion, your tax liability depends on its cost basis – that is, how much it cost initially when purchasing precious metals from you. Therefore it is vitally important that when selling silver you keep track of purchase and sale receipts as well as consult a tax professional when selling.

Although most of us understand the need to report sales of precious metals, many may not know exactly how. Reporting purchases helps avoid paying capital gains taxes and is beneficial whether selling coins or bullion.

In the US, precious metals are classified as collectibles and subject to a 28% long-term capital gains tax, with several exemptions such as those for heirlooms, investments and transactions exceeding certain purity levels. Capital losses from other collectibles may help offset your tax liability; you can even carry forward losses and use loss carry forward to reduce what you owe in subsequent years.

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