How Do I Report the Sale of Gold on My Tax Return?

If you make a profit when selling precious metals, the IRS requires that this transaction be reported on your tax return. In this article we’ll go over guidelines for calculating this tax liability as well as ways to minimize exposure through smart overall tax planning strategies.

The Internal Revenue Service classifies gold bullion coins and bars as collectibles similar to art or rare stamps; accordingly, these assets are subject to a maximum tax rate of 28%.


If you trade reportable bullion coins, the IRS requires that you abide by specific reporting requirements to maintain financial system integrity and prevent illegal activities such as money laundering. These requirements serve to maintain system integrity while combatting illegal activities like money laundering.

Precious metal dealers must report any cash payments of $10,000 or more made in a single transaction. This measure allows governments to monitor significant commodity exchanges.

As part of accurate reporting, accurate records are essential. Along with sales receipts and valuation appraisals for any inherited or gifted precious metals, dealers must also provide valuation appraisals. Individual investors may qualify for tax deductions or credits depending on the nature and structure of their investment; it is therefore recommended to consult a qualified tax professional so you can file your return with complete confidence.


Purchase of precious metals should be treated like any investment and its profits subject to taxation. Determining your cost basis is critical for accurately reporting the sale of coins or bullion and may help avoid penalties from authorities. Consult an accountant experienced with reporting precious metals sales for guidance on reporting compliance and penalties.

Dealers selling gold may need to file an IRS Form 1099-B form when reporting sales to the IRS, in order for the tax agency to monitor non-corporate sellers of precious metals and prevent potential tax evasion or money laundering schemes. Cash payments of $10,000 or greater are reported on this form, while traveler’s checks, cashier’s checks, money orders or bank wires do not count as cash.


Just like with bars and rounds, customers who sell coins may need to file Form 1099-B according to IRS reporting requirements for reportable transactions. The guidelines are determined through discussions between ICTA and IRS so aren’t black and white decisions.

Typically, gold coin sales or exchanges listed on the IRS “Reportable Items List” need to be reported; these coins include bullion and numismatic coins. Some dealers and pawnshops may need to report any sales that exceed $10,000; good dealers will ensure your private information remains confidential while still remaining compliant with tax law; your taxable gain will be equal to the difference between selling price and cost basis.

Bars and Rounds

No matter the form or purpose, all investors in precious metal coins or bars must report their profits accurately when filing their tax return. By adhering to ICTA guidelines and your dealer’s reporting requirements, your tax liability can be minimized significantly.

Maintaining accurate records and seeking guidance from a tax expert are essential in calculating the cost basis of gold investments and capital gains tax liabilities, in turn helping you maximize deductions and decrease overall tax liabilities.

If you sell physical gold, such as 1-oz Krugerrands or American Silver Eagles in quantities of twenty-five or more, a 1099-B must be filed with the IRS – this includes sales paid with cash, check or electronic commerce payments.


Gold investors holding bullion for longer than one year can avoid high profit tax by following certain regulations and practices, such as maintaining detailed records and documentation and claiming selling expenses as deductions to reduce their taxable amount.

Dealers must submit Form 1099-B with the IRS when customers sell items on its Reportable Items List for amounts exceeding $10,000, so as to keep an eye on large precious metal transactions and prevent money laundering schemes. Coins like 1-oz Gold Maple Leaves, Krugerrands and Mexican Onzas fall onto this list as do bars over 1,000 troy ounces; some bullion pieces however are exempt from reporting requirements regardless of quantity sold.

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