American gold bullion coin investors regained the "right" to own gold bullion on December 31, 1974, by an act of Congress.
At the moment, American Gold Eagles are the #1 selling coins in the United States. Krugerrands, although no longer strongly marketed in the U.S., still remain the second most popular coins and one of the most popular worldwide. Canadian Maple Leafs are a distant third but are becoming more popular with each passing day and we see China Panda and the Australia Kangaroo gaining in popularity as well.
Tax Reporting Requirements for Bullion Transactions
The information provided herein is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as financial or tax advice. Please consult your tax professional for advice regarding your individual financial or tax situation.
There are two circumstances in which precious metals dealers are legally obligated to report consumer transactions to the IRS:
- When a consumer sells reportable quantities of specific bullion or coins; and
- When a consumer buys goods from a dealer and pays $10,000 or more in cash for the goods.
The former is a tax issue and will be discussed below. The latter is an anti-money laundering issue and is follows below Form 1099-B information.
When a consumer sells a reportable quantity of specific bullion or coins, precious metals dealers are required to file Form 1099-B with the IRS. Failure to follow reporting requirements can result in the IRS issuing monetary fines, or even criminal charges against both the precious metal dealer and the customer.
It is Scarsdale Coin’s policy to file Form 1099-B in accordance with IRS guidelines for all reportable transactions. Please be advised that while Scarsdale Coin is required to provide certain information about our customers, these details remain strictly confidential between us and the IRS; at no point will any third party have access to their private information.
The 1099 series is a set of forms used to report various types of income other than wages, salaries and tips. They allow the IRS to prevent tax evasion by keeping track of individuals who may be selling assets as a source of income. Form 1099-B (Proceeds from Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions) is the IRS form that lists gains or losses for certain kinds of consumer transactions. In the context of precious metal transactions, dealers are required to fill out a 1099-B form when a customer sells them any of the products mentioned in the IRS's Reportable Items List according to the predetermined reportable quantities. The reporting criteria varies according to the particular coin or bullion piece sold
Bars and Rounds
The reporting criteria for bars and rounds sales by customers are primarily determined by the purity and the quantity of the individual products. However, this criterion differs for each kind of precious metal.
For sales of gold bars and rounds to be considered reportable, every individual piece of bullion must have a fineness of at least .995 and the total purchase quantity must be 1 kilo (32.15 troy ounces) or more.
Similarly, for sales of silver bars and rounds to warrant reporting, each silver piece needs to possess a fineness of at least .999 with a total purchase quantity of 1,000 troy ounces or more.
Lastly, sales of palladium and platinum bars or rounds require the smallest qualifying quantities of 100 troy ounces and 25 troy ounces, respectively. The fineness restriction for both metals is .9995.
When compared to bars and rounds, the reporting criteria for coin sales by customers are slightly more straightforward since the restrictions are so specific. There are only a few coins that are required to be reported to the IRS. Reportable coins include the following:
- 1 oz Gold Maple Leaf (minimum of 25 coins)
- 1oz Gold Krugerrand Coins (minimum of 25 coins)
- 1 oz Gold Mexican Onza (minimum of 25 coins)
- US coin composed of 90% silver (i.e., pre-1964 silver coins)
We are required by law to report any sales of the above-mentioned gold coins, in which more than 25 pieces have been sold. We are required to report sales of 90% silver content US coins that exceed a face value of $1,000, as well as any sales of the previously mentioned gold coins, in which more than 25 pieces have been sold.
There are, of course, a number bullion products that are exempt from reporting, regardless of the quantities that a customer sells. Such pieces include, but are not limited to gold coins with fractional denominations; Gold or Silver American Eagle Coins; any pieces of foreign currency that were not explicitly mentioned in the IRS's Reportable Items List, as well as pieces of US currency that were created subsequent the list's creation in the 1980's.
The discussion which follow about cash reporting, IRS Form 8300, and bank reporting are for editorial purposes only and should not be relied on as the definitive and final word. Persons involved in cash transactions should consult their attorney or accountant for specific advice relating to their own situation(s).
Often, coin firms will make "silly" claims that the coins they offer are not subject to "reporting."
Such statements thus imply that the government requires gold transactions be reported.
However, no government regulations require the reporting of the purchases of any precious metals, per se.
If payment is made by cash greater than $10,000, however, it becomes a "cash reporting transaction." It is not the gold that the government wants reported but the cash. Such reporting applies to all business transactions involving more than $10,000 cash.
Regarding all cash transactions, Official General Instructions for IRS Form 8300 read: "Who Must File. - Each person engaged in a trade or business who, during that trade or business, receives more than $10,000 in cash in one transaction or two or more related transactions must file Form 8300. Any transactions conducted between a payer (or its agent) and the recipient in a 24-hour period are related transactions.
This regulation applies to cash - greenbacks, paper money. It does not apply to personal checks, wire transfers, or money market withdrawals. Howwever when cashier's checks or money orders are involved, cash reporting may be triggered.
Form 8300's General Instructions define as cash "a cashier's check, bank draft, traveler's check, or money order having a face amount of not more than $10,000." Using a cashier's check less than $10,000 would be a "cash transaction," but it would not be reportable because it is less than $10,000. However, two cashier's checks, each less than $10,000 but totaling more than $10,000 for a single purchase, would be considered cash and subject to reporting.
For example: If an investor makes a $15,000 investment in gold and pays with a single $15,000 cashier's check, it is not reportable. If, however, he pays with two or more cashier's checks each less than $10,000, the dealer would be obligated to report.
Cash reporting requirements were not written specifically for the precious metals industry but for all businesses. The purchase of a home, boat, or diamond watch, and payment with two cashier's checks, each less than $10,000 but totaling more than $10,000, would be a reportable transaction.
Another example: an investor agrees to buy precious metals totaling more than $10,000, again say $16,000, and wants to make payments with money from two accounts. If the investor withdraws $9,000 from the first account and gets a cashier's check, and then gets another cashier's check for $7,000 from the second account, the transaction becomes reportable. A purchase of $40,000 and payment with two $20,000 cashier's checks would not be a reportable transaction. The significant amount is $10,000.
Personal checks or checks drawn on the payer's own account are not considered cash. Form 8300's General Instructions read: "Cash does not included a check drawn on the payer's own account, such as a personal check, regardless of the amount. "
Form 8300's General Instructions say "Transactions are considered related even if they occur over a period of more than twenty-four hours if the recipient knows, or has reason to know, that each transaction is one of a series of connected transactions." For example, if an investor agrees to buy $25,000 in gold but makes installment payments with cash in amounts less than $10,000, the purchase would be reportable.
It is often erroneously thought that banks report to the government all personal checks more than $10,000. Banks do not. But, a cash transaction exceeding $10,000 requires a bank to fill out and file a Cash Transaction Report (CTR). A cash deposit more than $10,000 to any bank or other financial institution account by an individual possibly would be reported.
However, purchases of cashier’s checks with cash for amounts $3,000 to $10,000 require banks to complete Monetary Instrument Reports (MIRs). (Some banks call them Monetary Instrument Logs.) MIRs are not filed with the government but are records that enable banks to help comply with cash reporting requirements. It is not clear when a MIR requires the completion and filing of a CTR, but an individual regularly purchasing cashier’s checks between $3,000 and $10,000 would probably be reported.
If a business reports a cash transaction, the customer will know it. Form 8300 requires name, address, citizenship, and social security number. It also asks for method of identification, driver's license, passport, etc. Additionally, Form 8300's General Instructions call for anyone filing a Form 8300 to "provide a written statement to each person named in a required Form 8300 on or before January 31 of the year following the calendar year in which the cash is received."
Finally, Form 8300 General Instructions has a box to be marked if the transactions appear "suspicious." The box can be marked for transactions less than $10,000 if the recipient believes the purchaser is trying to avoid cash reporting.
No one wants any red flags at the IRS. Unscrupulous coin dealers know this and use it to avert clear thinking; they use the threat of "reporting" to raise investor fear. This enables them to sell overpriced coins. Investors justify higher prices by thinking they are getting "non-reportable gold." No investor need be taken advantage of this way.
Customer sales to dealers of certain precious metals exceeding specific quantities call for reporting to the IRS on 1099B forms. The 1099B forms are similar to other 1099 forms taxpayers commonly receive; the "B" means they have been issued by a business other than a financial entity.
Reportable sales (again, customer sales made to dealers) apply to 1-oz Gold Maple Leafs, 1-oz Krugerrands, and 1-oz Mexican Onzas in quantities of twenty-five or more in one transaction. Reporting requirements do not apply to American Gold Eagles, no matter the quantities. Furthermore, reporting requirements do not apply to any fractional ounce gold coins.
Only one common silver product is reportable when sold: pre-1965 U.S. coins. The quantity that causes the filing of a 1099B, however, is not clear. The IRS bases its authority to require reporting on CFTC-approved contracts that call for the delivery of $10,000 face value. Consequently, many dealers do not report sales of pre-1965 U.S. coins unless the sale totals $10,000 face value; some others do report $1,000 sales.
Sales of American Silver Eagles, privately-minted Silver Eagles, and 100-oz silver bars are not reportable, no matter the quantity. Other precious metals products are reportable, but we have not covered them here because the average investor likely does not trade them.
Most investors have no first-hand knowledge of these matters; consequently, when precious metals dealers talk about cash reporting, 8300 forms, or 1099s, investors are unable to know that they may not be hearing the whole story. Wanting to avoid the government knowing about their precious metals investments, many investors are delighted to learn that their purchases will not be reported and end up buying overpriced coins.
Here is a beginner's guide to investing in silver and gold bullion:
- Do your research. Before you buy any silver or gold bullion, it's important to do your research and understand the market. You should research the different types of silver and gold bullion available, the current spot prices, and the different ways to buy and sell bullion.
- Choose a reputable dealer. When you're ready to buy silver or gold bullion, it's important to choose a reputable dealer. There are many dealers out there, so it's important to do your research and find one that you trust.
- Store your bullion safely. Once you've bought silver or gold bullion, it's important to store it safely. You can store your bullion in a safe deposit box, at home in a safe place, or with a third-party storage company.
- Track your investment. It's important to track your investment in silver and gold bullion. This will help you to understand how your investment is performing and make informed decisions about when to buy and sell.
- Be patient. Investing in silver and gold bullion is a long-term investment. It's important to be patient and not expect to get rich overnight. The value of silver and gold bullion can fluctuate over time, but over the long term, they have been a good investment.
Here are some additional tips for investing in silver and gold bullion:
- Diversify your portfolio. It's important to diversify your portfolio when investing in silver and gold bullion. This means investing in different types of silver and gold bullion, as well as other types of investments.
- Rebalance your portfolio. It's also important to rebalance your portfolio on a regular basis. This means selling some of your silver and gold bullion if the value has gone up, and buying more if the value has gone down.
- Stay informed. It's important to stay informed about the latest news and developments in the silver and gold bullion market. This will help you to make informed decisions about when to buy and sell.
Investing in silver and gold bullion can be a good way to diversify your portfolio and protect your wealth from inflation. However, it's important to do your research, choose a reputable dealer, and store your bullion safely.
The best silver and gold products to buy will vary depending on your individual needs and preferences. However, some of the most popular silver and gold products include:
- Bullion coins: Bullion coins are a popular way to invest in silver and gold. They are available in a variety of denominations and designs, and they can be purchased from a variety of dealers.
- Bars: Silver and gold bars are another popular way to invest in these metals. They are available in a variety of sizes and weights, and they can be purchased from a variety of dealers. When choosing a silver or gold product to buy, it is important to consider the following factors:
- Price: The price of silver and gold can fluctuate over time, so it is important to consider the current price of these metals before making a purchase.
- Quality: The quality of silver and gold can vary, so it is important to buy silver and gold products from a reputable dealer.
- Storage: Silver and gold products should be stored in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box or a home safe.