Sergio Martin Rubio  3 mins read.

Navigating Capital Gains Taxes on Precious Metals

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The IRS and other government bodies consider physical gold, silver, or platinum as assets for capital gains tax purposes, meaning they’re taxed when you sell them for a profit.

In most countries, the capital gain tax is only owed after the sale is made. The capital gain or loss is calculated by subtracting the sale price from the acquisition cost. When it comes to gifts or inheritances, the calculation of capital gain is based on the market value.

Capital gains are typically taxed at a lower rate than earned income. However, in countries like the US, if you 📈sell precious metals in less than 12 months, the IRS considers this a short-term capital gain and taxes it as ordinary income. This might result in paying higher taxes. For example, if you have a job that pays you $70,000 and you sell gold at a net gain of $10,000 within 12 months of its purchase, your total taxable income will be $80,000 for the year.

Smart tax planning is important. In some countries, you can deduct losses from selling precious metals from your taxes. This lets you balance gains from other investments, like stocks, with losses from selling gold or silver.


Collectibles may have their own tax rules and consequences. It’s important to check whether your precious metals are considered collectibles or not. In the US, 📌the IRS defines collectibles as gold, silver, platinum, palladium, and coins that are NOT:

  • Certain gold, silver, or platinum coins described in 📜31 USC Section 5112.
  • Any coin issued under the laws of any state.
  • Any gold, silver, platinum, or palladium bullion of a certain fineness if a bank or approved non-bank trustee keeps physical possession of it. See IRC 📘Section 408(m)(3).


General techniques to minimize capital gains (which can vary greatly depending on your country):

  • Hold your precious metals for at least one year to meet any long-term gains criteria that your country might apply.
  • If you have losses in other investments, consider selling those in the same year you are selling your precious metal with gains. Sometimes, depending on the country, you can carry over those losses to the next few years to offset future gains.
  • Consider selling gradually. Spikes in your capital gains can lead to crossing into higher tax brackets.

Remember, your specific tax rules apply to all of this. This information isn’t financial advice, so it’s a good idea to talk to an accountant who knows about taxes where you live.

Effortless Capital Gains Tracking with the Precious Metals Manager iOS App

You can use the Precious Metals Manager app on iOS to track your yearly capital gains, helping you meet your tax obligations. Just go to the Analytics tab and choose a metal (like gold, silver, platinum, or palladium). Then, tap on ‘Annual Report’ (you’ll need a PRO subscription). The report gives you detailed info and can be exported to CSV for your records.

Annual Report

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