report metals trades to the irs

How Much Gold Can I Sell Without Reporting?

Gold and precious metals such as silver and palladium are big topics on our website. We field many email queries each day asking us questions about topics related to gold investing. Today I felt compelled to answer publicly, and privately, an email about how much gold can I sell without reporting? It was a great question that I’m sure many others have, so let’s get right down to the rules about reporting gold sales.

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How Much Gold Can You Sell Without Reporting to the IRS?

Depending on your time of purchase, buying and selling precious metals can be a form of passive income that will often lead to high profits, but in some cases, like any investment vehicle, it can lead to losses. Just like any other income source, we wanted to create this guide for anyone who is investing in precious metals to trade so they can be aware of the tax implications that will go hand in hand with their trades. Again, the main question we have seen people ask us is “Do I have to report my gold and silver coin sales?”

Let me first go on saying, that if you are looking to buy bullion directly from a source for investment purposes, buy from American Hartford Gold.

The benefits of a gold IRA are astronomical, so if you are an investor for the long term this is something you should consider given economic conditions and of course the turbulence we’ve seen of late.  If you are looking to go that route, there is nobody better than Goldco.

We like to help people, so with the assistance on where to buy your metals out of the way, let’s get back into when you are obligated to report your transactions.

When to Report Gold Coins or Bullion Sales to the IRS

The first time you’ll be obligated to report is when you sell large quantities of either a certain coin or one single type of bullion in particular.  

The second is when you spend $10,000 or more in cash on any transaction.  

When you don’t report these instances, you are looking at fines and even possible criminal charges, so it’s best to play by the rules.  There are forms that will be required to fill out if your transaction falls into either of these instances, and they are called the 1099-B and a form 8300.

IRS Form 1099 Reporting Precious Metals Transactions

IRS Form

If you are a non-corporate seller, you’ll be using the 1099 series forms to report profits. This is a preventative measure by the IRS to prevent tax evasion. It serves as a way to keep tabs on people who are selling items as an income source. Dealers will have to fill out a 1099-B form for their precious metals transactions. This takes place when a customer sells any items on the Reportable Items list (of the IRS) in the amounts they specify.

Each coin or bullion item has a different criteria for reporting, and a lot of the reporting for bars and round sales will go by purity and quantity, but this will vary by each kind of metal.

In order to be something that’s necessary to report, there has to be a .995 level of fineness and the purchase amount has to be 1 kilo or greater. For silver, the .999 level of fineness is used and quantity has to be 1,000 troy ounces at a minimum.

Lesser traded metals like palladium and platinum have requirements as well. The dealer will have to issue the 1099-B for any purchase of 100 troy ounces for palladium and 25 for platinum. Both metals will require a fineness of .9995.

Which Precious Metals Sales are Except from Reporting?

Foreign currency

There’s a handful of types that you won’t have to report, which I’ve summarized below.

  • Fractional Gold Coins
  • American Eagle Coins (Gold and Silver both)
  • Any type of foreign currency that was omitted from the IRS’s Reportable items chart
  • 1980’s created pieces of US currency that were previously exempted

It’s wise to visit the IRS website and get the 1099-B form if you aren’t familiar with the information they will seek.

IRS Form 8300

This form is required by dealers for certain sales according to federal tax laws.  As mentioned previously, it’s also a requirement when any cash payments are issued for transactions fo $10,000 or greater. The national treasury created this in the 1980’s and these laws were largely created to prevent money laundering outfits.

Information will detail the transaction as well as provide data on the purchasing customer.  Some information is discretionary to the customer, yet not discretionary to the precious metals dealer.

In this instance, “cash” is defined as any of the following:

  • Money Orders
  • Cashiers Checks
  • Bank Drafts
  • Payments made with currency of any origin

Payment types that are exempt from reporting:  bank wires, ACH transfers, personal check, banking applications like Zelle, Venmo, CashApp.

Capital Gains Tax

tax implications when withdrawing from a traditional ira

For a full break down about how capital gains work on gold, visit this page:  Capital Gains Taxes on Physical Gold and Silver.

To summarize, the sales of precious metals including bullion, rounds, and coins are an income source for many people and essentially subject to taxation.  Profits will be considered capital gains and must be reported.

Figuring out Your Tax Basis

The best way to figure out your tax basis and IRS obligations is to keep a file of your receipts from all transactions. This will help you and your CPA figure out any liabilities that go along with your investments. The law is very clear, and you can do yourself a huge favor by staying organized.

As we are not tax experts, we advise you also speak to your local professional and get an professional opinion on all taxation that go with your precious metals trades.

Kimberly King


Hi, I'm Kimberly, and after years of struggles, I've achieved my desired digital nomad badge. It has never been more important than now for Americans to know the LEGAL tax havens and offshore businesses since we live in a global economy. Many people miss out on great opportunities because they think locally or nationally. This is why I've joined this elite team to share with you that it's not just a dream but how to live exactly the perfect retirement you've always wished for.

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