Thursday, January 07, 2010

Gimme all your gold!

There are a variety of ways that gold and numismatic (coin collecting) items are taxed.

A common method of taxing gold and coins, held for investment purposes, is to not tax them. In many states, this type of tangible personal property is exempt. Since these items are held as investments, and other types of investments aren't taxed (eg. stocks and bonds), this makes sense.

It gets more complicated with collector-type coins, including those mint and proof sets sold by banks. In some states, these items ARE taxed. Since the items are purchased as a hobby, and possibly only partially for investment, the states tax them.

Here's some of the criteria used by the states to figure this all out:

If the value is based on nothing more than the actual metal content, it might not be taxable (investment).

If it is legal tender, it's usually not taxable, unless it's being sold for more than face value (which means it might be a numismatic item).

If the value of the item is over a certain amount, it may not be taxable (often because it's starting to look like an investment).

If it's jewelry, it's going to be taxable (obviously just expensive TPP).

If it's a precious metals futures contract, it usually isn't taxable (clearly an investment).

If you're a philatelist (stamp collector), I rarely see any exceptions for you. Sorry.

This is a highly variable issue. So be prepared to do some research here. Every state is going to do it differently.

More on intangibles and investments here.

The Sales Tax Guy

See the disclaimer - this is for education only. Research these issues thoroughly before making decisions.

Here's information on our upcoming seminars and webinars.

Picture note: the image above is hosted on Flickr. If you'd like to see more, click on the photo.

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