Are you thinking about buying precious metals as an investment? You might be wondering what legal things you need to abide by. Do you have to pay taxes? Taxes are complex and you want to be on the right side of the law than be on the wrong side. When it comes to taxes, the revenue service does not play around. 

When should you be paying taxes on precious metals?

For example, if you bought a couple of gold Canadian Maple Leaf and a couple of Silver Kookaburras, at what point should you be worried about paying taxes? 

When you buy bullion: The only tax you should worry about at this point is Value-Added-Tax (VAT). 

Gold: When you buy bullion, you don’t have to pay taxes. In most countries, investment gold is VAT-free but things might be slightly different with silver. 

Silver and Platinum: Silver and Platinum are industrial products and it is, for this reason, it is subject to VAT. Different countries have different rates. 

Storage: Owning precious metals like gold and silver is virtually tax-free In most countries. Unlike other investment assets like property, there are no annual taxes that you need to pay. Precious metals aren’t taxed as your income. You can keep your bullion, follow the spot price on a daily basis and sell them when the time is right. 

When you sell bullion: when it comes to selling, there is one tax you should worry about and that is capital gains tax. Capital Gains Tax exists everywhere even in Australia. This tax applies to every silver, gold and every other precious metal. 

So, basically, there are two taxes that you need to keep in mind when you buy bullionVAT and Capital Gains Tax.

Investment-grade gold is not subject to Value Added Tax (VAT). Remember that the term “investment grade” means the metal is at least 999.5 pure. So, make sure that you buy your investment-grade precious metals from a reputable gold dealer. In Australia, you may be required to pay what is called GST.

You may need to pay GST if you have investment-grade bullions if you get a greater value when you sell silver bullion compared to the value of your bullion when you buy it. You don’t need to pay GST on investment-grade bullion. However, you may have to pay the tax for numismatic coins because according to the Australian Tax Office numismatic coins should be charged GSTs. 

Silver and PGM group metals

Value-added Tax applies to investment-grade silver. Silver, platinum, and other PGM group metals are regarded as industrial products which is why VAT is applied to them. In Europe, the rates vary between 8 and 25 percent. 


There is no VAT charged on investment-grade gold, however, some countries charge 7 to 20% for VAT. The principal tax which should be paid on your precious metal is capital gains tax. For example: if you decided that the market was good enough to sell keep in mind that the only tax you might need to sell in most countries is capital gains tax. This is the fee based on the profit you get when you sell silver bullion.