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Does the Government Track Gold Purchases? (Gold Reporting and the IRS)

Does the Government Track Gold Purchases? (Answered!)


If you’re thinking about investing in precious metals, you may be wondering just how much information is passed on to the IRS.

As with so many topics that involve the government, there’s a lot of confusion about tracking gold purchases.

We want to cover the facts in a straightforward manner and hopefully clear up any confusion that you may have.


You may be surprised to learn what actually happens when it comes to this topic.

While the governmental authorities may not be always notified, there are instances where a reporting requirement will be triggered.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

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Gold Investments and Traceability

These are some the questions many investors ask themselves:

  • Does the government track when you buy gold?
  • Are gold bars traceable?
  • Are gold coins traceable?
  • Do precious metal dealers report sales to IRS?

Put simply, no, the government cannot trace or track these purchases or sales.

BUT, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any regulations or reporting obligations.

There is no electronic tracking or central database when it comes to tracing the buying and selling of these prized items.

And, there are plenty of asset options that need no disclosure at all.

You could, if you wanted to, amass quite a precious metal collection without having to ever notify the government or IRS.

But, in doing so, you’ll want to avoid getting yourself into a situation where you find yourself non-compliant with requirements.

If you’re unsure if an investment that you’re considering needs a disclosure, keep reading.

Precious metals are attractive because they can be bought and sold “off-grid”, but it’s important to remember that not all transactions have this feature.

Reputable dealers can help ensure that you remain compliant, but ultimately, it’s your responsibility.

Note: Always always consult with your financial advisor regarding gold reporting obligations or any other money matters.

Governmental Reporting Requirements


  • Do you have to report gold purchases yourself?
  • Is buying gold reported to the IRS?
  • How much do dealers disclose to the government?

As mentioned above, there’s no central information repository or electronic database that tracks who owns what when it comes to precious metals.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t governmental obligations that gold dealers must follow. These can vary, depending on the transaction.

Triggers can also be activated depending on the amount of your purchase and how you pay.

And, not knowing the ins and outs of gold purchase reporting requirements can cause many people to avoid buying it altogether.

No one wants to have to deal with a problem with the IRS or find themselves suspected of money laundering.

There are so many questions about tracking and proper documentation, that we’ve decided an entire article devoted to the topic would be helpful for our readers.

Our comment section is also open if you’d like to engage in a conversation about this topic with other readers.

The Reporting Requirement ‘Triggers’

Let’s talk about the common events that trigger a reporting requirement.

Truth is, if you walk into your local dealer and make a purchase, it may or may not need to be disclosed.

And many wonder just how much you can buy without divulging the information to the government?

As you are probably aware, businesses are obliged to declare any cash transaction that exceeds $10,000 or two transactions that exceed $10,000.

You will need an IRS form 1099B for these transactions.

Additionally, there are some disclosures that are based not on the cost of the purchase, but on what is actually bought.

Yes, it’s confusing!

So, let’s dig in a little more.

Trigger #1: Amount of Your Purchase

If you are buying coins, you and the dealer may have to declare it to the IRS.

The trigger occurs when you buy 25 or more 1 oz Gold Maple Leafs, 1 oz Mexican Onzas, and 1 oz Krugerrands.

Anything that involves fractional ounces, including American Gold Eagle coins, is not reportable, no matter the quantity.

Trigger #2: How Much Money You Spend

Precious metal acquisitions are usually made with cash, money orders, or cashier’s checks.

If it exceeds $10,000, the dealer will be required to disclose the transaction using IRS form 8300.

Trigger #3: Production Date of the Coin

Any pre-1965 coin, gold or silver, that’s worth more than $10,000 will trigger a reporting requirement.

For example, silver coins produced prior to 1965 are generally valued at $11,000 or more, thus requiring disclosure.

Fisher Precious Metals company shared the following:

“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; others report $1,000 sales.”


Most collectible coins don’t trigger a declaration, making them a popular investment vehicle for folks who don’t like to share the details of their financial transactions.

The form that dealers must complete will contain identifying information including their client’s name, address, banking information, and other similar data.

If these forms aren’t completed and submitted, the dealer will face fines and possibly the closure of their business.

Don’t try to circumvent these things, say by spacing out your acquisition over a few days, as they can trigger money laundering violations which can be quite serious.

CRA Reporting (For Canadians)

Are gold sales declared to CRA?

There are a fair number of Canucks who check this site, so we wanted to provide some good information about the obligations to the Canada Revenue Agency too.

Naturally, the process up north differs from that in the United States. You’ll need to disclose the buying or selling of any precious metals to the CRA when you file your taxes.

T5008 is the form that you’ll need to complete if your investment meets or exceeds a reporting threshold. This form needs to be completed by both buyers and sellers.

There’s a lot of T5008 confusion, so if you’re not sure if you should include it with your annual tax return, talk to your tax advisor for further advice.

There’s no replacement for real-world professional financial advice when it comes to tax matters!

Gold IRAs Can Help Alleviate Confusion

We totally understand if you’re feeling like your head is spinning and you’re very confused!

There are so many different regulations and requirements that come with purchasing gold, that you might be wondering if it’s even worth it.

We totally understand.

And, we’ve found that opting for an IRA as a vehicle to invest in precious metals is an effective way to avoid all of this confusion.

As you’ve been doing your research into gold acquisition, you’ve probably run across the word transparency quite a lot.

This is because alternative investment firms want to assure their clients that all of these requirements will be fulfilled accurately and completely.

And, once you find the right company to work with, rest assured they’ll supply you with the information and documents needed to meet any applicable reporting requirements.

To be clear, it’s not about how to buy gold without the government knowing.

Your investment in such an IRA won’t be “off-grid”, but it will be in compliance with the law.

Of course, most people who find themselves out of compliance with the IRS are simply unaware of their mistakes.

Unfortunately, even if there’s no malice associated with your or your dealer’s lack of proper reporting, it can still be a serious problem.

This is a situation that most people would like to avoid!

Purchasing coins and bullion through a reputable company that also offers IRAs can help you avoid all of this confusion.

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There’s a nice range of precious metal products that are approved by the IRS for inclusion in an individual retirement account, making this an even more attractive investment option.

If you’re uneasy about buying them outright, an IRA could be perfect for you.

Are Gold Purchases Tracked?

And are gold purchases reported to the IRS by the dealers?

There’s a lot of confusion among the potential investors on whether gold purchases are reported to the government.

Let’s outline the facts again:

  • Gold coins and bullion are NOT traceable.
  • There ARE reporting requirements for certain purchases.
  • Consult a tax advisor BEFORE buying precious metals.
  • Always deal with reputable companies.
  • Opening a Gold IRA can help you avoid confusion.
  • Augusta is our #1 recommended Gold IRA firm.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you’re confused.

If you’re like most people, purchasing your precious metals feels a lot more comfortable.

Not only are you able to invest in the assets that appeal to you, but you’ll also enjoy a number of tax benefits.

We know that this is an area of confusion for many potential investors. Our goal is to help clear up any confusion that you may have.

Recommended: See our #1 recommended Gold IRA company

Now, we’d like to hear from you:

  • In your opinion, is gold purchase tracked by government?
  • How do you deal with gold reporting requirements?
  • When you buy gold, is it reported to the government? (If you live outside the US)

Let us know your thoughts and if there are still issues of uncertainty or questions, let us know in the comments. We are here to help!

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