Are Gold Investors Targeted by the IRS?

Gold has long been seen as an asset that provides protection during difficult economic conditions and inflationary fears; for those investing in physical gold, the question of wealth tax can become quite pertinent; this article explores this aspect in more depth as well as provide global perspectives that apply.

Are Gold Investors Targeted by the IRS?

Understanding Wealth Tax

Wealth tax is a form of taxation levied upon an individual's net wealth, including property, cash investments and physical assets like gold owned by them. Wealth taxes are usually charged according to the market value of assets owned; rates differ between countries; some do not levy it at all while others impose it only if total wealth exceeds certain thresholds.

Physical Gold and Wealth Tax in Different Jurisdictions

United States

At my most recent knowledge update in September 2021, the United States does not impose a wealth tax; however, physical gold collectibles fall within its ambit and so gains from their sale can be subject to capital gains tax at either ordinary income rates or long-term capital gains rates depending on duration.


India Wealth tax was abolished in India as of 2015; prior to this date physical gold would attract wealth tax if its net wealth exceeded certain thresholds. Nowadays physical gold does not incur wealth tax but may incur capital gains tax upon sale for profit.

European Countries

Wealth taxes still apply in Switzerland, Norway, and Spain. For instance, in Switzerland both gold bullions and coins considered assets are subject to wealth tax if their total exceeds certain limits, although rates and thresholds differ depending on each canton within Switzerland.

Australia does not impose a wealth tax, meaning physical gold held as investment does not incur an income or estate tax; however, capital gains from selling physical gold are subject to taxation as in the U.S.

Mitigating Wealth Tax on Physical Gold

Investors living in countries where wealth tax applies to gold can utilize various strategies to minimize their tax liability, which include:

  • Diversification: By diversifying their assets across classes and investing across them, investors could potentially keep physical gold holdings below the wealth tax threshold.
  • Jurisdiction Planning: Some investors opt to store their physical gold in jurisdictions with more favorable tax regulations, for maximum profits.

  • Utilizing Exemptions: Some countries provide exemptions or reduced rates of wealth tax in certain circumstances, so it would be prudent to consult a tax advisor to explore this avenue of relief.


Wealth taxes for physical gold vary between countries and are frequently changing. Investors need to be informed of all applicable regulations within their local jurisdiction as well as changes in tax law to remain compliant and make sound investment decisions with physical gold investments. Working closely with an accountant for customized tax advice and to plan is always recommended for best results when investing in physical gold investments.