How different forms of gold are taxed

Taxation of Gold ETC

A big benefit of buying from physical gold is the tax exemption of price gains. But also investors of Gold ETCs can collect their winnings tax-free under certain circumstances.

Buying gold coins or gold bars

For the purchase of Gold coins or gold bar Serious gold traders such as Degussa Goldhandel or online shops are ideal. There you can buy gold bars from a wide range - often in denominations of 1 gram or more - or the most important gold coins such as the Krugerrand, Maple Leaf or American Eagle.

Taxes when buying gold coins

When buying physical gold, it falls no VAT at. To do this, the bars and coins must have a certain purity. For bars this is 995 thousandths, for gold coins it must be 900 thousandths, the coin must have been minted after 1800 and be or have been legal tender in the country of origin. There are also requirements for the price of the coin and the value of the gold content. But if you choose classics like the Krugerrand, you don't have to worry about it.

The question of taxation when selling physical gold depends on how long the gold has been owned. Became the gold more than a year held in the possession of a capital gain is tax-free.

Will the gold within a year sold, the capital gain is taxable. This must then be stated in the income tax return. However, there is still an exemption limit of 600 euros that must be taken into account (ยง 23 EStG - private sales transactions).

Physically replicating gold ETCs with gold delivery

Anyone who invests in gold through securities must pay tax on profits with the flat tax.

A exception of these, gold certificates or gold ETCs form a claim Delivery of physical gold grant. The providers deposit the gold in their vaults in the form of gold bars in different denominations.

Investors can exchange their purchased gold securities for physical gold in accordance with the investment conditions. To do this, he makes an application and then receives the corresponding amount of gold delivered to his home or to a previously mentioned collection point.

Investors in these securities are therefore treated the same as those who buy physical gold bars directly.

Taxation of Gold ETCs with Gold Delivery

This was confirmed by the Federal Fiscal Court in a landmark ruling in May 2015. The judgment stated that the acquisition of a share in Xetra-Gold is to be treated in the same way for tax purposes as the direct purchase of physical gold. Shortly afterwards, other gold ETC providers also claimed the same tax advantages for themselves. Both the providers of Euwax Gold II and ETFS Physical Swiss Gold guarantee their investors that they do not have to pay any withholding tax on the sale of their profits.

One of the largest and most famous physically replicated gold ETCs is Xetra Gold (WKN: A0S9GB). One gram of the precious metal is deposited for each Xetra-Gold unit purchased. In addition, if necessary, investors can actually have the gold physically delivered.

The same goes for EUWAX Gold II (WKN: EWG2LD) of the Stuttgart Stock Exchange. The investor is entitled to the delivery of one gram of gold per unit.

interesting is also The Royal Mint Physical Gold ETC (NASDAQOTH: A279KU). The ETC is not to be regarded as a capital claim and the profits from the sale or redemption do not constitute income from capital assets. Therefore, no capital gains tax is withheld. Instead, gains and losses are to be viewed as private sales. After a holding period of one year, profits are tax-free for private investors.

Another product is WisdomTree Core Physical Gold ETP (WGLD) (NYSE: A3GNQ1). WisdomTree Core Physical Gold is backed by 100 percent physically allocated gold that is held in secure vaults in London by a custodian on behalf of Wisdomtree.

They also still offer the products WisdomTree Physical Swiss Gold (WKN: A1DCTL) and Gold Bullion Securities (WKN: A0LP78) the possibility to have gold physically delivered. The tax exemption for WisdomTree Physical Swiss Gold only applies to investors who acquired the ETC after December 28, 2017.

SurnameWKNdelivery
Xetra GoldA0S9GByes, from 1 gram
Euwax Gold IIEWG2LDyes, from 1 gram
The Royal Mint Physical Gold ETCA279KUyes, from 1 ounce
WisdomTree Physical Swiss GoldA1DCTLyes, from 1 gram
Gold Bullion SecuritiesA0LP78yes (coins)
WisdomTree Core Physical Gold ETP (WGLD)A3GNQ1yes, from 1 gram

Physically replicating gold ETCs with no gold delivery

For the sake of completeness, it should be mentioned that there are also gold ETCs with a physical deposit, which, however, do not offer any entitlement to delivery of the deposited gold. With these ETCs, sales proceeds must therefore always be taxed with the final withholding tax.

The following list shows the most popular gold ETCs. You can find an up-to-date list of all gold ETCs in our ETF search.

SurnameWKNdeliveryCosts p.a.
Invesco Physical Gold ETCA1AA5XNo0,24 %
WisdomTree Physical GoldA0N62GNo0,39 %
Xtrackers Physical Gold ETC (EUR)A1E0HRNo0,45 %
db Physical Gold Euro Hedged ETCA1EK0GNo0,29 %
Amundi Physical Gold ETCA2UJK0No0,19 %

Why are Gold ETCs Exempt from Tax?


The background is simply that the gold with some ETCs is physically bought, stored and, if necessary, also handed over. If investors buy gold with their income, that would also be tax-free if they sold it again after more than a year.

But this tax exemption has only existed since 2016. Since then, banks are no longer allowed to collect withholding tax on profits made with Xetra-Gold and pay it to the tax office. That has Federal Fiscal Court in a landmark ruling in May 2015 so decided. The ruling stated that the acquisition of a share in Xetra-Gold is to be treated in the same way for tax purposes as the direct purchase of physical gold. With this, the legislature closed a loophole in the law, since you can have the Xetra-Gold handed over at any time. Shortly afterwards, other gold ETC providers also claimed the same tax advantages for themselves.

Why not buy real gold right away?

From a tax perspective, that wouldn't make any difference, that's right. But: Even if investors buy real gold in the form of bars or coins, for example from Degussa Goldhandel or Pro Aurum: step in larger quantities logistical difficulties and possibly Desires of unwelcome third parties on. Because where would investors safely store the gold without anyone else having access to it?

Investors who don't have an extra one Safe deposit box for around 60 euros and want to book more per year and actually want to own the gold, you will find grateful alternatives in tax-privileged exchange-traded gold ETCs such as Xetra-Gold (WKN: A0S9GB) and EUWAX Gold II (WKN: EWG2LD).