Current Affairs

Capital Gains Tax for Rare Coins and Precious Metals

ICTA has supported the World Gold Council’s efforts toward federal legislation that would qualify gains from precious-metals investments for the lower capital gains tax rate. ICTA will continue to push for this and for legislation that would also qualify rare-coin investments for the capital gains rate.

Chinese Counterfeit Coins

ICTA is working with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary to stop the influx of high-grade counterfeit coins manufactured in China. ICTA brought this issue to the attention of relevant congressional committees and members of congress, and continues to work to solve this serious problem.

FAA/TSA/DHS Airline Security Regulations

ICTA continues to be in regular contact with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to assure that our members are able to transport the coins, precious metals, and currency necessary for participation in shows and conventions. We’ve worked with the TSA to educate airport screeners about this type of merchandise, and as a direct result of ICTA’s efforts, the TSA’s website now has a special section on transport of these items. For more information, see TSA's Traveling with Special Items: Currency, Coins, Precious Metals, or Valuable Jewelry.

Federal Trade Commission

An industry group of literary experts approached the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding three consumer alerts it had published on the FTC's website on the topic of investing in precious metals. Working through ICTA, this group has completed editing one of these alerts to ensure clarity, accuracy, and helpfulness to consumers. ICTA will continue to work with the FTC on materials published on its website.

Financial Reform

ICTA monitors congress and the federal agencies for any changes in delivery requirements for physical precious metals, and for any other CFTC provisions that might adversely affect rare-coin and precious-metals dealers. As part of the recent Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act, ICTA fought off the CFTC’s efforts to decrease the time-tested 28-day delivery window for physical precious metals to as little as two days—an impossible standard for our industry to meet.

Individual State Issues

ICTA is frequently able to provide data and support to state organizations. ICTA’s information is often critical at the state and local levels to help prevent excessive-holding laws, reporting regulations, and erroneous enforcement of sales taxes. ICTA continues to assist efforts to achieve additional state sales-tax exemptions.

Interstate Collection of Sales and Use Taxes

For several years the states have been working together to create a “simplified” sales tax plan (SSTP). Under an SSTP, the U.S. Congress will grant states the power to force out-of-state merchants to collect and remit sales taxes for each state. Proponents of this plan claim Internet businesses have an unfair advantage over brick-and-mortar businesses, and would like the plan to affect all mail, phone, and Internet sales. In addition, a provision in this plan calls for elimination of any sales-tax exemption that has a minimum or maximum (many sales-tax exemptions on precious metals and coins have a minimum transaction threshold). This plan has substantial support in congress, and ICTA is working to help defeat it. This is a very large issue with the potential to change the way U.S. merchants have conducted business for more than 200 years. Preserving our existing sales-tax exemptions is critical.

Restoring Rare Coins in IRAs

ICTA is currently working with CERT to have rare coins restored as qualified investments in IRAs and similar self-directed retirement plans.

USA Patriot Act Section 352: Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Regulations

Since January 1, 2006, Section 352 of the USA PATRIOT Act has specifically targeted precious-metals dealers. ICTA has worked with the U.S. Department of the Treasury to help it develop reasonable compliance regulations that will satisfy its anti-terrorism requirements without being overly burdensome for rare-coin and precious-metals dealers. This involves not only educating the Treasury on the particular needs of our industry, but developing excellent Treasury contacts to help clarify specific points of the PATRIOT Act and other aspects of the cash-reporting and AML laws that impact our industry. (In our work with the Treasury and other government agencies, we sometimes obtain critical clarifications that are available only through ICTA. Even an IRS examiner may not have these documents.)

Proper and timely compliance with the USA PATRIOT Act and other regulations is extremely important. Ignorance of the law is not a defense and can result in calamitous financial penalties and even prison terms.

VAT (National Sales Tax)

The United States is the only major power that does not yet levy a value-added tax (VAT) or similar national tax (called the “goods and services tax” in Canada). ICTA is constantly on guard against efforts to impose this kind of tax in the United States, as it would be disastrous for the rare-coins and precious-metals industry.