States with Sales-Tax Exemptions on Precious Metals and Bullion


When Minnesota governor signed H1A into law, it was great news for Minnesotans who want to invest in bullion. This is because the bill contained a sales-tax exemption on precious-metals bullion, ushering Minnesota into a group of 35 states that have a full or partial sales and use tax exemption on precious-metals bullion and coins.

While it may seem against Minnesota’s best interest to collect less in revenues from businesses selling bullion, studies done in other states show that the sales tax revenues from other sources are increased by these kinds of exemptions. Because some states do not charge sales tax, buyers from other states will purchase bullion or collectible coins in those states rather than pay taxes in their own state. This is terrible for local coin dealers in states that border states with exemptions, as was previously the case with Minnesota. The competitive disadvantage for them translates into fewer sales, fewer employees, and less money in payroll and income taxes collected.

States with no sales or use tax on coin and bullion are also able to attract national coin shows conventions. These conventions bring with them increased tax revenue in the form of spending on hotels, restaurants, gas, and transportation. People who come for coin shows and coin conventions visit other tourist attractions and businesses as well, and increased sales tax revenues result. In fact, many coin dealers also sell antiques and other collectibles that are not exempt from sales tax, so the state benefits in that way as well.

Use and sales tax exemptions vary from state to state, and legislation changes from year to year. Ohio lost the exemption in 2005 after their Coingate scandal involving Board of Regents member Thomas W. Noe who shifted money from the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation into rare coin funds he operated. He went to jail, and the state punished all coin dealers. Ohio eventually restored it as a part of SB172 which Governor Kasich signed into law in 2016.

What is exempt from tax? In many states not all numismatic pieces. In some states the exempt pieces include “[P]recious  metal  bullion  and  coins  that  are  or  were  at  one  time  used  as currency  or  medium  of  exchange  in  the  United  States  or a  foreign  country,” but not tokens, paper money, or wampum. Grand Rapids Coins is fortunate to be located in Michigan which has had use and sales tax exemptions in place for many years.

A list of states with partial or full exemptions includes: Arizona,  California,  Colorado,  Connecticut, Delaware, Florida,  Georgia,  Idaho,  Illinois,  Indiana,  Iowa,  Louisiana,  Maryland,  Massachusetts,  Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.

If your state is not on this list, and you’re seeking to include coins or bullion as a part of your overall investment strategy for retirement or wealth building, give Grand Rapids Coins a call. We would love to be your sales-tax-free coin dealer.

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