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Purchasing (or Selling) Gold and Silver in Massachusetts

Bullion Laws in Massachusetts

About Massachusetts

Admitted to the union in 1788, Massachusetts is home to 7 million people. The 15th most populated state in the union and the 44th largest in area, Massachusetts is home to Boston, the historic metropolitan hub dubbed the "Cradle of Liberty" during the American Revolution. Massachusetts has taken one modest step to cultivate an environment more conducive to sound money ownership and use.

What are the Laws on Gold & Silver in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts State Sales Tax Laws?

Massachusetts has started the process of freeing gold and silver from bureaucratic shackles.

According to Chapter 64H, Section 6 of the Massachusetts General Laws, Massachusetts enacted a sales tax exemption on "sales of one thousand dollars or more of (i) rare coins of numismatic value; (ii) gold or silver bullion of coins; or (iii) gold or silver tender of any nation traded and sold according to its value as precious metal."

The law notes that "bullion" does not include "fabricated precious metal which has been processed or manufactured for industrial, professional, or artistic uses."

While Massachusetts' exemption is a step in the right direction, the law places an unfair burden on those wanting to exchange Federal Reserve Notes for real money, i.e. gold and silver, as many purchasers of precious metals make these purchases in increments below the $1,000 sales amount which triggers the sales tax exemption.

For more information on rolling back sales tax on constitutional money, click here.

Massachusetts Capital Gains Tax?

Massachusetts law, like most states, is chock full of draconian revenue statutes. Under current law, gold and silver are subject to capital gains taxation when exchanged for Federal Reserve notes or when used in barter transactions.

Income taxes are one major way government bureaucrats penalize holders of precious metals. If you own gold to protect against the ongoing devaluation of America's paper currency (which results from the inflationary practices of the Federal Reserve), you may end up with a "gain" on your gold when it's priced in dollars. Not necessarily a real gain, mind you. It's frequently nothing more than a nominal gain -- but it's nonetheless considered income against which the government assesses a tax.

However, other state legislators across the country have started to recognize that paying taxes on nominal gains is beyond the pale. Arizona and Utah recently eliminated capital gains taxation on precious metals, and Idaho hopes to follow soon.

For more information on capital gains taxation of precious metals, click here.

The subject of legal tender laws is an important one. Philosophically, it is important to follow the United States Constitution which states in Article I, Section 10, "No state shall...make anything Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts."

Legislative acts that take steps towards this constitutional requirement are slowly gaining steam. Utah and Oklahoma are leaders in this field, declaring gold and silver legal tender within their states.

Unfortunately, Massachusetts has not taken any steps to reaffirm its constitutional duty to treat gold and silver coins as legal tender, including requiring state courts to enforce gold (and silver) clause contracts as Oklahoma and Utah did with the recent passage of SB 862 and HB 157, respectively.

Oklahoma’s SB 862 reads, in part, “gold and silver coins issued by the United States government are legal tender in the State of Oklahoma. No person may compel another person to tender or accept gold or silver coins that are issued by the United States government, except as agreed upon by contract.”

Utah’s HB 157 reads, in part, “except as expressly provided by contract, a person may not compel any other person to tender or accept legal tender.”

The phrase, “except as agreed upon by contract,” has significant ramifications. This wording reaffirms the court’s ability, and constitutional responsibility according to Article I, Section 10, to require specific performance when enforcing such contracts. If voluntary parties agree to be paid, or to pay, in gold and silver coin, the Oklahoma courts may not substitute any other thing, e.g. Federal Reserve Notes, as payment.

Gold clause contracts are a useful tool to give both creditors and borrowers alike protection against the currency risks resulting from both inflation and deflation.

For more information on gold clause contracts, click here.

Practically speaking, state laws that recognize gold and silver as legal tender restore a government view of precious metals as the favored form of money – a currency rather than a piece of property or other asset. Using this logic, it would be inappropriate for a state to levy taxes when the precious metals are used or exchanged.

For more information on the issue of legal tender laws, click here.

Massachusetts Depository Laws?

Massachusetts law does not currently allow for a state bullion depository.

While Massachusetts may not currently have a bullion depository within the state, there's reason to be hopeful. Texas is championing the state depository cause and other states will likely follow suit. In June of 2015, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 483 into law.

Authored by Representative Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake), this bill allows for "the establishment and administration of a state bullion depository."

According to the official Texas Depository website, House Bill 483 "allows for the nation's first state bullion depository to be established in Texas under the supervision of the state's comptroller's office."

Upon signing the bill, Governor Greg Abbott said "with the passage of this bill, the Texas Bullion Depository will become the first state-level facility of its kind in the nation, increasing the security and stability of our gold reserves and keeping taxpayer funds from leaving Texas to pay for fees to store gold in facilities outside our state."

Massachusetts Holding Reserves in Gold and Silver?

Financially prudent individuals set aside surplus funds to protect against unforeseen expenditures. This way, when faced with loss of income, house repairs, car trouble, or anything else, they will have a buffer against unanticipated downturns.

In the same vein, almost every state in the United States has established a “savings account” for government operations. Primarily to mitigate a decline in tax revenues that comes alongside economic slumps, states have created so-called budget stabilization funds – colloquially known as “rainy day funds.”

Unfortunately, like every other state in the union, Massachusetts does not hold any of its reserves in gold and silver.

While Massachusetts may not hold its reserves in gold and silver yet, Tennessee is setting an example by considering legislation that would allow for this. Tennessee Representative Bud Hulsey introduced House Bill 0777 in 2017 which "requires the state treasurer to invest 40 percent of the funds in the rainy day fund in gold bullion of other precious metal bullion." This bill will be voted on in 2018.

For more information on Budget Stabilization Funds, click here.

Local Coin Shops in Massachusetts

Featured Coin Shops

Taber Numismatics
298 Boston Turnpike
Shrewsbury, MA 01545

Hanover Coin & Jewelry Co
803 Washington St
Hanover, MA 02339

Northshore Numismatics
358 Main St
Wakefield, MA 01880