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There is an incredible amount of confusion and disinformation about the extent to which coin dealers are required to obtain customer information to use in submitting reports to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or other government agencies.

In my judgment, this fogginess is a deliberate marketing ploy by some dealers used to persuade customers away from purchasing low-margin bullion-priced merchandise and toward higher-margin numismatic coins, even though such items may be less suitable for the customer’s purposes.

I am not an attorney, so I am not rendering legal advice. In my previous career I was a Certified Public Accountant, but I am no longer licensed to practice that profession. In other words, if you have questions, you need to contact your tax adviser or the IRS for answers. However, as many of my dealer friends tell me, it turns out that most tax advisers and IRS personnel are not well versed on these regulations. As an alternative, coin dealers have obtained helpful information from the national trade association, the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA), whose website is (Another disclaimer: Since 2002, I have been the treasurer for ICTA and also a member of the board of directors.)