Is there any difference if it is in bar or coin form? I heard that some places do not levy a VAT tax on gold but do on silver. Is this true, and why? What is the VAT percentage and do some countries have a lower percentage than others?
Investment gold is exempt from VAT However, silver is not exempt from VAT. Almost everything in the UK and EU is subject to VAT, although there are many exceptions. Perhaps because investment gold is now exempt, people think that all other metals such as silver, platinum, and palladium should also be exempt. However, this is not the case.
VAT is a consumption tax that is charged on the sale of the item. I am not sure why you would be carrying Silver or Gold to the UK and EU. If it is to sell it, then VAT would be applied as noted above. You may also raise some eyebrows with customs - especially if you have more than a small quantity. You should check with customs before you decide to travel with precious metals.
Any individual seeking legal advice for their own situation should retain their own legal counsel as this response provides information that is general in nature and not specific to any person's unique situation. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Advice given in this response cannot be used to eliminate penalties with the IRS or any other governmental agency.