valawA coalition of numismatic businesses, led by John Feigenbaum (David Lawrence Rare Coins), lobbyist Stephen Haner, and the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA), started working together last summer on legislation to exempt rare coins, paper money, and precious metals from Virginia’s sales and use taxes.

In this year’s legislative session, HB 1648 (sponsored by Delegate Jackson Miller) and SB 1336 (sponsored by Senator Frank Wagner) were introduced. There were 28 co-sponsors. The bills are identical and provide a sales and use tax exemption that includes gold, silver, and platinum purchases that whose total exceeds $1,000.

Governor Terry McAuliffe was asked to sign one of the bills, to be sure the bullion exemption gets into the Code of Virginia. We also asked him to use the second bill as a vehicle to expand the exemption to all legal-tender coins—regardless of their metal content—and paper money. The proposal put to him would add legal-tender coins and paper money to the new exemption paragraph, meaning a buyer would still need to spend at least $1,000.

On March 26, 2015, Governor McAuliffe signed both bills without expanding the exemption to legal-tender coins and paper money. The law becomes effective on July 1, 2015, and Virginia becomes the 32nd state to have an exemption.

Section 58.1-609.1 of the Code of Virginia will be amended to read:

19. On or after July 1, 2015, but before January 1, 2019, gold, silver, or platinum bullion whose sales price exceeds $1,000. Each piece of gold, silver, or platinum need not exceed $1,000, provided that the sales price of one entire transaction of such pieces exceeds $1,000. “Gold, silver, or platinum bullion” means gold, silver, or platinum, and any combination thereof, that has gone through a refining process and is in a state or condition such that its value depends on its mass and purity and not on its form, numismatic value, or other value. Gold, silver, or platinum bullion may contain other metals or substances, provided that the other substances by themselves have minimal value compared with the value of the gold, silver, or platinum. “Gold, silver, or platinum bullion” does not include jewelry or works of art.

“Although the law excludes rare coins and paper money, efforts will continue to obtain a rare coins and paper money sales-tax exemption,” said Feigenbaum. “Not only will it have a more positive impact on our businesses, it will put Virginia in the running for much larger trade shows—including one of the American Numismatic Association shows.”

For more information on the Virginia exemption, please contact Feigenbaum by telephone at 800.776.0560 or email john.feigenbaum@davidlawrence.com.

If your state does not have an exemption, why not join the ranks of the states that have one? Take the first step now by contacting ICTA to learn more. Call 410.626.7005, email info@ictaonline.org, or visit ictaonline.org.

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