Often, promoters will claim that the coins they offer are not subject to "reporting." Such statements imply the government requires gold transactions be reported. However, no government regulations require the reporting of the purchases of any precious metals, per se. If payment is made by cash greater than $10,000, however, it becomes a "cash reporting transaction." It is not the gold that the government wants reported but the cash. Such reporting applies to all business transactions involving more than $10,000 cash.
Regarding cash transactions, Official General Instructions for IRS Form 8300 read: "Who Must File. - Each person engaged in a trade or business who, during that trade or business, receives more than $10,000 in cash in one transaction or two or more related transactions must file Form 8300. Any transactions conducted between a payer (or its agent) and the recipient in a 24-hour period are related transactions.
This regulation applies to cash - greenbacks, paper money. It does not apply to personal checks, wire transfers, or money market withdrawals. When cashier's checks or money orders are involved, cash reporting may be triggered.
Form 8300's General Instructions define as cash "a cashier's check, bank draft, traveler's check, or money order having a face amount of not more than $10,000." Using a cashier's check less than $10,000 would be a "cash transaction," but it would not be reportable because it is less than $10,000. However, two cashier's checks, each less than $10,000 but totaling more than $10,000 for a single purchase, would be considered cash and subject to reporting.
Further clarification: If an investor makes a $15,000 investment in gold and pays with a single $15,000 cashier's check, it is not reportable. If, however, he pays with two or more cashier's checks each less than $10,000, the dealer would be obligated to report.
Cash reporting requirements were not written specifically for the precious metals industry but for all businesses. The purchase of a car, boat, or jewelry, and payment with two cashier's checks, each less than $10,000 but totaling more than $10,000, would be a reportable transaction.
Another example: an investor agrees to buy precious metals totaling more than $10,000, again say $15,000, and wants to make payments with money from two accounts. If the investor withdraws $8,000 from the first account and gets a cashier's check, and then gets another cashier's check for $7,000 from the second account, the transaction becomes reportable. A purchase of $30,000 and payment with two $15,000 cashier's checks would not be a reportable transaction. The significant amount is $10,000.
Personal checks or checks drawn on the payer's own account are not considered cash. Form 8300's General Instructions read: "Cash does not included a check drawn on the payer's own account, such as a personal check, regardless of the amount."