Income Tax Act subsection 123(1)

A “precious metal” is a bar, ingot, coin or wafer of gold, platinum or silver that is refined to a purity level of at least:

  • 5% in the case of gold and platinum; and
  • 9% in the case of silver.

If a “precious metal” is sold, then the sale does not attract GST/HST.

A major issue for the sale of “precious metal” comes from the following scenario:

  • Customer sells scrap metal to gold shop;
  • Gold shop sends scrap metal to refiner;
  • Refiner smelts scrap metal for a fee; and
  • Refiner then ships 99.5% purity gold back to gold shop.

The typical issue from the above scenario is when the Canada Revenue Agency determines that the gold shop is selling the scrap metal to the refiner, who smelts it and then sells it back to the gold shop. This creates a sale where GST/HST should be charged.

If you fall into the above scenario, you should seek legal advice immediately.


CRA Resources

GST/HST memorandum 17.1 – Definition of “Financial Instrument” (