Within the EU, gold enjoys tax advantages due to its status as a form of reserve currency. It is exempt from VAT. In Jersey, sales tax (currently 5%) applies to all precious metals, but in Guernsey there is no sales tax.
Silver, platinum and palladium do not normally enjoy the same VAT-free status as gold. The UK imposes the full 20%: Germany imposes a lower 7% rate, but we understand is moving to a much higher rate this year or next.
Silver, platinum and palladium shipped to the UK should be levied at 20% by UK customs: to avoid this, have your bullion stored in Guernsey. (Moving silver in any sort of larger quantity is expensive in terms of delivery and insurance, so we think storage is the best choice anyway!)
In the UK, capital gains tax (CGT), currently at 28%, applies on bullion profits, subject to the annual exemption of £10,600 in a tax year. Therefore many clients are unlikely to be effected by the matter.
There is a way for wealthier UK residents to enjoy CGT-free gains: Royal Mint British bullion gold coins are exempt from CGT because they have a nominal currency value. Many investors choose the Gold Britannia or Gold Sovereign for this reason. Their advantages mean that they tend to trade at a slight premium compared to other countries’ gold coins, such as the US Eagles or Canadian Maples which are subject to UK CGT. All that said, Krugerrands are not CGT-free either but they are the most popular coins worldwide!
Please note that movements of bullion into or out of Guernsey, exceeding €10,000 in value, have to be declared to Guernsey Customs: particularly relevant if you are coming to collect in person. The appropriate forms will be provided to you when you collect bullion.
You should always check on possible import restrictions and charges imposed by your country before purchasing bullion.