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Old 10-12-2012, 05:55 PM   #1
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EU VAT-rate "harmonization" is going to raise silver costs for German investors

Another "brilliant" idea by the Eurocrats in Brussels is going to increase silver coin prices for the little guy in Germany.
Germany collects a VAT of 19% on consumer goods. They have a reduced VAT of 7% on silver coins (not bars, they are taxed at 19%). Gold is tax exempt.
The Eurocrats decided that each country has to "harmonize" their VAT rates by 1-1-2013, meaning it can only have one VAT-rate for all goods or has to exempt a single good altogether from the tax. This isn't specifically meant to raise the cost of silver coins, however, as hotel services, baby food and even porn have reduced rates in Germany.
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:01 PM   #2
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Maybe Germany will reduce the overall (19%) rate if they decide to apply it to all those goods that are currently at reduced rates.

Love how Eurocrats are now mandating economic policy to nations. Yeah sovereignty, self determination and local control!
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:06 PM   #3
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Germany can't afford to lower VAT rates, they've been raising them several times during the last years. They're still running an annual deficit of about 3%.
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:38 PM   #4
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I hope we never get that tax here.
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:27 AM   #5
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Buying silver through Bullionvault sidesteps the VAT problem entirely, because you do not take delivery.
Yeah i accept the downside risk of not holding but there is clearly defined ownership of provable silver in their vaults and as long as ownership law is valid, its pretty safe.

So my 50kg sits there sulking and is still $7/oz down on my purchase price ......

Good job i never, ever mention this ..............
i.e. proof that i really dont care what happens to it (-;
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:16 PM   #6
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I think taxing silver and gold is assinine at it's face. We get taxed on our earnings, which we then use to buy gasoline, which is taxed at the pump, and put it in our cars which pay a tag tax each year, then drive to our LCS and buy silver which at present, is not taxed here, but it's only a matter of time. Then, I drive home to a house upon which are levied annual taxes and sit down in my chair to watch my TV, which runs on highly taxed and regulated electricity. Later, I answer my telephone, which is also taxed seperately and regulated heavily. The taxes here are endless my friend. When you look at all the taxes and fees we have to pay in the USA, we are likely more heavily taxed than Europe, only the taxes are hidden in #4 font on the back of your bills.

By one measure, John Williams at Shadowstats has a chart that shows we only really get to "keep" about 35% of our earnings.
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ancona View Post:
I think taxing silver and gold is assinine at it's face. We get taxed on our earnings, which we then use to buy gasoline, which is taxed at the pump, and put it in our cars which pay a tag tax each year, then drive to our LCS and buy silver which at present, is not taxed here, but it's only a matter of time. Then, I drive home to a house upon which are levied annual taxes and sit down in my chair to watch my TV, which runs on highly taxed and regulated electricity. Later, I answer my telephone, which is also taxed seperately and regulated heavily. The taxes here are endless my friend. When you look at all the taxes and fees we have to pay in the USA, we are likely more heavily taxed than Europe, only the taxes are hidden in #4 font on the back of your bills.

By one measure, John Williams at Shadowstats has a chart that shows we only really get to "keep" about 35% of our earnings.
back when I thought I had some money i collected coins (ps Texas has sales tax on anything below 1000.00) until one day an old man told me; "you're paying tax on money you're using to buy money? You're a fool."
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:58 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Penn View Post:
I hope we never get that tax here.
Penn, as for the end result, a VAT is nearly identical as the sales tax. Although theoretically, it taxes all the parties along the manufacturing chain, guess who is footing the final bill (and cannot pass his increased costs further down the stream)??

The ultimate sucker - end consumer.

As for taxing the coins, that are legal tender somewhere (ie Sovereigns in UK, or Eagles in US) - I don't think it is legally possible, to put sales taxes on them - it is LEGALLY RECOGNIZED CURRENCY/MONEY, after all, that has face value on it- so asking to tax a sale of it, would be equivalent to a proposition to tax the change, that you are given at the shop till, or indeed a hundred dollar bill that comes out of the wall from you ATM - in my humble opinion.

Of course, such a mere technicality as something being illegal or an absolute nonsense, doesn't mean it will stop our god damn governments from implementing it...

Another interesting & thought provoking issue re: VAT on precious metals in EU, is WHY, from all other things, Gold is VAT-exempt? Tradition, I suppose?
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by bushi View Post:
Another interesting & thought provoking issue re: VAT on precious metals in EU, is WHY, from all other things, Gold is VAT-exempt? Tradition, I suppose?
Yes probably tradition. Gold isn't affordable for the little guy any longer, though. So the joke is on him as he has to resort to silver and must pay the VAT. Dare the Eurocrats think about exempting the poor man's gold.

It's no different in Switzerland by the way, although one MP tried to exempt silver coins from our VAT which stands at 8%. The executive branch rejected his proposal by saying a silver exemption would increase silver coin smuggling to the EU and would hurt EU-Swiss relations (traitors!).
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by swissaustrian View Post:
It's no different in Switzerland by the way, although one MP tried to exempt silver coins from our VAT which stands at 8%. The executive branch rejected his proposal by saying a silver exemption would increase silver coin smuggling to the EU (...)
...wait a sec, did you just said 8% ? Hmmmm....
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:05 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by bushi View Post:
...wait a sec, did you just said 8% ? Hmmmm....
8% is a low rate if compared to other countries, yes. But it's still theft.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:21 PM   #12
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25% VAT on silver here in Sweden, muther forkers!!!!

swissaustrian, I know a place you can order from online with no VAT on silver coins. I've used them twice and have no complaints. I'll PM the link to you.
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:51 AM   #13
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If you European fellows buy silver from somewhere like Apmex, which is domiciled in the US, and have it shipped to your home country, do they still tax it? What about if you came to the US, bought twwenty ounces of gold and simply put it in your carry-on bag where the X-ray would look like a few quarters, then casually enter the country with them in your pockets, then how could they tax it?

The same goes for jewelry. You could have a necklace put together like a sort of charm bracelet style, with ASE's in coin mounts dangling from the chain instead of other things. Then, just as with the "pocket change" you carry another six or eight coins in to the country. How would they be able to tell that you didn't already own the metal?
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:17 PM   #14
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We have people from all over on my sci/tech boards. A lot of things I can easily get, they cannot get at all, or at a price. I often buy things here and ship there to help them out. Most times we can avoid the VAT via various declarations of non-worth of the junk in the box, not always but so far it's done OK for most transactions.

I'd think that would be easier than trying to carry stuff on your person - it's a lot easier to check all the humans than the zillions of little boxes that come via this and that carrier. As long as you let them have a little something, they don't seem to mind. After all, who in the X ray room can really tell that's a piece of exotic test equipment worth many thousands vs a hunk of surplus junk worth 10 euros?

I'd think getting away with that would be a lot harder with something everyone knows is valuable by its very nature - gold's pretty obvious. Enough silver to be worth trying to cheat would be more obvious yet.

On the other hand, an exotic photomultiplier tube and a chunk of scintillator, with about as much electronics as a phone (or less) - might be junk, might be worth 10k.

Right now, McMaster-Carr lists a boron nitride rod 1.5" by 1' at about $718. Ship it as "rod, ceramic" and declare it as $10 - no problem. It is, after all, a ceramic. Just one that's very expensive to create, but say that word and people think "pottery". It's a very leaky system.
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:09 PM   #15
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hey DCF,

let us know when McMaster-Carr have to make a full declaration .........
then we might have an idea of just how vigilant the 'watchers' are on the internet (-:
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