Perth Mint Online Depository Program

Discussion of the Gold portion of the Permanent Portfolio

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AdamA
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Re: Perth Mint Online Depository Program

Post by AdamA » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:18 pm

I think it's all still accessible, but I did get this confusing email from the Perth Mint a few days ago.

There’s no doubt COVID-19 is having a huge impact on us all. At The Perth Mint, our focus is on the health and wellbeing of our staff as well as the continued service to our customers throughout Australia and beyond.

In the past few weeks, my team and I have introduced rolling shifts across dual sites to ensure safe distancing between our employees as well as adopting remote working options and increased hygiene practices in accordance with current government guidelines.

Right now, we are experiencing unprecedented demand. Our precious metal volumes remain high, though there may be some delays and temporary shortages of specific items we manufacture. Our teams are doing the very best they can, so your patience is greatly appreciated.

The Perth Mint has been proudly operating since 1899 and we take our responsibility as one of Australia’s largest exporters seriously. We fully intend to continue our service to all customers throughout this period. Together, we know we will all get through this.

As a State Government trading enterprise, all our operations are guaranteed by the Government of Western Australia. This is your assurance of trust in us and our unflagging commitment to you.

Our Refinery

The Perth Mint is not dependent on funding from any external providers, ensuring there is no risk of default or non-payment for our mining customers.
We continue to refine more than 90 percent of Australia’s gold production, our refinery remains open and this volume is not decreasing.
Trusted as a partner to the Australian mining industry for over 120 years, we have the knowledge, experience and technology to continue operating in this challenging time.
Our Depository

The Perth Mint offers the world’s only government guaranteed suite of tailored storage and investment programs.
With the largest network of central bank-grade vaults in the southern hemisphere The Perth Mint is one of the safest places in the world to buy and store precious metals.
We’re currently receiving higher than usual call volumes so please be patient with our teams should you experience delays. Should you need to contact our office, please ensure you have your account number, account name and password ready
Our Minted Products and Bullion

As the inaugural producer of the official Australian bullion coin program, we are experiencing an all-time high-level demand for our products.
Our production teams are working tirelessly to meet customer demand. Please be patient if a particular item that you are after is delayed.
Our Shop and Exhibition

For your health and safety, our showrooms, guided tours and exhibition are currently closed. Gifts, jewellery and minted products are still available online.
Bullion and gold jewellery buy-back services are operating from our East Perth location, Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm. Social distancing requirements will be required.
From all of us here at The Perth Mint, we want to extend strength and good health to everyone around the world during this challenging time. We thank you for your continued support.

Richard Hayes, Chief Executive Officer, The Perth Mint
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williswine
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Re: Perth Mint Online Depository Program

Post by williswine » Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:15 pm

I've been a happy Perth Mint Depository Program account holder since last year for unallocated gold. I haven't received this email but all my dealings with the mint have been flawless. I should post on this separately.

This year, I have enough in the account that I need to report it on form 8938. This account is in my name only. I think it is considered a "Foreign Deposit Account" so has to be reported in Part I rather than II and also in Part V rather than VI of form 8938. What is not super clear to me is whether such account for unallocated gold count as a "Deposit Acccount" (my current interpretation) or as a "Custodial Account". Do some of you have had to report such account, and if so, did you report as deposit or custodial?
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Re: Perth Mint Online Depository Program

Post by williswine » Sun Apr 05, 2020 2:41 pm

williswine wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:15 pm
This year, I have enough in the account that I need to report it on form 8938. This account is in my name only. I think it is considered a "Foreign Deposit Account" so has to be reported in Part I rather than II and also in Part V rather than VI of form 8938. What is not super clear to me is whether such account for unallocated gold count as a "Deposit Acccount" (my current interpretation) or as a "Custodial Account". Do some of you have had to report such account, and if so, did you report as deposit or custodial?
Sophie, ahrunforthehills: seeing your previous posts on the forum, would you perhaps be able to chime in here?
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Re: Perth Mint Online Depository Program

Post by ahhrunforthehills » Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:17 am

williswine wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 2:41 pm
williswine wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:15 pm
This year, I have enough in the account that I need to report it on form 8938. This account is in my name only. I think it is considered a "Foreign Deposit Account" so has to be reported in Part I rather than II and also in Part V rather than VI of form 8938. What is not super clear to me is whether such account for unallocated gold count as a "Deposit Acccount" (my current interpretation) or as a "Custodial Account". Do some of you have had to report such account, and if so, did you report as deposit or custodial?
Sophie, ahrunforthehills: seeing your previous posts on the forum, would you perhaps be able to chime in here?
Sure, I just whipped out my tax return. Perth always seem to be in that gray area of reporting... but i don't mess around with my Uncle Sam.

We report on both our FBAR and Form 8938.

Form 8938: My Part II and III are blank. Part V, Box 1 - Custodial (Not Deposit)

FBAR: Part III, Box 16 Type of account = Other (Commodities)

I declare the highest monthly balance that I had for the year in US Dollars.

A side note, you can ask the Perth to email you monthly statements for your records.

Not sure how relevant this is, but several years I had a REALLY EXPENSIVE tax adviser (and when I say "adviser", I mean he gave advice but rarely filled out any forms).

This guy followed what happened in tax court like a hawk, would speak before congress, specialized in international taxation, had lots of connections, etc. He had stories that were crazy. Anyways, he would tell me that it is always best to bury the IRS in information.

The more you give them, the less ammo they will have to hold penalties over you in tax court. In some ways, the burden shifts to them since you went above and beyond providing them with the information. They can't really claim that you were purposely withholding information when what really happened is their tax forms make no frickin sense and even CPA put crap in the wrong box. Penalties are the lifeblood of the IRS. Take that away from them and you are a lot less of a juicy target. At least... that was the general gist of what I interpreted from him.

Another side note, the IRS recently made it so you can download your tax transcripts off of their website at any time. This is pretty quick and easy transparency to make sure you and Uncle Sam are on the same page.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I am not a tax professional and am not providing any advice. The above is just what I did and what I heard, not necessarily what you should do or make decisions on. Consult a tax professional.
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sophie
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Re: Perth Mint Online Depository Program

Post by sophie » Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:52 pm

Thanks ahrun!!! I haven't had to file that form yet, just the FBAR. Next year, probably.
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Re: Perth Mint Online Depository Program

Post by williswine » Wed Apr 08, 2020 12:25 pm

Thank you very much ahrunforthehills! I originally considered Perth Mint accounts to be custodial. I've been oscillating between the two possible choices reading the IRC and trying to interpret it. It's of course thorny but what seems to matter is that the mint is not a bank. I should share my analysis when I can find the time.

Meanwhile, I would appreciate if you could share whether your account is a PMDP (offline) as opposed to a PMDO (online) and whether its gold is allocated or unallocated. I don't think the latter matters as far as how to categorize the account but at some point I was wondering if allocated would be custodial while unallocated would be depository. Of course, these accounts having "Depository" in their names does not help yet doesn't mean categorizing as custodial is wrong. Just adds to the confusion!

Another question is whether you're aware of anything a US taxpayer (who has no connection to Australia other than such account) has to do to comply with any Australian tax office requirement. My research indicated there is nothing special to do in that case since the tax residence of the taxpayer is US rather than Australian but of course I would be interested in hearing from you based on your experience.

I wasn't aware the mint could provide monthly statements. I should ask them!

I am not sure to follow how the transcripts help with regards to making sure a taxpayer and the IRS are on the same page. I guess I'll have to download myself. I believe it was impossible for a while.
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Re: Perth Mint Online Depository Program

Post by vnatale » Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:04 pm

MachineGhost wrote:
Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:04 pm
This is the best news in a long time!!!
How can unallocated be 100% backed, yet there is no storage fee?

Unlike other depositories, which are merely warehouses, The Perth Mint is a manufacturer of precious metal products and one of the world's largest refiners. Accordingly, we have a substantial requirement for physical metal to support these operations.

To fund this working inventory, we traditionally borrowed metal from bullion banks, at cost. At the same time, investors were depositing metal with bullion banks and others and being charged storage fees.

We realised there was an opportunity to cut out the intermediary and take deposits directly from investors. The Perth Mint's unallocated is thus a win-win situation: we get to "borrow" precious metal to use in our business for free and you get 100% backed safe storage of your precious metal for free.

We don't charge storage fees on unallocated because the costs of vaulting and insuring our working inventories of gold and silver are part of our business and covered by the fabrication fees we charge for our bars and coins - we would incur these costs whether our metal was sourced from you or a bullion bank. We charge storage fees on allocated and pool allocated because we incur additional vaulting and insurance costs for storing this custodial precious metal.
Still, its a liability of Perth and not your asset.  It is a Ponzi scheme if you request "your" metal.  And if they have to source it outside of other Ponzi scheme participants due to excess demand in a crisis, you may not receive "your" metal at all while the price continues to skyrocket.

They have very steep transanction fees, allocated storage fees and fabrication fees.  Not much has changed.
Anyone else share MachineGhost's position on Perth Mint?

Vinny
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Re: Perth Mint Online Depository Program

Post by vnatale » Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:17 pm

MachineGhost wrote:
Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:24 pm
AdamA wrote:
MachineGhost wrote:
Yeah, but no one with a brain would use unallocated storage except as a temporary parking place. 
I'm not sure I agree.  I think either you trust the mint or you don't. 

If they're not honest enough to honor the unallocated storage, then why would anyone expect them to honor the allocated storage?
That's not the point.  It's about title and ownership.  You don't own anything in unallocated storage and have no legal claim on it.  It's a liability on the books of Perth Mint and there is no guarantee there is enough gold readily available at any one time to supply withdrawal demand.  In other words, there's no FR or FDIC to deal with a "bank run".  Unallocated gold is like going back to the past and suffering the same "wildcat banking" indignities all over again.

A real asset is only "real" if its literally real.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MachineGhost wisdom? Or, not?

Vinny
"I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats."
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Re: Perth Mint Online Depository Program

Post by technovelist » Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:24 pm

vnatale wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:17 pm
MachineGhost wrote:
Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:24 pm
AdamA wrote:
MachineGhost wrote:
Yeah, but no one with a brain would use unallocated storage except as a temporary parking place. 
I'm not sure I agree.  I think either you trust the mint or you don't. 

If they're not honest enough to honor the unallocated storage, then why would anyone expect them to honor the allocated storage?
That's not the point.  It's about title and ownership.  You don't own anything in unallocated storage and have no legal claim on it.  It's a liability on the books of Perth Mint and there is no guarantee there is enough gold readily available at any one time to supply withdrawal demand.  In other words, there's no FR or FDIC to deal with a "bank run".  Unallocated gold is like going back to the past and suffering the same "wildcat banking" indignities all over again.

A real asset is only "real" if its literally real.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MachineGhost wisdom? Or, not?

Vinny
Yes. There's something amiss if they aren't charging you for storage.
Another nod to the most beautiful equation: e + 1 = 0
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Hal
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Re: Perth Mint Online Depository Program

Post by Hal » Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:25 pm

technovelist wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:24 pm
vnatale wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:17 pm
MachineGhost wrote:
Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:24 pm
AdamA wrote:
MachineGhost wrote:
Yeah, but no one with a brain would use unallocated storage except as a temporary parking place. 
I'm not sure I agree.  I think either you trust the mint or you don't. 

If they're not honest enough to honor the unallocated storage, then why would anyone expect them to honor the allocated storage?
That's not the point.  It's about title and ownership.  You don't own anything in unallocated storage and have no legal claim on it.  It's a liability on the books of Perth Mint and there is no guarantee there is enough gold readily available at any one time to supply withdrawal demand.  In other words, there's no FR or FDIC to deal with a "bank run".  Unallocated gold is like going back to the past and suffering the same "wildcat banking" indignities all over again.

A real asset is only "real" if its literally real.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MachineGhost wisdom? Or, not?

Vinny
Yes. There's something amiss if they aren't charging you for storage.
The Perth Mints unallocated gold is physical gold being processed. So it is real, however not immediately deliverable ie. Molten Gold in a furnace. The Mint is owned by the Western Australian Government so it's not a private entity.

That said, I only hold allocated gold/silver there as a part of my retirement account.
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