A little over a month ago I put up a short post on how gains in a precious metal ETF might be taxed at the collectible rate of 28% instead of the normal long term capital gain rate of 15%. I said I would dig around to see if I could find more on it.
The IRS Office of Chief Counsel issued a memorandum in May 2008 stating that, generally speaking, metals-based ETFs are treated as if the shareholder held the metal itself. In other words, the 28% tax applies.
Something to keep in mind if you are considering taking profits on those GLD shares that have shot up and (recently) down.