Furthermore, futures-based ETF investors will receive a K-1 form from the fund provider that outlines gains from the shares, which you will have to pay taxes on.

Paul Justice, director of ETF research at Morningstar, notes that investors can hold these types of commodity ETFs in an IRA instead. While you would still owe standard tax on IRA withdrawals upon retirement, buying and selling commodity ETFs within an IRA does not trigger tax consequences.

For more tax information on ETFs, visit our taxes category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

Full disclosure: Tom Lydon’s clients own GLD.