Why use a self-directed IRA to invest in gold?
Gold and precious metals are a popular investment choice for the self-directed IRA and Solo 401(k). One of the major reasons is that a self-directed IRA/401(k) with Checkbook Control allows you to take physical possession of gold in the form of coins. Before investing, however, it pays to review the IRS guidelines which regulate these transactions.
Gold, silver, and platinum coins which may be held personally in a self-directed IRA
Section 408(m)(3)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code states explicitly that certain kinds of coins are not considered collectibles, and thus may legitimately be held as a retirement asset. The IRC there references USC Title 31 Section 5112 as to which coins are acceptable. There are a number of technical qualifications, and the takeaway for retirement investors is that these qualifications are all met in American Eagles. In other words, American Eagles that are purchased with self-directed retirement funds may be held personally without the use of a trustee or other designated custodian. This regulation includes gold, silver, and platinum Eagles.
Gold, silver, and platinum that must be held by a trustee or custodian
Aside from American Eagles there are a number of forms that precious metals can take and still be considered an acceptable retirement asset. The difference, however, is that when the precious metals come in these alternative forms, they must be held by an official custodian. The regulations for this type of asset differentiate between coins and bullion. Section 408(m)(3)(A) of the IRC (Internal Revenue Code) lists what types of coins can be held in a retirement account. The following are all acceptable choices:
- Gold: American Eagle coins, U.S. Buffalo Bullion coins, Canadian Maple Leaf Coins, Austrian Philharmonic coins, Australian Kangaroo/Nugget coins
- Silver: American Eagle coins, Canadian Maple Leaf coins, Austrian Vienna Philharmonic coins, Australian Kookaburra coins, Mexican Libertad coins
- Platinum: American Eagle coins, Canadian Maple Leaf coins, Australian Koala coins
Section 408(m)(3)(B) of the IRC defines the standards for investors looking to acquire bullion. Bullion is an acceptable investment as long as the following criteria are met:
- The fineness of the bars must meet material specific levels: .9950 for gold, .9990 for silver, and .9995 for platinum and palladium.
- The bars must be fabricated by a COMEX or NYMEX approved refiner.
The manager of an IRA LLC and the Trustee of a Solo 401(k) Plan can purchase American Eagles and personally store them on behalf of the LLC/Trust. Other approved coins and bullion may be purchased but must be held by a third-party custodian or trust company. Find out more about Broad Financial’s Gold IRA.