Are Self-Directed IRAs with Checkbook Control Legal?
Yes. The question was brought before the U.S. Tax Court in Swanson v. Commissioner, 106 T.C. 76 (1996). The Court ruled against the IRS and affirmed the validity of the Checkbook Control platform. The IRS acknowledged the Court’s ruling in Field Service Advisory (FSA) 200128011 (April 6, 2001). In that FSA, the IRS stated:
“In light of Swanson, we conclude that a prohibited transaction did not occur under section 4975(c)(1)(A) in the original issuance of the stock of FSC A to the IRAs in this case. Similarly, we conclude that payment of dividends by FSC A to the IRAs in this case is not a prohibited transaction under section 4975(c)(1)(D). We further conclude, considering Swanson, that we should not maintain that the ownership of FSC A stock by the IRAs, together with the payment of dividends by FSC A to the IRAs, constitutes a prohibited transaction under section 4975(c)(1)(E). Accordingly, this case should not be pursued as one involving prohibited transactions.”
Are Self Directed Solo 401(k)s legal?
Yes. The Self Directed Solo 401(k) is an IRS Qualified Retirement Plan. The Plan itself has already been approved by the IRS.
Do additional contributions to the LLC associated with the Self Directed IRA constitute a Prohibited Transaction?
No. The Department of Labor has stated that that this is a perfectly legal transaction. You can read the text of the decision here: https://www.dol.gov/ebsa/programs/ori/advisory97/97-23a.htm
Is it legal to personally possess gold in a retirement plan?
Gold usually comes in two forms: coins and bullion. Gold coins (such as American Eagles and other approved coins) may be held personally. Bullion, however, must be held by a custodian. The need for a custodian to hold bullion can be found in the Internal Revenue Code Section 408(m)(3)(B).
Does a Self Directed IRA raise a red flag with the IRS?
Absolutely not. The tax filings for a self-directed IRA are identical to those of a standard IRA. That means that the IRS would never know an individual has a self-directed IRA unless there was reason to investigate the individual for other reasons.