Dec 19

The Rollover Business Start-up Solution

The Business Acquisition & Compliance Solution Structure (BACSS), also known as the “Rollover Business Start-Up” (“ROBS”) Solution, is an IRS and ERISA approved structure that allows an individual to use retirement funds, such as an IRA or 401(k), to purchase a new or existing business or franchise tax-free and penalty-free.

The ROBS arrangement typically involves rolling over a prior IRA or 401(k) plan account into a newly established 401(k) plan, which a start-up C Corporation business sponsored, and then investing the rollover funds in the stock of the new C Corporation.

What is the Difference between using a Self-Directed IRA Vs. ROBS structure to buy a business?

At first glance, using a Self-Directed IRA LLC to purchase stock in a corporation would seem to share many similarities with the ROBS structure.

With IRA Financial Group’s ROBS transactions, the structure typically involves the following sequential steps: (i) an entrepreneur or existing business owner establishes a new C Corporation; (ii) the C Corporation adopts a prototype 401(k) plan that specifically permits plan participants to direct the investment of their plan accounts into a selection of investment options, including employer stock, also known as “qualifying employer securities.”; (iii) the entrepreneur elects to participate in the new 401(k) plan and, as permitted by the plan, directs a rollover or trustee-to-trustee transfer of retirement funds from another qualified retirement plan into the newly adopted 401(k) plan; (iv) the entrepreneur then directs the investment of his or her 401(k) plan account to purchase the C Corporation’s newly issued stock at fair market value (i.e., the amount that the entrepreneur wishes to invest in the new business); and finally (v) the C Corporation utilizes the proceeds from the sale of stock to purchase an existing business or to begin a new venture.

With IRA Financial group’s ROBS strategy, the newly formed business will also be able to borrow from third parties, pay salaries to employees (including shareholders/plan participants), and engage in other routine business transactions with disqualified persons. Commonly, a corporate officer or shareholder will make or guarantee loans to the business.

With a Self-Directed IRA LLC, an entrepreneur could use retirement funds to purchase business assets like with the ROBS strategy. However, that individual would not be able to be actively involved in the business, earn a salary, or even personally guarantee a business loan.

The recent U.S. Tax Court case Peek v. Commissioner, 140 T.C. No. 12 (May 9, 2013), highlights the risk and limitations involved when using a Self-Directed IRA to purchase business assets. In the Peek case, the taxpayers used IRA funds to invest in a corporation that ultimately purchased business assets. Because Mr. Peek used an IRA and not a 401(k) Plan to purchase the C Corporation stock, Mr. Peek was not able to earn a salary or personally guarantee a business loan, which ultimately was the cause of the IRS prohibited transaction rule violation.

If Mr. Peek had used IRA Financial Group’s ROBS strategy, he would have been able to purchase business assets with retirement funds, earn a salary from the business, as well as personally guarantee the business loan without triggering the IRS prohibited transaction rules.

Legal Foundation for the ROBS Solution

An individual retirement account investor is able to use retirement funds to invest in an active trade or business with tax or penalty because the ROBS solution qualifies for a special exemption set forth under IRC 4975(d) to certain prohibited transaction rules. The exemption to the prohibited transaction rules under IRC 4975(d) is centered around ERISA Section 408(e). It is IRC Section 4975(d) and ERISA Section 408(e) which shields employers from scrutiny of routine (non-abusive) corporate transactions by the plan sponsor and other “disqualified persons,” which might otherwise constitute technical violations of the prohibited transaction rules (due to the employer-sponsored retirement plan’s ownership of employer securities). If the plan sponsor and other fiduciaries’ routine corporate transactions did not fall within the purview of ERISA Section 408(e), the prohibited transaction rules would needlessly prohibit a myriad of legitimate business transactions and would ultimately nullify the exemption that Congress intended to provide. To accomplish its intended effect, ERISA Section 408(e) must be read to exempt the natural and necessary commercial consequences of owning corporate stock, rather than just the stock purchase or divestiture.

Important tax and economic policy considerations also compel a different result for 401(k) plans than IRAs. Congress specifically intended to encourage 401(k) plans to invest in employer securities, within certain limits. The opportunity to invest in employer securities through retirement plans benefits employers and employees alike by aligning their economic interests.

Outside the context of ROBS arrangements, many 401(k) plans permit participants to invest in employer stock. A number of large 401(k) plans, including plans sponsored by Apple and Pepsi, include substantial allocations of employer stock.

To learn more about the benefits of the ROBS strategy, please contact a retirement tax expert at 800-472-0646.

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Dec 18

Self Directed Real Estate IRA FAQs

Here are just a few questions often asked when considering real estate investments with a Self-Directed IRA:

Self Directed Real Estate IRA FAQs

If my Self Directed IRA LLC generates income from a passive investment, such as rental income, what happens to the rental income?

In general, all passive income generated by the Self-Directed IRA LLC goes back into the Self Directed IRA LLC tax-free. The Self Directed IRA LLC offers the advantages of tax-free gains and tax deferral allowing you to invest your retirement funds in almost anything, including real estate tax free.

Can my Self Directed IRA LLC get a mortgage on a piece of property?

Yes. The mortgage would need to be a non-recourse type of loan. With a nonrecourse loan, if your IRA fails to make the payments, the only recourse the lender has is the property itself. Also, note that if your IRA obtains a loan, unrelated debt financing income tax (UDFI) will apply, which will subject the portion of the income or gains that are debt financed to Unrelated Business Taxable Income (UBTI).

“Debt-financed property” refers to borrowing money to purchase the real estate (i.e., a leveraged asset that is held to produce income). In such cases, only the income attributable to the financed portion of the property is taxed; gain on the profit from the sale of the leveraged assets is also UDFI (unless the debt is paid off more than 12 months before the property is sold).

Can I use my Self Directed IRA LLC funds to make property improvements or renovations?

Yes. If your Self Directed IRA LLC makes a property investment, all repairs, improvements, or renovations expenses associated with the property must be paid from the Self Directed IRA LLC’s funds.

Note: the repairs and improvements should not be made by you or any other “disqualified person”.

Can I use my Self Directed IRA LLC to make a loan to a friend, real estate developer, or business?

Yes. As long as the borrower is not a disqualified person (i.e. lineal descendant), a loan to a third-party would not be a prohibited transaction.

Can I use my Self Directed IRA LLC to buy a piece of vacation property?

Yes. you may use IRA funds to purchase vacation property; however, you will not be permitted to vacation there.

Note: if you are using a Self Directed Roth IRA LLC, you would generally be permitted to move into the property tax free at age 59 and 1/2.

May I use my Self Directed IRA LLC to invest in property outside the United States?

Yes – you can you use your IRA funds to invest in real estate anywhere in the world. The IRA Financial Group has experience working with clients who have purchased real estate all over the world including, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Mexico, India, Israel, Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, and many more countries. Our retirement tax professionals have significant experience in structuring foreign real estate investments that are tax efficient from a U.S. and foreign tax perspective.

If you have any other questions or would like more information about investing in real estate with a Self-Directed IRA, please contact one of the IRA Experts at the IRA Financial Group @ 800.472.0646!

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Dec 16

Advantages of Converting to a Self-Directed Roth IRA

The main advantage of a Roth IRA over a Traditional IRA is that if you qualify to make contributions, all distributions from the IRA are tax-free. Furthermore, unlike traditional IRAs, you may contribute to a Roth IRA for as long as you continue to have earned income (for a traditional IRA – you can’t make any contributions after you reach age 70 1/2).

Self-Directed Traditional IRA

Self-Directed Roth IRA

Tax deductible contributions

Contributions are not tax deductible – contributions made to a Roth IRA are from after tax dollars

Distributions may be taken by age 59 1/2 and are mandatory by 70 1/2.

No Mandatory Distribution Age – with a Roth IRA you are not required to ever take distributions

Taxes are paid on amount of distributions (10% excise tax may apply if withdrawn prior to age 591/2)

No taxes on distributions if rules and regulations are followed

Available to everyone; no income restrictions

  • Single filers, Head of Household or Married Filing Separately (and you did not live with your spouse during the year) with modified adjusted gross income up to $114,000 this year can make a full contribution.  Contributions are phased-out starting at $114,000 ($116,000 in 2015) and you cannot make a contribution if your adjusted gross income is in excess of $129,000 ($131,000 in 2015).
  • Joint filers with modified adjusted gross income up to $181,000 this year can make a full contribution.  Once again, this contribution is phased-out starting at $181,000 ($183,000 in 2015) and you cannot make a contribution if your adjusted gross income is in excess of $191,000 ($193,000 in 2015).

Funds can be used to purchase a variety of investments (stocks, real estate, precious metals, notes, etc.)

Funds can be used to purchase a variety of investments (stocks, real estate, precious metals, notes, etc.)

IRA investments grow tax-free until distribution (tax deferral)

All earnings and principal are 100% tax free if rules and regulations are followed – No tax on distributions so maximum tax-deferral

Income/gains from IRA investments are tax-free

Income/gains from IRA investments are tax-free

Purchasing a real estate property and taking possession of the property after 59 1/2 would be subject to tax

Purchasing a domestic or foreign real estate property then taking possession after 59 1/2 would be tax-free

 

To learn more about the advantages of converting a Traditional IRA to a Self-Directed Roth IRA LLC please contact one of our IRA experts at 800-472-0646.

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Dec 15

How to Invest in Tax Liens

It’s a little-known fact that tax liens can be purchased with retirement account funds. By Self-Directing your IRA LLC or Solo 401(k) Plan investments into tax liens, your profits are tax-deferred back into your retirement account. More importantly, if you have full checkbook control over your Self-Directed IRA or Solo 401(k), the purchases can be made on the spot as fast as you can write a check. Tax Liens have been a lesser known and under-appreciated money-maker, however learning how they can magnify your earnings in a tax-deferred IRA LLC or 401(k) will make them one of the soundest investments in your retirement account.

The purchase of tax lien certificates is a surprisingly safe investment. The transaction is fast and its characteristics make tax liens a perfect investment for the individual with full checkbook control of an IRA Financial Group IRA LLC or Solo 401(k) Plan. In fact, the use of a Self-Directed IRA LLC is one of the most tax efficient ways to finance your tax lien purchase. IRA Financial Group’s IRA LLC allows investors to participate in a wide range of investment vehicles including, but not limited to tax liens, real estate, mortgages, franchise, notes, stocks and mutual funds, partnerships, etc.

The Solo 401(k) Plan offers a highly attractive loan feature allowing for the purchase of tax liens. Under the Solo 401(k) Plan, a participant can borrow up to either $50,000 or 50% of their account value – whichever is less. The IRA Financial Group Solo 401(k) Plan documents will allow you to use a loan from your Solo 401(k) to finance your tax lien purchase.

These unique IRS approved structures are created by IRA Financial Group’s in-house tax and ERISA professionals who personally customize your account structure to suit your needs. Only a handful of institutions are skilled in these specialized account structures and IRA Financial Group is the “gold standard” for Compliance, Leadership, Customer Service, and Technological Innovation.

Facts & Opportunities Surrounding Tax Liens

Real estate has long been considered one of the best (and safest) investment opportunities for both the large and small capitalist. Savvy investors know that the trick to making money in a downward spiraling market is to purchase properties for a fraction of their value. The question is…How? Many are finding the perfect answer in the high-profit possibilities of investing in Tax Lien Sales.

When a property owner falls behind on their taxes, failing to pay for one or more years, the local taxing authority has the legal right to place a lien or repossess the property and sell it at auction to recoup the lost tax revenue. How long local authorities wait to seize individual properties, and how much they allow to be owed on it before one of these events is up to the lien laws in their particular area. In many cases properties may be acquired for a few thousand dollars, regardless of how much it’s actually worth! Similarly, paying off the lien on others may cost more than the house or land is worth. A savvy investor takes the time to research each property carefully prior to sale day.

Tax Lien Sales

Tax lien sales usually happen at public auctions once or twice a year, depending on the area in which it is located, and how many properties the government may seize annually for back taxes. Larger urban areas may hold monthly auctions, while smaller rural ones might only have one a year.

Types of Tax Liens

There are two types of tax lien sales through auction: the tax lien certificate; and the tax lien deed. Both can be a safe yet profitable opportunity for investors with check book control.

Tax Lien Certificate sales offer the delinquent homeowner one last chance to retain ownership of their property, by using third-party investment money to pay off the taxes and give them a bit more time to collect the money needed to pay their debt without the risk of losing their home. When an investor bids on a tax lien certificate, he is in essence agreeing to loan the homeowner the money needed to pay all taxes due. The homeowner, in turn, agrees to pay back the tax lien certificate holder – with interest – by a specified date. If the homeowner fails to pay the debt on time, the deed to the property is transferred to the investor for the amount paid on the taxes. Either way the investor makes a profit: either on the interest he earns on the loan; or by obtaining the property for a fraction of its value through the tax lien sale, and then reselling it.

Tax Lien Deed sales are handled a bit differently, since the investor is actually bidding (or buying), the complete property at the time of auction, with no responsibility to give the homeowner more time to pay his/her tax debt. Once the selling price is approved, the deed is automatically transferred to its new owner, giving the investor full reign as to what to do with the property next: renovate it; sell it as-is; or raze the existing house and build anew.

Investors usually pay more for properties in this type of tax lien sale, which may lower their profit margins compared to the acquisition of tax lien certificate properties. But, many investors prefer outright purchases to eliminate problems with current homeowners. Either way, investing in tax liens is a profitable and easy way to enter the real estate market in virtually any area.

How Much Money Can I Make and How?

1. Double Your Money Quickly. A Self-Directed IRA LLC or Solo 401(k) plan can be supercharged when you buy tax lien certificates. Example: A tax lien certificate can earn up to 16% annually in your Self-Directed IRA or Solo 401(k). When you buy tax lien investments you generally receive the amount invested plus interest within 12 months. If you continue to reinvest in tax liens year after year at 16%, you can double your money in about 4.4 years. Only a Self-Directed IRA LLC can preserve this 16% return, as traditional IRAs do not invest in tax liens.

2. Your Money Grows Tax-Free. By buying tax liens in an IRA Financial Group Self-Directed IRA LLC or Solo 401(k), you can avoid all taxes until the money invested is withdrawn from the IRA or 401(k), which is usually around age 59 1/2. The money can be invested once, twice or a thousand times and continue to grow tax-free, so long as it is not withdrawn for personal use. If you use a Self-Directed Roth IRA LLC, your investment will grow tax-free and you can withdraw the funds tax-free once you reach the age of 59 1/2.

3. The Flexibility to Buy Time Sensitive Investments. IRA Financial Group’s Self-Directed IRA LLC allows you to carry a checkbook that is tied to the account while the Solo 401(k) Plan allows the participant to serve in the trustee role. This means that all assets of the 401(k) trust are under your sole authority (“checkbook control”). This gives you incredible freedom to fund the investment at a moment’s notice. In this arrangement, you can buy tax liens with the stroke of the pen, without a custodian or other bureaucrat saying no or otherwise trying to slow down the process.

Tax liens are backed and leveraged by real estate and guaranteed by the governmental taxing authority. In most states, they are a first lien on real estate, and when foreclosed, they wipe out all junior liens, including mortgages. This allows you to potentially receive a valuable piece of real estate for pennies on the dollar!

Time to Act

Real property has been the cornerstone of wealth for thousands of years. While ill-informed speculators have fled real estate because of the housing bust, intelligent real estate investors are enjoying immense profits by expanding their geographic scope and investing for predictable income.

Why are we significantly less than everyone else and “The best in the business”?

Establish a Self-Directed IRA LLC or Solo 401(k) with IRA Financial Group and have immediate “checkbook control” to make tax lien investments.

Our in-house tax and ERISA professionals will take care of setting up your Self-Directed IRA LLC or Solo 401(k) Plan. Our tax and ERISA professionals are onsite greatly reducing the setup time and cost. You will find that our fee for this service is significantly less than other companies that perform the same or similar services.

Please contact one of our IRA Experts at 800-472-0646 for more information.

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Dec 11

IRS Seeks to Learn More About IRA Alternative Asset Investments for Valuation Purposes

2015 IRS forms 5498 & 1099-R to seek more details on types of IRA Investments

Due to the increase in popularity of the self-directed IRA structures, the IRS is looking to gain more information on the types of investments being made by IRAs in order to make sure that these IRA accounts are being properly valued when it comes to taking required minimum distributions or doing Roth conversions. In 2015, the IRS has modified IRS forms 5498 & 1099-R in order to get a better handle on the type of assets the IRA holds so it can better evaluate IRA account values. In 2015, both forms will now request information concerning the type of investments the IRA holds, including whether it is made non-publicly traded stock, partnership or limited liability interest, real estate, options, or other hard-to-value investments. IRA account values are very important to the IRS as IRA distributions generate a significant source of tax revenues for the IRS and Treasury. “The new IRS Form 5498 and 1099-R requirements are a way for the IRS to make sure that that IRA holders are properly valuing their IRAs and paying their fair share of tax based on fair market valuations, “ stated Adam Bergman, a tax partner with the IRA Financial Group. According to Mr. Bergman, based off the new changes to IRS Forms 5498 & 1099-R, it appears that the IRS wants all assets to be fairly valued for all taxable events, including Roth IRA conversions and for in-kind IRA distributions to the account owner. Because both of these IRA events are taxable, the IRS believes that inaccurate valuations are costing them potential tax revenues and they believe that new reporting rules will help reduce this from happening. “One actual benefit of the new IRS reporting rules regarding IRA valuations is that now it will be much easier to show your IRA has decreased in value, which will help potentially reduce the tax liability on a Roth conversion or distribution.

IRS Seeks to Learn More About IRA Alternative Asset Investments for Valuation Purposes IRA Financial Group’s “checkbook control” Self-Directed IRA, also called a real estate IRA with checkbook control, is an IRS approved structure that allows one to use their retirement funds to make real estate and other investments tax-free and without custodian consent. The Self-Directed IRA LLC involves the establishment of a limited liability company (“LLC”) that is owned by the IRA (care of the Roth IRA custodian) and managed by the IRA holder or any third-party. As manager of the IRA LLC, the IRA owner will have control over the IRA assets to make the investments he or she wants and understands. According to Mr. Bergman, “ some people are incorrectly stating that the new reporting rules is a way for the IRS to crack down on “checkbook control” structures, which is clearly not the case. The new reporting rules are solely based on the IRS focus on valuing alternative assets owned by IRAs, that is why they also will be amending the IRS Form 1099-R, which is the form which reports conversions or distributions. In fact, IRS Form 1099-R includes a new code “K”, which will allow one to report a distribution from an IRA with no readily available value. “Although the new changes to the IRS Form 5498 & 1099-R, will provide the IRS more information about the types of IRA investments, specifically whether the investment is traditional or alternative, the focus of the IRS is purely on making sure IRAs are being properly valued and not whether they are using an LLC to make the investment, “ according to Mr. Bergman. “If the transaction is not violating the IRS prohibited transaction rules then there is really nothing for an IRA holder to worry about regarding the IRS Form 5498 & 1099-R new rules, “ stated Mr. Bergman.

The IRA Financial Group was founded by a group of top law firm tax and ERISA lawyers who have worked at some of the largest law firms in the United States, such as White & Case LLP, Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, and Thelen LLP.

IRA Financial Group is the market’s leading “checkbook control” Self Directed IRA Facilitator. IRA Financial Group has helped thousands of clients take back control over their retirement funds while gaining the ability to invest in almost any type of investment, including real estate without custodian consent.

To learn more about the IRA Financial Group please visit our website at http://www.irafinancialgroup.com or call 800-472-0646.

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Dec 09

End of Year Planning – Don’t Forget Your IRA RMD!

For those of you who have a tax-deferred retirement plan, such as an IRA or 401(k), you must start taking required minimum distributions or RMDs once you reach age 70 1/2 (and every year thereafter).  If you have failed to take one yet for this year, you have until December 31 to do so.

Why the need for an RMD?  When you contribute to a traditional plan, you do not pay taxes on the amount contributed.  The IRS wants it’s cut, so they force you to start withdrawing from these plans whether you need to or not.  The amount is different for everybody and is based on your account balance(s) and your age/life expectancy.

End of Year Planning - Don't Forget Your IRA RMD!As mentioned, once you turn 70 1/2 you must start withdrawing from your IRA.  However, if you reached that age this year, you can defer your first RMD until April 1, 2015.  If you do so, you will need to take two withdrawals next year, one for 2014 and one for 2015.  Further, if you took your first RMD this past April, you still need to take your second one before the end of the year.

What if you miss an RMD or do not take the full amount?  The penalty is severe!  You will be hit with a 50% penalty on the amount you failed to distribute.  This is in addition to the taxes that should’ve been paid on the amount.  You will continue to be penalized until you take the proper amount.

If you have multiple accounts, you must figure out the RMD for each account.  Be sure you’re not forgetting an account or you might be short on your distribution.  While an RMD is calculated for every IRA you own, your RMD does not have to be taken from each one.  You can take it from one account (usually an under-performing one) or you can spread your distribution from any or all of them.

If you have a non-spousal Inherited IRA and the previous owner had already begun taking his or her RMDs, you must continue to take them as well.  The only difference is the amount is based on your life expectancy so the amount will be much lower.

Lastly, RMDs must be taken from all traditional plans, such as SEP and SIMPLE IRAs as well as Self-Directed IRAs.  The exception is Roth IRAs.  These accounts were funded with after-tax money, therefore you are not forced to withdraw money for tax purposes.

In conclusion, if you or someone you know has hit their 70’s, make sure to follow the rules for RMDs or the penalty will be costly.  For more information about IRAs, please contact a retirement expert from the IRA Financial Group @ 800.472.0646.

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Dec 08

Rules for Purchasing Coins with a Self Directed IRA

The IRS does not list the type of assets or investments that may be purchased with retirement funds, but does indicate which categories of assets or investments are not permitted.

The categories of transactions that are not permitted to be purchased using a Self-Directed IRA LLC can be found in Internal Revenue Code Sections 408 & 4975.

When it comes to coins or metals, Internal revenue Code Section 408 is generally the provision that applies. In general, collectibles such as artworks, rugs, stamps, certain coins, beverages and antiques, etc. are not allowed within a Self-Directed IRA LLC, pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 408.

Internal Revenue Code Section 408 is specific as to what defines a collectible. Some notable exceptions are allowed for certain gold (such as American Eagle) and silver coins and any coins issued by a state. Legislation in 1997 further liberalized the rules for IRAs by making reference to specific definitions of acceptable coins in USCS, title 31; IRC sections 5112(a), (e) and (k); the Commodity Exchange Act; and IRC section 408(m)(3).

This change, in general, resulted in a windfall for individual collectors as well as coin and precious metal dealers (all of the coins allowed must be minted by the U.S. government or the states).

The Law

Internal Revenue Code Section 408(m):

(3) Exception for certain coins and bullion

For purposes of this subsection, the term “collectible” shall not include —

(A) any coin which is —

(i) a gold coin described in paragraph (7), (8), (9), or (10) of section 5112 (a) of title 31, United States Code,

(ii) a silver coin described in section 5112 (e) of title 31, United States Code,

(iii) a platinum coin described in section 5112 (k) of title 31, United States Code, or

(iv) a coin issued under the laws of any State, or

(B) any gold, silver, platinum, or palladium bullion of a fineness equal to or exceeding the minimum fineness that a contract market (as described in section 7 of the Commodity Exchange Act, 7 U.S.C. 7) requires for metals which may be delivered in satisfaction of a regulated futures contract if such bullion is in the physical possession of a trustee described under subsection (a) of this section.

Subsection (a) states:

(a) Individual retirement account

For purposes of this section, the term “individual retirement account” means a trust created or organized in the United States for the exclusive benefit of an individual or his beneficiaries, but only if the written governing instrument creating the trust meets the following requirements:

(1) Except in the case of a rollover contribution described in subsection (d)(3) in section 402 (c), 403 (a)(4), 403 (b)(8), or 457 (e)(16), no contribution will be accepted unless it is in cash, and contributions will not be accepted for the taxable year on behalf of any individual in excess of the amount in effect for such taxable year under section 219 (b)(1)(A).

(2) The trustee is a bank (as defined in subsection (n)) or such other person who demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary that the manner in which such other person will administer the trust will be consistent with the requirements of this section.

(3) No part of the trust funds will be invested in life insurance contracts.

(4) The interest of an individual in the balance in his account is non-forfeitable.

(5) The assets of the trust will not be commingled with other property except in a common trust fund or common investment fund.

(6) Under regulations prescribed by the Secretary, rules similar to the rules of section 401 (a)(9) and the incidental death benefit requirements of section 401 (a) shall apply to the distribution of the entire interest of an individual for whose benefit the trust is maintained.

Hence, it is clear that in the case of physical metals, such as gold, the metals must be held in the physical possession of a U.S. trust (i.e. bank or depository), however, the “physical possession” requirement does not appear to relate to the possession of coins. A more detailed analysis will follow below.

31 U.S.C. 5112 refers to Denominations, specifications and design of coins.

(a) The Secretary of the Treasury may mint and issue only the following coins:

(1) a dollar coin that is 1.043 inches in diameter.

(2) a half dollar coin that is 1.205 inches in diameter and weighs 11.34 grams.

(3) a quarter dollar coin that is 0.955 inch in diameter and weighs 5.67 grams.

(4) a dime coin that is 0.705 inch in diameter and weighs 2.268 grams.

(5) a 5-cent coin that is 0.835 inch in diameter and weighs 5 grams.

(6) except as provided under subsection (c) of this section, a one-cent coin that is 0.75 inch in diameter and weighs 3.11 grams.

(7) A fifty dollar gold coin that is 32.7 millimeters in diameter, weighs 33.931 grams, and contains one troy ounce of fine gold.

(8) A twenty-five dollar gold coin that is 27.0 millimeters in diameter, weighs 16.966 grams, and contains one-half troy ounce of fine gold.

(9) A ten dollar gold coin that is 22.0 millimeters in diameter, weighs 8.483 grams, and contains one-fourth troy ounce of fine gold.

(10) and contains one-tenth troy ounce of fine gold.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary shall mint and issue, in quantities sufficient to meet public demand, coins which —

(1) are 40.6 millimeters in diameter and weigh 31.103 grams;

(2) contain .999 fine silver;

(3) have a design —

(A) symbolic of Liberty on the obverse side; and

(B) of an eagle on the reverse side;

(k) The Secretary may mint and issue platinum bullion coins and proof platinum coins in accordance with such specifications, designs, varieties, quantities, denominations, and inscriptions as the Secretary, in the Secretary’s discretion, may prescribe from time to time.

How do I hold IRS Approved Coins with a Self-Directed IRA LLC?

Now that you have a clear idea of the types of coins that the IRS allows to be purchased using retirement funds, the next questions becomes how can the coins be held without violating IRS rules?

Rules for Purchasing Coins with a Self Directed IRAUnlike precious metals, the Internal revenue Code and the legislative history does not include a requirement that IRS approved coins be held in the “physical possession of a U.S. trustee.” If so, the requirement would have been so stated in the tax code. Accordingly, it appears that IRS approved coins can be purchased by a Self-Directed IRA LLC and not be held at a depository or U.S. Bank. However, based on conversations between IRA Financial Group tax counsel and representatives of the IRS and Department of Labor, we suggest that our clients try to hold IRS approved coins at a bank safety deposit box, depository, or some sort of third-party vault in the name of the IRA LLC.  The reason for this is that it is another level of separation between the IRA holder – a disqualified person – and the IRA LLC assets (the coins), which the IRS plan asset rules will attribute to the IRA even though the coins will be owned by the LLC. Irrespective of the fact that it appears that IRS approved coins are not required to be held in the “physical possession of a U.S. trustee”, holding the coins in the physical possession of a disqualified person puts the onus on the IRS holder, as the disqualified person, to prove that no self-dealing or conflict of interest event occurred in the case of an IRS inquiry.  For any IRA Financial Group client that wishes to hold IRS approved coins in their physical possession, our retirement tax professionals suggest that an affidavit be drafted stating that the IRS approved coins are being hold solely for the benefit of the IRA and not for any personal or other benefit.  We also suggest that the affidavit be signed and notarized.

In summary, the “physical possession” threshold seems to only apply to IRS approved precious metals under Internal Revenue Code Section 408(m), although the tax code does not state anywhere that the coins could be held in the possession of a disqualified person.  For this reason, the retirement tax professionals at the IRA Financial Group suggest that individuals seeking to hold IRS approved coins hold the coins at a bank safety deposit box in the name of the LLC or some sort of vault or depository. However, holding the coins personally does not appear to violate Internal Revenue Code Section 408. That being said, for all individuals wishing to hold IRS approved coins personally, the retirement tax professionals at the IRA Financial Group suggest having some sort of affidavit stating that the coins will not be held for any personal benefit and will, thus, not violate any of the Internal Revenue Code Section 4975 self-dealing or prohibited transaction rules.

To learn more about purchasing and holding coins with a Self-Directed IRA LLC, please contact one our tax professionals at 800-472-0646.

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Dec 04

Self-Directed IRA Real Estate Investors Turning to Millennial Generation for IRA Investment Opportunities

IRA investors looking to buy real estate with retirement funds in cities with an upsurge in millennials

IRA Financial Group, the leading provider of “checkbook control” self-directed IRA LLC solutions, has seen a growing trend amongst self-directed IRA LLC real estate investors looking to buy homes in cities with an upsurge in millennials, which accounted for one-third of the U.S. population in 2013. The millennial generation is often referred to people whose birth years range from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. Many self-directed IRA real estate investors believe that with the baby boomer generation heading towards retirement and possibly downsizing, buying an investment property in a city with an upsurge in millennial should prove to be a successful investment. Real estate markets such as Austin, Dallas, Denver, Des Moines, Iowa, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Madison, Nashville, and Washington DC are popular cities where self-directed IRA real estate investors are looking to for investment opportunities.

“Many of our self-directed IRA clients believe that in 2015 the mortgage underwriting standards will be less strict making it easier for the millennial generation to buy homes, “ stated Adam Bergman, a tax partner with the IRA Financial Group.

Self-Directed IRA Real Estate Investors Turning to Millennial Generation for IRA Investment OpportunitiesIRA Financial Group’s Self-Directed IRA for real estate investors, also called a real estate IRA with checkbook control, is an IRS approved structure that allows one to use their retirement funds to make real estate and other investments tax-free and without custodian consent. The Self-Directed IRA LLC involves the establishment of a limited liability company (“LLC”) that is owned by the IRA (care of the Roth IRA custodian) and managed by the IRA holder or any third-party. As manager of the IRA LLC, the IRA owner will have control over the IRA assets to make the investments he or she wants and understands. The IRS has always permitted one to use retirement assets to purchase real estate rental properties.

“With IRA Financial Group’s self-directed IRA LLC solution, investors can make real estate purchases and generate tax-deferred rental income or tax-free rental income in the case of a self-directed IRA. Self-Directed IRA investors are looking to follow the millennial generation into the markets they are moving to in order to be able to make tax-deferred funds through rental investments or house flipping, “ stated Mr. Bergman.

Instead of buying real estate with personal funds and being subject to tax on the income or upon the disposition of the asset, a Self Directed IRA real estate LLC with Checkbook Control will allow one to buy real estate, including rental properties without paying tax immediately.

The IRA Financial Group was founded by a group of top law firm tax and ERISA lawyers who have worked at some of the largest law firms in the United States, such as White & Case LLP, Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, and Thelen LLP.

IRA Financial Group is the market’s leading “checkbook control” Self Directed IRA Facilitator. IRA Financial Group has helped thousands of clients take back control over their retirement funds while gaining the ability to invest in almost any type of investment, including real estate without custodian consent.

To learn more about the IRA Financial Group please visit our website at http://www.irafinancialgroup.com or call 800-472-0646.

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Dec 02

Advantages of a Checkbook IRA

Custodian Controlled vs. Checkbook Control

Experience the Self-Directed IRA LLC “Checkbook Control” Advantage

Many traditional IRA custodians advertise themselves as offering a Self-Directed IRA, but what that really means is that you will need approval from your custodian before making an investment. Whereas, in the case of a truly Self-Directed IRA, a limited liability company (“LLC”) is established that is owned by the IRA account and managed by the IRA account holder providing the IRA holder with “checkbook control” over his or her funds.

In general, there are three categories of self-directed IRA structures distinguishable by the level of control the custodian exercises over your IRA investments.

1. Financial Institution Self-Directed IRA

With a financial institution self-directed IRA, you are able to direct your IRA investments, however, you are generally limited to investing in the financial products offered by the financial institution. For example, a financial institution such as Vanguard or Fidelity will allow you to select the type of investments for your IRA, but your choices would generally be limited to the financial products they offer, such a stocks, mutual funds, and bonds. With a financial institution self-directed IRA, you will not be permitted to make non-traditional investments such as real estate, precious metals, private business investments, foreign currency, options, etc.

2. Custodian Controlled Self-Directed IRA Without “Checkbook Control”

With a custodian controlled Self-Directed IRA without “Checkbook Control”, many types of nontraditional investments, such as real estate, are generally permitted, however, custodian consent is required in order to enter into and execute the transaction. This typically results in long delays and high custodian fees associated with the transaction. For example, before engaging in an IRA investment, you will be required to receive the consent of the custodian. To this end, you will be required to provide the custodian with the transaction documents for review as part of their transaction review process. As a result, it is common to experience time delays as well as high annual fees as well as additional transaction fees. For example, it is common for a moderately active investor with $50,000 in assets with a Self-Directed IRA custodian without checkbook control to end up paying from $400 to $600 in aggregate annual fees (i.e. account value fee, transaction fees, approval letters).

In addition, there is no guarantee that the custodian will approve your investment even though the investment would not violate IRS rules. Overall, with a custodian controlled self-directed IRA, even though you will generally be permitted to make most non-traditional IRA investments, time delays and high custodian fees are the common characteristics of using a custodian controlled self-directed IRA.

3. Self-Directed IRA LLC with “Checkbook Control”

With a truly Self-Directed IRA, you will have total control over your IRA funds and you will no longer have to get each investment approved by the custodian of your account. Instead, all decisions are truly yours. When you find an investment that you want to make with your IRA funds, simply write a check or wire the funds straight from your Self-Directed IRA LLC bank account to make the investment. A truly Self-Directed IRA allows you to eliminate the delays associated with an IRA custodian, enabling you to act quickly when the right investment opportunity presents itself.

With a Self-Directed IRA LLC, a limited liability company (“LLC”) is established that is owned by the IRA account and managed by the IRA account holder. The IRA Holder’s IRA funds are then transferred by the Custodian to the LLC’s bank account providing the IRA holder with “checkbook control” over his or her IRA funds.

The Self-Directed IRA LLC “Checkbook Control” Structure has been in use for over 30 years. The notion of using an entity owned by an IRA to make an investment was first reviewed by the Tax Court in Swanson V. Commissioner 106 T.C. 76 (1996). In Swanson, the Tax Court, in holding against the IRS, ruled that the capitalization of a new entity by an IRA for making IRA related investments was a permitted transaction and not prohibited pursuant to Code Section 4975. The Swanson Case was later affirmed by the IRS in Field Service Advice Memorandum (FSA) 200128011.

With a Self-Directed IRA LLC with “Checkbook Control”, when you find an investment that you want to make with your IRA funds, simply write a check or wire the funds straight from your Self-Directed IRA LLC bank account to make the investment. The Self-Directed IRA allows you to eliminate the delays associated with an IRA custodian, enabling you to act quickly when the right investment opportunity presents itself.

Financial Institution Self-Directed IRA

Custodian Controlled Self-Directed IRA Without “Checkbook Control”

Self-Directed IRA LLC with “Checkbook Control”

Traditional investments options (stocks, mutual funds, etc.)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Nontraditional Investment options (i.e. real estate, precious metals, tax liens, etc)

No

Yes

Yes

Unlimited Investment Options

No

No

Yes

All Investments must be approved by the custodian

N/A

Yes

No

True “checkbook control”

No

No

Yes

Direct Access to your Retirement Funds

No

No

Yes

Limited Liability

No

No

Yes

High annual account fees

No

Yes

No

Transaction fees

No

Yes

No

Bankruptcy Protection of up to $1 million

Yes

Yes

Yes

For more information about the Checkbook IRA advantage, please contact an IRA Expert from the IRA Financial Group @ 800.472.0646!

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Dec 01

Advantages of a Self-Directed Roth IRA LLC

There are many advantages to using a Self-Directed Roth IRA LLC:

Tax-Free Investing: The primary advantage of using a Self-Directed Roth IRA LLC to make investments is that all income and gains associated with the Roth IRA investment grow tax-free and will not be subject to tax upon withdrawal or distribution. This is because unlike traditional IRAs, you are generally not subject to any tax upon taking Roth IRA distributions once you reach the age of 59 1/2.

Investment Options: With the Self-Directed Roth IRA LLC, you can invest in almost any type of investment, including real estate, private business entities, tax liens, precious metals and commercial paper tax-free!

Diversification: With the Self-Directed Roth IRA LLC, you can invest in almost any type of investment, including real estate, allowing you to diversify and better protect your retirement portfolio.

“Checkbook Control”: With a Self-Directed Roth IRA LLC, you have even more advantages, including what’s called “checkbook control”. As manager of the Self-Directed IRA LLC you will have the ability to make IRA investments without seeking the consent of a custodian. Instead, all decisions are truly yours.

Access: With a Self-Directed Roth IRA LLC, you will have direct access to your IRA funds allowing you to make an investment quickly and efficiently. There is no need to obtain approvals from your custodian, or deal with time delays in awaiting approval from your custodian, or pay any review fees.

Speed: With a Self-Directed Roth IRA LLC, when you find an investment that you want to make with your IRA funds, simply write a check or wire the funds straight from your Self-Directed Roth IRA LLC bank account to make the investment. The Self-Directed Roth IRA LLC allows you to eliminate the delays associated with an IRA custodian, enabling you to act quickly when the right investment opportunity presents itself.

Lower fees: Another advantage to a Self-Directed Roth IRA LLC account is that you can save a lot of money on custodian fees. With the “checkbook control” Self-Directed Roth IRA LLC structure, you will not be required to seek custodian approval when making IRA investments allowing you to eliminate custodian transaction fees and account valuation fees.

Limited Liability: By using a Self-Directed Roth IRA LLC with “Checkbook Control”, your Roth IRA will benefit from the limited liability protection afforded by using an LLC. By using an LLC, all your Roth IRA assets held outside the LLC will be shielded from attack. This is especially important in the case of Roth IRA real estate investments where many state statutes impose an extended statute of limitation for claims arising from defects in the design or construction of improvements to real estate.

Asset & Creditor Protection: By using a Self-Directed Roth IRA LLC with “Checkbook Control”, the Roth IRA holder’s Roth IRA will be protected for up to $1 million in the case of personal bankruptcy. In addition, most states will shield a Self-Directed Roth IRA from creditors attack against the Roth IRA holder outside of bankruptcy. Therefore, by using a Self-Directed Roth IRA LLC, the Roth IRA will be generally protected against creditor attack against the Roth IRA holder.

Self-Directed Roth IRA LLC Structure

To view a diagram of the Self-Directed IRA LLC structure, please select the image below.

Self Directed IRA LLC

 

Please contact one of our IRA Experts at 800-472-0646 for more information.

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