What is a Self-Directed IRA?
It’s a little known fact that retirement accounts can invest in alternate assets, such as real estate and Bitcoin with the Self-Directed IRA. But what is a Self-Directed IRA? Essentially, it is just like a Traditional IRA that can invest in traditional assets, like stocks, but also alternative assets, like real estate. This has been allowed since the IRA was first created.
The Self-Directed IRA is the vehicle that is best known for allowing investors to use IRA funds to buy alternative assets. In the last several years, the number of Self-Directed IRA accounts has grown significantly. The increase in Self-Directed IRAs being formed is largely attributed to the shaky performance of the stock market, the growth of the real estate market, the lack of liquidity in the small business loan market, and the increase in media coverage by the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, The New York Times, and some of the other major financial media companies.
It is not entirely uncommon for a tax or financial advisor to have not heard of Self-Directed IRAs, given the fact that the traditional financial institutions have concealed their benefits due to their focus on selling the more profitable financial products, such as equities, bonds, and mutual funds. In the past few years, the movement toward nontraditional investments has picked up steam, specifically real estate and cryptocurrencies.
The term alternative assets generally include any non-traditional asset class and covers investments that do not trade publicly on an organized exchange. This includes any investment outside of public stocks, bonds, money markets or cash. In general, alternative investments are typically complex, illiquid, and more difficult to value than traditional assets. They typically offer the opportunity to earn investment returns in excess of those generally available in the traditional financial markets.
The Internal Revenue Code does not describe what a Self-Directed IRA can invest in, only what it cannot invest in. Internal Revenue Code Sections 408 & 4975 prohibits Disqualified Persons from engaging in certain types of transactions. In general, as long as the Self-Directed IRA does not purchase life insurance, collectibles, or engage in a prohibited transaction outlined in IRC 4975, then the investment can be made.
The Self-Directed Roth IRA Advantage
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. Unlike traditional IRAs, you aren’t typically not subject to tax upon taking Roth IRA distributions once you reach 59 1/2.
With the Self-Directed Roth IRA LLC, you can invest in any type of investment. This includes:
- Real estate
- Private business entities
- Tax liens
- Precious metals
- Commercial paper
And all of these investments are tax-free.
With the Self-Directed Roth IRA LLC, you can invest in almost any type of investment, including real estate. This allows you to diversify and better protect your retirement portfolio.
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.
With a Self-Directed Roth IRA LLC, you have direct access to your IRA funds. As a result, you can make an investment quickly and efficiently. There is no need to obtain approvals from your custodian. Furthermore, there are no time delays for approvals and you don’t have to pay review fees.
With a Self-Directed Roth IRA LLC, when you find an investment 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 IRA custodian delays. As a result, this enables you to act quickly when the right investment opportunity presents itself.
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.
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 outside the LLC are 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 IRA LLC Solution
The Self-Directed IRA LLC structure was affirmed in the Tax Court case Swanson v. Commissioner and further confirmed by the IRS in Field Service Advisory (FSA) 200128011 (April 6, 2001).
A Self-Directed IRA LLC offers one the ability to use his or her retirement funds to make almost any type of investment on their own without requiring the consent of any custodian or person.
Tired of being forced to invest in stocks or mutual funds? Have an investment opportunity, such as real estate or a business investment that you would love to make with your IRA funds? Then the Self-Directed IRA LLC is your solution. In addition to the tremendous IRA benefits (tax-free profits, tax deductions, asset protection and estate planning), the Self-Directed IRA LLC allows you to invest tax-free in investments that you know and understand. Self-Directed IRAs can invest in most commonly made investments, including real estate, private business entities, public stocks, private stocks, and commercial paper.
The Self-Directed IRA LLC allows the IRA holder to:
- Use the same Self-Directed IRA LLC to purchase domestic and foreign real estate, private mortgages, gold and stocks, bonds and mutual funds inside the same plan and generate profits tax-free
- Purchase real estate foreclosures and tax liens on the spot, or make personal loans by simply writing a check and generate profits tax-free
- Buy your retirement home or vacation property now at today’s prices, rent it out, and then move in at the age of 59 1/2!
- Diversify your retirement portfolio and invest in almost any type of investment tax-free
How to use a Self-Directed IRA LLC to make investments?
1. Establish Self-Directed IRA LLC with IRA Financial Trust.
2. Your IRA assets/cash can be rolled over to IRA Financial Trust tax-free.
3. A special purpose LLC will be established that will be wholly owned by the IRA. The IRA assets/cash will then be transferred to the LLC tax-free in exchange for 100% interest in the LLC.
4. You, as manager of the LLC, will open a bank account for the LLC at any local bank. IRA Financial will draft LLC Operating Agreement identifying you as manager of the LLC and the IRA as the sole member.
5. You, as manager of the LLC, will then have “Checkbook control” over all the assets/funds in the IRA LLC to make the alternative asset investment.
6. Since the LLC will be owned by one IRA, the LLC will be treated as a disregarded entity for federal income tax purposes and no federal income tax return will be required to be filed. All income and gain from the real estate investments will flow back to the IRA without tax.
You can also download the free IRA Financial app and establish your plan in minutes. With the IRA Financial app, you can also make investments, perform rollovers and account maintenance.
Advantages of “Checkbook Control”
- Invest in what you know and understand tax-free, such as real estate, precious metals, tax liens, hard money loans, private businesses, and much more.
- Take control of your IRA assets and make investments from a local bank account.
- Making an investment is as easy as writing a check or executing a wire transfer
- Save on custodian fees – no transaction or annual account balance fees.
- Invest with limited liability protection.
- Asset & creditor protection.
The IRA Financial Group will take care of the entire set-up of your Self-Directed IRA LLC “Checkbook Control” structure. The whole process can be handled by phone, email, fax, or mail and typically takes between 7-21 days to complete, the timing largely depending on the state of formation and the custodian holding your retirement funds.
Our IRA experts and tax and ERISA professionals are on-site greatly reducing the setup time and cost. Most importantly, each client of the IRA Financial Group is assigned a retirement tax professional to help with the establishment of the Self-Directed IRA LLC “Checkbook Control” structure. You will find that our fee for this service is significantly less than other companies that perform the same or similar services. Don’t pass up on the Self-Directed IRA secret.