Can I Store My Gold IRA at Home?

By John Otis

March 23, 2021

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Getting gold no longer has to mean heading out to California with a pickax or fighting fierce combat to get so much as one doubloon. Gold is still incredibly valuable, but it’s also possible to purchase it safely.

With just a few clicks of your keyboard, you can find a great gold dealer, either in your area or on the internet. Bringing gold into your IRA can also mean a tax deduction.

Unfortunately, opportunistic people will always try and find loopholes, even when the law is fair and beneficial. They want to find a way to circumvent IRA guidelines.

This is where “home storage gold IRAs” become such a pervasive problem. In your gold investment journey, you’re prone to come across these types. They might promise you the sky, but here’s something that should bring you back to earth: 

The IRS has never allowed for gold IRA storage at home, and likely never will.

However, there are some reliable solutions to this which we'll get to at the end, but here's some more info you need to know.

The Anatomy of a Scam

A scam has no benefits for anyone but the people creating it. If any firm or person says you can store your gold individual retirement accounts at home, then essentially what they are telling you is they will take your money and run.

The scammers know what they’re doing. They don’t care that people are losing significant quantities of money. To them, you’re not a person. You’re just an entity to take money away from.

It’d be bad enough if you were just being squeezed out of a few hundred bucks. People have lost as much as $300,000 to gold scammers.

But you’d never fall for this, right? These scams have to be ones that were posted on sketchy websites that only fools would fall for. But, surprisingly, these scams can be very sophisticated and fool even the smartest person.

You might’ve seen their ads on networks like Fox and CNN. They offer appealing promises of no fees or commissions, hoping that viewers won’t ask any questions before picking up the phone or logging on to their sites.

It’s hard to believe that people could willfully con people and be able to sleep at night or simply look at themselves in the mirror. Sadly, these people exist, and you have to learn how to avoid their crosshairs.

What You Need To Know

If you’ve never had an individual retirement account (IRA), you put pre-tax income into it. The only taxation happens if you withdraw money before you’re required to start taking out distributions. You can enjoy tax deductions and see your net worth increase, free of yearly tax fees.

However, there are rules for IRAs. They need a custodian’s oversight to make sure you’re following the rules of contribution limits and distribution age (70-and-a-half).

With IRAs, you can contribute up to $5,500 per year (or $6,500 per year after turning 50). You can get a tax deduction from this and purchase things like stocks and bonds to add to the IRA.

There are two kinds of assets not allowed by IRAs. You can’t have collectibles or life insurance policies. There’s a catch, however, when it comes to collectibles. Precious metals are allowed under certain circumstances.

With a
gold-based IRA, an IRA holder purchases IRA-approved coins from a dealer. One caveat is that the gold must be kept in a proper depository, not at the IRA holder’s home.

That certainly doesn’t seem too unreasonable. What issues could people have with these causing them to break the law with home storage IRAs?

Watch for Snake Oil Salesman

Everything can initially seem on the level, which is why these scams are so dangerous. They want you to start your own limited liability company to run your IRA, with yourself serving as the trustee.

Then, the LLC can permit you to keep your gold at home. It’s like you’ve found the magical solution that lets you avoid depository and insurance fees for storing your gold. You’ve found your way through the system and stuck it to the man, right?

Nope, that’s not the case at all. The IRS stipulates that anyone who serves as a custodian or trustee of an IRA has to be an accredited financial organization, such as a bank, or anyone who has proven trustworthy to fulfill IRA administration requirements. It’s not as simple as just saying you’re a trustee and the IRS handing you the keys.

Becoming a trustee requires completing an extensive application. These things all need to be addressed to become a trustee.

  • Fiduciary experience and skills
  • Accounting skills
  • Ability to handle retirement assets
  • Any bonding history
  • Auditing experience
  • Net worth

 The IRS has to give your application the okay for you to become a trustee. As you can tell, they don’t just let anyone sign up.

Do NOT Underestimate the IRS

The IRS isn’t to be trifled with, regardless of how you view them.

They follow IRA laws created by Congress that ensure retirement accounts and assets are handled by trusted institutions. It can seem like an overreach, but it makes more sense when you consider what could happen if these rules weren’t in place.

Congress needs assurance that the gold claimed is genuine and not conjured up by the IRA holder. They also want to guarantee that all taxable IRA distributions have been accurately listed. A trustee is responsible for handling this.

Running your own IRA is going to be a conflict of interest. The IRS knows this, and they’re not going to be swayed by arguments of “But I want to.’

With a home storage gold IRA, you’ll be told that you can get past the IRS. Tips like renting safe deposit boxes via your LLC can seem like perfect deception. However, the IRS is too powerful of an organization to try and fool. Anything you think they might fall for, they're not going to.

You might not face jail time if the IRS uncovers your plan. However, you can deal with financial penalties, such as taking out distributions and dealing with the associated taxes. There’s a 10 percent withdrawal fee for any distributions taken out before you turn 59-and-a-half.

Choosing a Reputable Custodian: Get All of the Benefits Without Any of the Drawbacks

If you want to put some of your savings into gold or another precious metal without having to deal with home storage IRAs, we recommend opting for a self-directed IRA.

These still have custodial management to ensure that everything is going smoothly. Lots of people find these better than other alternatives. These are four things that set self-directed IRAs apart from home storage ones.

Difference #1: Legality

In 1996, The IRS ruled that self-directed IRAs are legal. This included proper custodian oversight, of course.

However, they haven’t been quite as clear about home storage IRAs and the law. Yours might not have any clear signs of being illegal, but it could still run afoul of the IRS. Is that really something you want to take a gamble on?

Difference #2: Administration

With a self storage gold IRA, you have complete ownership of your retirement account. This can sound nice if you like to be in control of things. However, it’s pretty daunting to deal with all of the responsibilities of running an IRA. Even financial professionals can get overwhelmed keeping up with all of the laws and fees.

Don’t try to prove that you’re something you’re not. A self-directed IRA lets you control what goes into your IRA, but it also gives you the support of a custodian who can deal with all of the confusing technical aspects. It’s like having a financial guardian angel.

Difference #3: Approved Metals

Gold IRA self storage can actually be pretty limiting when it comes to the kinds of metals it allows for investments.

If you haven’t made yourself a trustee - a process that we’ve hopefully emphasized is very difficult and can come with many consequences - the only kinds of metals you can invest in are American Eagle coins.

However, a self-directed IRA opens up the options considerably. You can bring multiple precious metals into your IRA, including silver, palladium, and platinum.

Difference #4: Regulation

The IRS is going to have an eye on you if you try and store at home. You might not mean to deceive them, but they’re going to have an understandable bias.

It’s also just so much more stressful. The scrutiny you have to go under just isn’t worth it, certainly not after you compare it to a self-directed IRA.

Let’s look at some of the main advantages of getting a self-directed IRA:

  • Avoiding mistakes of accidental distributions and losing tax-deferred status
  • Doesn’t require lawyers or accountants
  • No audits

Final Thoughts

Precious metal investments are a way to safeguard you from the global economy's risks and its effects on the dollar.

However, you can’t just give any gold dealer your money and expect things to turn out well. You also can’t fall for tall tales about storing IRAs at home
. No matter how flashy a commercial might be or what it might claim, you need to say no.

There are great reputable companies out there, but you really need to research if you're doing it on your own. One company,
Goldco, stands out because of their A+ rating from the BBB and thousands of 5 star reviews from customers. 

We love that they don't use pressure sales tactics and educate their customers on every aspect of the process. Customers have raved about their excellent service. 

You can download a no obligation free investment guide right here or by clicking the button below. If you choose, you can speak with one of their advisors, but only do so if you feel comfortable. 

We hope this guide was helpful. Feel free to share this article link with friends and others who might find it useful as well. 

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John Otis

About the author - John Otis

In the modern age of reckless government spending and central bank money printing, my sole objective is to help others protect their savings, retirement, livelihoods, and purchasing power from currency devaluation. Otis Gold has been featured in Financial Times, Yahoo Finance, Kitco News, Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, and more. If you have any questions or comments, leave them below. Welcome!

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