Can an IRA Be Held in an LLC?

Can an IRA be held in an LLC

Many investors who invest in Self-Directed IRAs prefer an LLC structure for real estate investments that require signing authority on a business checking account, like real estate purchases or assets that require signing authority for acquisition or disposal. An IRA/LLC structure can streamline this transaction process while also reducing fees and offering tax advantages.

Federal Income Tax Treatment of an LLC A pass-through entity means any gains and losses “flow through” directly to your IRA without being taxed as income.

Limited Liability

Self directed IRA LLCs are an increasingly popular way for IRA owners to invest in alternative assets like real estate and businesses, offering checkbook-speed investing with greater control over investment decisions without needing to notify their custodian about expenses, contracts, and transactions.

However, to maintain its limited liability status an IRA LLC must abide by certain regulations when investing. Most often these involve not commingling funds with related parties such as you and immediate family members.

The Ellis case established that an individual’s 401(k) plan engaged in an unlawful transaction by purchasing 98% of initial membership interest of a newly formed LLC, thus engaging in a prohibited transaction. When setting up an IRA LLC for investment purposes it is always wise to consult a certified tax professional so they can ensure all prohibited transaction rules are observed and comply with.

Tax Benefits

An IRA LLC allows its owner to sidestep custodians and execute transactions directly, cutting out delays, making processes simpler, and potentially saving costs. But before choosing this approach, they must consult with an expert advisor.

An LLC allows its holder to partner with other individuals or entities. When creating an IRA, ownership share between it and other entities can be specified during formation; however, any disqualified persons or prohibited transactions should not partner with it.

An LLC differs in tax treatment from regular corporations in that most earnings do not incur entity-level taxation and losses pass directly through to each member in proportion. If an IRA owned by more than one person must file Form 1065 and be taxed as a partnership; either way, in either instance the IRA must comply with all relevant IRS guidelines pertaining to purchasing certain assets or using its LLC for personal benefit or convenience.


An LLC allows for rapid investment action such as purchasing foreclosed properties quickly. Plus, this structure could save money by eliminating property management fees altogether.

An IRA/LLC structure is very popular amongst self-directed real estate investors, enabling the holder to conduct financial transactions directly instead of going through a custodian each time.

As an LLC is owned by its IRA, all income and expenses from it pass directly through into it – known as checkbook control, this feature can provide significant advantages to self-directed IRA investors.

When setting up an IRA LLC, there are some specific rules you must abide by when creating an IRA account with the IRS, namely those surrounding prohibited investments and transactions. Most prohibited transactions involve pooling funds with related parties such as yourself or family. Beware conducting prohibited transactions as doing so could result in dissolving your IRA account and incurring taxes and penalties from them.


An IRA/LLC structure is often utilized when investing in alternative assets like real estate. An IRA invests directly into an LLC and in return receives ownership units that enable direct financial transactions without going through a Custodian that may charge transaction fees.

Formation of an LLC requires careful thought as it is a special purpose entity subject to specific IRA regulations and compliance obligations. For this reason, reputable organizations should provide assistance in the formation process.

Certain investments may trigger unrelated business income tax (UBIT) or unrelated debt financed income (UDFI), so prior to making investment decisions you should consult a qualified expert. Some investments may even require filing an income tax return for an LLC – typically only required if active transactions and income generated are being generated by it.

Raymond Banks Administrator
Raymond Banks is a published author in the commodity world. He has written extensively about gold and silver investments, and his work has been featured in some of the most respected financial journals in the industry. Raymond\\\'s expertise in the commodities market is highly sought-after, and he regularly delivers presentations on behalf of various investment firms. He is also a regular guest on financial news programmes, where he offers his expert insights into the latest commodity trends.

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