Can I Hold Physical Gold in My IRA?

Can I hold physical gold in my IRA

Rising living costs, a weak dollar, and economic uncertainty have many investors searching for ways to diversify their retirement portfolios. Gold IRAs provide one such way.

The IRS has specific regulations about which physical precious metals consumers can store in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Typically, they must meet eligibility standards such as fineness.


The tax code permits investors to place physical gold coins and bars into an IRA, however there are certain regulations which must be observed. Investors should work with precious metals specialists who are familiar with IRA-eligible physical metals options in order to select products which will best meet their investment goals.

Gold investments that qualify as eligible IRA investments must typically come from national government mints or accredited refiners, assayers and manufacturers; South African Krugerrands do not meet this criteria. There may also be fees associated with such investments such as account setup fees, yearly maintenance fees, seller’s fee charges, storage and insurance costs as well as cash-out costs that must be considered when investing.

As with other IRAs, distributions from an IRA-eligible gold account may be subject to taxes upon retirement and withdrawal. Furthermore, the IRS strictly forbids investing in life insurance, S-corp stock or some types of collectibles – thereby making keeping an IRA-eligible gold at home an unwise decision.


Gold has long been considered an investment worthy of consideration, offering diversification in an ever-more uncertain economic and political environment. Many investors seek to incorporate gold into their retirement portfolio for its steady value gains during times of turmoil.

However, investors should keep certain considerations in mind when investing in a gold-backed IRA. First of all, any physical gold IRA must be kept at an approved depository to comply with IRS regulations and safeguard its precious metals.

Utilizing your IRA to purchase and store physical gold outside an approved depository would violate IRS rules, while purchasing gold outside your retirement account requires tax payments on that investment.

Some gold IRA providers have attempted to take advantage of what they perceive to be a loophole in the tax code that allows IRA holders to store precious metals at home in an IRA account, without incurring penalty from the IRS for doing so. Unfortunately, such arrangements are considered illegal by this government agency and thus, prohibited transactions.


Many investors view gold as a safe haven during a currency collapse; however, only certain types of bullion and coins are eligible for inclusion into IRAs by the IRS and any storing at home is against their guidelines and could lead to penalties.

Physical Gold IRAs are self-directed IRAs that hold physical gold, silver, platinum and palladium instead of certificates representing these precious metals. There is a one-time setup fee and annual custodian fees associated with holding this type of account, plus purchase, sale and storage charges associated with precious metal ownership.

When selecting a broker or custodian for your precious metals IRA, ensure they are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and possess experience handling these accounts. Furthermore, make sure they offer low fees with personalized guidance on managing a gold-based IRA account. For optimal results choose one who offers allocated storage over shared facilities.


Gold and other precious metals typically held within an individual retirement account are managed by an established financial institution – this type of account is known as custodian-based IRAs – while self-directed IRAs enable investors to manage the assets themselves with reduced fees associated with administration and management fees.

When taking physical possession of gold or other precious metals eligible for your IRA, the IRS could consider that an illegal distribution and impose heavy penalties. Your custodian can arrange to transfer them to an approved depository, or you could work with a company offering buyback programs as a way around distribution penalties.

Your company of choice should also offer segregated or allocated storage, giving you greater control of your investments while decreasing counter-party risk while increasing peace of mind – often at more competitive annual fees than traditional custodian accounts.

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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