Can You Hold Gold in an IRA?

Can you physically hold gold in an IRA

Gold coins and bullion eligible for inclusion in an Individual Retirement Account must be stored with an independent third-party custodian account, per IRS rules. Storing it at home would violate these regulations and result in lost tax-deferred benefits.

Gold purchased for your IRA doesn’t pay interest or dividends and can only provide return if sold for profit, so this strategy should only be utilized as long-term play.

Self-Directed IRAs

Self-directed IRAs enable you to choose your investments – including precious metals such as gold – without being dictated to by a custodian, unlike standard IRAs that determine which assets to buy for you.

When opening a self-directed IRA, the IRS requires that you select an approved custodian. This could be any bank, brokerage firm, or financial institution authorized to administer an IRA account. Some gold IRA companies recommend or require specific custodians as additional safety and security precautions.

Gold bullion that qualifies for storage by a self-directed IRA custodian must meet specific purity and weight criteria in order to qualify. Coins and bars eligible for storage in an IRA must have at least a fineness of 9995, produced from an authorized government mint or accredited refiner/assayer/manufacturer, purchased with cash, stored at home as this violates tax regulations, with storage fees applying if separate or combined precious metal storage options are chosen.

Traditional IRAs

As long as your traditional IRA doesn’t permit self-directed investing, the only way you can hold physical gold in an IRA is with the assistance of a precious metals IRA custodian. Most standard custodians don’t specialize in physical gold accounts so it is necessary to locate one specifically dedicated to this type of account.

These companies typically charge one-time setup and annual storage fees similar to what IRA custodians would typically charge.

The IRS considers certain gold coins and bars collectibles that cannot be held within an IRA account, with storage at home causing potential distribution penalties should it be determined that you violated its rules.

Although precious metals IRAs present certain difficulties, they could still add some flair to your retirement funds. But keep in mind that precious metals should only serve as one component of your overall portfolio; investing solely in them won’t likely produce as high of returns compared to stocks or mutual funds.

Roth IRAs

Roth IRAs are increasingly becoming popular retirement accounts among investors seeking tax-free earnings from investments. Unlike traditional IRAs, which require taxes to be paid upon withdrawals in retirement, a Roth IRA enables you to withdraw investments tax free after five years provided certain criteria are followed (ie: five year rule).

However, the IRS generally restricts IRAs from purchasing physical gold coins and bullion. There are exceptions, however. For instance, they can purchase shares of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that track precious metal prices as an easy way to invest in gold without worrying about storage and insurance costs associated with physical assets.

Note that IRAs cannot purchase property used for personal purposes. Therefore, it’s wise to work with a reputable gold IRA company such as Goldco that offers precious metals that comply with IRS fineness standards – for instance they partner with mints around the world to offer high-quality gold and silver coins which meet this criterion.


Understanding IRA rules can be complex, so it’s essential that you familiarize yourself with them before investing. Consult a tax adviser as part of this process to make sure your retirement savings will be tax-efficient.

Thrivent Financial advisors can assist in selecting an account type best suited to your goals and life stage, with comparison of features like fees, investment options, penalty-free withdrawals and RMD planning to make an informed decision about which IRA type would provide the greatest advantage in your circumstances.

Those self-employed should consider opening a SEP IRA; these accounts enable business owners to contribute up to 25% of their compensation (maximum $66,000 in 2023) as contributions into an SEP or traditional IRA account. Employees may contribute in addition to employer contributions to either SIMPLE IRAs or traditional IRAs.

If you withdraw funds before age 59 1/2, they are subject to both ordinary income tax and an extra 10% federal penalty tax. However, some distributions can avoid this additional tax penalty altogether such as first-time home purchases, unreimbursed medical expenses or education expenses.

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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