Can an LLC Hold Precious Metals?
Many people purchase precious metals as an insurance against economic instability, political unrest, currency devaluation and potential acts of terrorism – but doing so may expose themselves to legal risk.
Wyoming LLCs allow owners to protect assets against being sued individually; should someone file suit against you individually, their judgment creditor must first fight through the LLC to access those assets.
Investment options in precious metals vary. Some investors may purchase physical bullion coins and bars, which require storage. Others might opt for exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which track the price of bullion without actually owning actual physical metals themselves. Still others could invest in mining stocks or mutual funds that own precious-metal mines or commodity-related assets.
United States authorities consider precious metals collectibles similar to art, rare books and fine wine – the long-term capital gains tax rate is only 28% on such investments if held longer than one year.
Many investors choose to purchase metals within their self-directed retirement accounts, however the IRS has specific rules about how these metals must be stored – for instance they must be stored at a bank or state-chartered trust company and home storage is prohibited. You must also maintain records of any purchases and sales you undertake.
Precious metals require asset protection just like any property or financial asset. We live in an ever-more-litigious society, where frivolous lawsuits may quickly drain your hard-earned wealth.
An LLC can be an excellent way to safeguard the precious metals you own. Establishing and running one will cost nothing, providing excellent liability protection.
Planning ahead can provide significant protection when facing creditor lawsuits. Creditors have ample evidence that an individual engaged in fraudulent acts by concealing assets or transferring them without their creditors knowing.
An LLC holding your precious metals requires a judgment creditor to sue it to access their assets; even then, distributions from the LLC would likely suffice due to how physical precious metals are categorized as collectibles subject to capital gain tax rates.
Chain of Title
Chain of title documents provide legal evidence of ownership history for an asset and show its current owner has clear title to their possession, providing evidence if there is ever any question as to who owns what.
Legal professionals can conduct a detailed review of a property’s chain of title by reviewing deeds, mortgages and any encumbrances, such as liens. They can also search records in local land offices as well as review separate indexes.
A chain of title is a continuous series that connects current ownership to previous ones in an uninterrupted sequence. It should demonstrate that the current owner possesses legal title to their property, with full ability to transfer possession if desired or encountered ownership difficulties. A chain of title may also help resolve disputes over tax liens on properties by showing its validity as evidence in court proceedings or other ways.
Precious metals provide an important diversification to retirement portfolios and can serve as a hedge against inflation and diminishing purchasing power. However, IRA investors must comply with IRS rules when purchasing or storing this tangible asset.
One or more dealers have recently been advocating an innovative method of buying precious metals via an LLC company, in order to circumvent IRS rules regarding prohibited transactions and disqualified individuals. By creating this structure, precious metals will not become subject to potential commingling with personal assets held within an IRA and therefore creating potential issues when investing.
Although this strategy has yet to be found violating any laws, it does raise serious legal and tax concerns. Anyone considering creating such a structure should consult a licensed attorney and CPA before making their decision so that all members have a clear understanding of the risks and rewards involved.