Can an LLC Hold Precious Metals?
An LLC may store precious metals as long as certain requirements are fulfilled, and this article outlines those key considerations.
Online dealers have begun advertising what is being called an LLC IRA home storage option. According to these dealers, there exists a loophole in IRS law which permits individuals to store precious metals themselves within their home environment.
Many individuals include precious metals as part of their retirement portfolio; however, there are restrictions on what an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) can purchase and store. A more efficient solution might be using a Precious Metals LLC or Gold IRA LLC instead.
Asset protection is one of the primary advantages to this strategy, especially given that IRAs offer minimal asset protection from creditors who could potentially pierce through to your personal assets. By transferring precious metals into an LLC instead, a judgment creditor would only be able to obtain charging orders against distributions made.
Precious metals’ diverse demand factors often result in low correlations to traditional risk assets like stocks. This makes them an effective diversifier within any portfolio and an insurance against economic turmoil and panic; their prices tend to zig when stocks zag reducing overall investment risk.
An LLC provides precious metal investors with a tax savings vehicle to reduce tax liability when selling physical holdings such as gold, silver and platinum bars or coins – something stocks are subject to.
Precious metals offer protection in times of economic downturn and provide a hedge against inflation or currency deflation. Their low correlation with other assets in the market makes them great diversifiers and risk managers.
To take full advantage of an IRA-owned LLC for precious metals, it is necessary to source metal from a NYMEX or COMEX-approved refiner in order to protect title. Once purchased, an agreement should be drawn up in the form of a sale and delivery document signed before a notary that transfers title to an LLC for safe storage and legal protection – with your bank maintaining an approved escrow account also agreeing to this terms of contract.
Chain of Title
Chain of title refers to a legal record of ownership over land and real estate, personal property such as cars or precious metals, intellectual property and more. Proper titles should typically be registered with an authoritative body to create clear evidence of ownership.
Some fraudulent companies advertise that you can easily form an LLC to purchase gold and silver for your IRA at home or in a safe. While this may or may not violate IRS rules, it certainly looks bad and any judgment creditor can still go after those assets even though they’re held within an LLC structure.
If your precious metals are held within an LLC and they have become intertwined with claims by other creditors, a judgment creditor could require them to fight through them to reach your assets – something which could take considerable time and cost both you and the creditor money in the process.
Precious metals are an increasingly popular way to diversify retirement assets. Their prices often oscillate while stock and bond values fluctuate, providing valuable protection from inflation.
Before making this move, however, it’s wise to carefully assess its risks. Courts have proven time after time that they can “pierce the corporate veil” to seize personal assets belonging to individuals hidden behind corporations.
IRA-owned LLCs can be used to buy precious metals, but the IRS requires them to be stored by a third party. Some dealers have found ways around this rule by encouraging “self-storage” IRAs – setting up an LLC company you manage yourself and taking possession of the metals yourself.
Tax Court rulings have since determined that this scheme violated IRA rules and produced taxable distributions, not to mention running afoul of other IRS guidelines, such as those prohibiting owning a business with your IRA and hiring yourself as employees.