Can I Sell an Asset in My Roth IRA?

Roth IRAs offer many advantages, with capital gains tax-free returns being among them. But you should keep some restrictions in mind when investing in one.

Roth IRAs offer investors flexible investing options for mutual funds, stocks, ETFs and real estate investments if managed through an agency that specializes in self-directed IRAs.


Many are concerned about capital gains taxes and their effect on retirement savings, according to Dennehy. IRAs offer one way around this issue – investments held within a Roth IRA do not incur capital gains taxes at any point, she explains.

Roth IRA contributions are made using post-tax dollars, while qualified distributions from a Roth IRA are tax-free – providing even your heirs the same tax advantages when inheriting your Roth IRA.

Stash money in a Roth IRA to make your retirement savings grow faster thanks to its many tax-advantaged benefits, but if your earnings exceed qualifying thresholds for such accounts there are other alternatives such as traditional IRAs or 401(k) plans that offer similar investments that grow tax-free – another possibility if you own your own business is setting up an Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plan which allows investments that grow tax free as long as income limits are met.


Saving for retirement using a Roth IRA provides the potential of tax-free income once retirement hits, which could prove especially helpful if your tax bracket will increase after retiring.

Roth IRAs allow investors to invest in various assets, including mutual funds, ETFs and stocks. There are a number of online brokerages that provide Roth IRA accounts; some charge fees to manage them while others offer hands-off investment solutions like robo advisors.

Real estate investments can also be purchased with Roth IRAs. The process is similar to regular real estate sales, except that your IRA should appear as the buyer on the purchase contract. At Entrust Group we handle and sign this transaction on behalf of your IRA. For optimal results we advise partnering with an agent familiar with self-directed IRAs who can work with you to place the property for sale on the market before drawing up an appropriate purchase contract and verifying its name against that on the recorded deed.


Roth accounts differ from traditional IRAs and 401(k)s by being tax-free; however, any withdrawals before age 59 1/2 will incur taxes at your income rate plus a 10% penalty tax rate.

Avoid penalties by withdrawing funds from your Roth IRA to cover qualified expenses, such as buying your first home or medical costs. Furthermore, they can even be used to pay for education for yourself, your spouse and children.

Your Roth IRA provides two withdrawal options. One is cash withdrawal; the other, an in-kind withdrawal, involves moving funds out into a taxable account without incurring fees and commissions when selling investments for cash. When transferred out, in-kind withdrawals typically get assigned fair market values which will appear on your tax return – however there will no capital gains taxes applied when transferred between accounts. To learn if Roth withdrawal is right for you, consult with an investment professional.


Roth IRA conversion involves shifting all or some of your balances in traditional, SEP, SIMPLE IRA or other pre-tax retirement accounts to Roth. Converting can make sense if you expect to fall into a lower tax bracket during retirement, have high taxable investment gains in a taxable account, wish to reduce required minimum distributions (RMDs) during retirement and plan to pass these assets onto family members tax free.

But Roth conversion may not always be advantageous. For instance, it might not be prudent to convert assets that have been sitting in your taxable account for some time as capital gains taxes could apply on any appreciation. It would also not be recommended if you plan to give some of your IRA assets away via Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD), as that strategy allows you to avoid early withdrawal penalties while at the same time incurring ordinary income taxes.

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