Can I Take Physical Possession of Gold in My IRA?

Gold coins and bullion eligible for storage in an IRA must be kept with an IRS-approved custodian; therefore storing any such gold at home is prohibited.

If you decide to invest in physical precious metals for your IRA, take note of storage options as well as fees and educational resources before making your choice.


The IRS does not permit IRA owners to take physical possession of gold and other precious metals held within their accounts, as this would constitute a distribution and trigger taxes and penalties.

Instead, IRA owners must store the bullion in a fully licensed depository or custodial service under constant control of a trustee.

This rule applies to both traditional and Roth individual retirement accounts; however, investing in an exchange-traded fund (ETF) would be far more cost effective than physically holding coins and bars.

ETFs offer investors an economical option for purchasing, storing, and insuring bullion at much lower costs than can an individual or IRA custodian – making them the superior option for most investors. But those still interested in physical gold ownership still have legal avenues available to them; continue reading to discover more.


As soon as you convert your retirement funds to a gold-backed IRA, you have the ability to purchase physical precious metals and store them at an IRS-approved depository. Unfortunately, the IRS does not permit taking possession of your precious metals at any point as doing so would constitute taking a distribution and subject you to heavy taxes and penalties.

Trust in a reliable precious metals IRA company to store your IRA-eligible bullion safely. They usually employ their own team of custodians who oversee an established facility, plus help with tax reporting, purchase transactions and even providing assistance if you want to reclaim physical gold from their depository.

Lear Capital, Patriot Gold and Noble Gold are top brands offering an extensive range of investment solutions and exceptional customer service. Their commitment to excellence has enabled them to quickly establish themselves in the market while building up loyal clientele bases.


Although you can buy gold through an IRA (and convert other accounts, such as your 401(k), into self-directed IRAs for gold purchases), this might not be the most efficient means of accessing precious metals. For one thing, any amounts withheld from your original IRA custodian are subject to income tax as well as possibly incurring an early withdrawal penalty of 10% unless rolled over within 60 days.

Also of concern is keeping IRA-eligible gold at home, which could trigger IRS distribution penalties. According to the IRS, holding physical bullion at home counts as a distribution as the IRS views gold bars and coins as collectibles that shouldn’t be invested in through an IRA. Luckily, most reputable gold IRA brokers and dealers work with an approved custodian/storage vault that understands IRA eligible bullion.


Some precious metals dealers promote “home storage” of physical gold in an IRA; however, these dealers misunderstand how the IRS views this option.

Home storage gold IRAs may sound appealing to many investors. Gold’s tangible nature makes it more tangible than paper investments like stocks and mutual funds; additionally, you should pay lower storage fees since you store it yourself rather than at a third-party facility.

However, the IRS doesn’t permit this. Instead, precious metals must be held by an asset custodian that has been approved by them to provide asset custody services – usually credit unions, banks or financial services firms. They will typically charge one-time account setup and annual maintenance fees similar to traditional IRAs and 401(ks; they may even include seller markup costs, insurance premiums and storage fees from depository holding your gold).

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