Can You Take Possession of Precious Metals in an IRA?

Can you take possession of precious metals in an IRA

People invest in precious metals for various reasons, including diversifying their investment portfolio. However, it is essential that investors understand any IRS restrictions or tax considerations associated with this form of investment.

Precious Metals IRA withdrawals prior to age 59-1/2 incur an early withdrawal penalty of 10 percent; however, there are ways around this penalty.

Tax implications

The IRS imposes specific rules regarding how precious metals should be stored in an IRA. First and foremost, physical possession of bullion cannot be obtained; rather, an IRS-approved depository will purchase and store them on your behalf; receipts will also be provided and kept track of where your bullion has been deposited. Depository fees vary annually to cover storage and insurance needs.

Infringing upon storage rules and taking possession of gold before its due time could result in distribution penalties that apply both to traditional and self-directed IRAs.

An alternative way of avoiding penalties is storing your gold in commingled storage, where your bullion will be stored with precious metals from multiple investors and labeled with your name – this option may be less costly and provide faster access. Commingled storage offers excellent liquidity management features compared to dedicated storage options, so this may be suitable for investors without immediate access.

Storage options

Many people believe investing in precious metals with an IRA is risky, but it isn’t. So long as you follow IRS regulations, precious metals are an effective way to hedge against inflation and build wealth. If you wish to safeguard against theft however, then storing the metals at home would likely be inadequate protection against potential thieves. For enhanced asset protection it would be advisable to open up a Self-Directed IRA managed by an authorized custodian instead.

Home storage of precious metals purchased with an IRA could expose you to an early withdrawal penalty and taxation on your investments, and may not provide as much security. Depository services offer safer options.

Selecting an ideal storage option can be challenging, but most reliable custodians provide multiple choices. Your metals could be stored at a bank-approved depository that offers high-tech security measures and insurance against loss or damage; or alternatively you could invest in shares of an ETF tracking the value of precious metals – this may provide greater peace of mind as your precious metals won’t be considered collectibles and thus subject to an early withdrawal penalty of 10 percent.

Choice of metals

Precious metals provide a valuable way to diversify your retirement savings portfolio. They offer protection from currency devaluations, political turmoil and economic recession while helping facilitate long-term appreciation. Furthermore, precious metals tend to have low correlation with stocks and bonds, making them an excellent addition to your portfolio.

Most investors choose gold bullion or coins due to its long-term value; however, you should also consider investing in silver and palladium as these metals share similar histories as gold while also serving industrial applications.

Investors investing in an IRA should only purchase precious metals that meet IRS storage and purity requirements, working with dealers that offer depositories approved by the IRS to store their precious metals safely and avoid incurring taxes when taking physical possession of their metals from their IRA; any acquisition counts as a prohibited transaction and could incur penalties and taxes.


Gold IRA custodians perform essential administrative functions required by the IRS in addition to offering physical precious metals. They handle purchasing bullion from dealers on behalf of customers and arranging shipping either to an eligible storage depository or store chosen by their client, while providing regular statements and accounting of accounts.

Reputable Gold IRA companies take great care to safeguard the investments of their customers by only working with dealers approved by the IRS, as well as having an experienced team select products and prices specifically for each client, giving them peace of mind when selecting investments – something especially essential when looking to diversify retirement portfolios with gold IRAs. Furthermore, these precious metals IRA companies only utilize secure, IRS-approved depositories for client physical assets.

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