Does My Self-Directed IRA Need an EIN?

Does my selfdirected IRA need an EIN

Self-directed IRAs provide more investment options and flexibility than traditional IRAs; however, the IRS regulations governing these accounts are stringent; any violations could cost you dearly.

Unlawful transactions include investing in life insurance and collectibles. Furthermore, certain alternative asset classes like real estate or precious metals that do not meet IRS purity standards cannot be invested in.


Self-directed IRAs generally do not require an Employer Identification Number, instead reporting assets they hold to the IRS under their personal Social Security Numbers.

SDIRAs that generate unrelated business taxable income or unrelated foreign financial income must obtain an EIN because the IRS requires tax-exempt entities with such income to file Form 990-T annually.

Before providing business loans or credit cards to your company, some lenders or potential investors may require an EIN as proof that it’s an independent entity for taxation purposes and to help build its credit profile. An EIN helps your business establish itself as an individual entity for tax purposes while helping establish creditworthiness.

Applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS online tool is simple and often results in instantaneous approval, but in other instances fax or mail applications could take one or two weeks. In general, an IRA should not have to obtain a new EIN unless its structure or ownership changes drastically.

Articles of Organization

Self-directed IRAs give you more control of your retirement investments and can move them away from traditional stock and bond assets, giving you access to real estate investments and private companies as an SDIRA asset class. However, the IRS regulates what investments can be held within an SDIRA – some prohibited categories being related to transactions between disqualified persons (typically yourself and/or immediate family members) and your SDIRA (such as making transactions between disqualified people such as relatives).

To avoid this situation, the ideal option would be forming a single-member LLC owned by your Self-directed IRA. This method, commonly referred to as checkbook control, allows direct control when making investment purchases and decisions without going through custodian approval procedures first. Your LLC will require its own EIN number as well as filing articles of incorporation with the relevant state authorities before opening a bank checking account in its name – something an EIN doesn’t provide.

Operating Agreement

An operating agreement for your self-directed IRA LLC can be the cornerstone of its governance. It sets out rules for owners that will ensure you adhere to IRS rules regarding prohibited transactions and prevent UDFI.

An operating agreement should stipulate that an IRA does not invest directly in certain investments such as collectibles, life insurance contracts and jewelry/gems/precious metal coins/bullion with insufficient purity. Furthermore, this contract should state that no funds may be borrowed in its name nor partner with disqualified people.

An operating agreement must also include provisions for an LLC’s succession in case of death or disability, to avoid tax penalties and losing federal retirement benefits associated with its ownership by an IRA-held LLC.

Bank Account

Many investors invest in stocks, bonds and mutual funds in their workplace retirement accounts and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). But if you wish to explore alternative assets like real estate or precious metals which do not fit well into traditional custodial-approved IRAs, self-directed investing might be your solution.

If you elect to set up an IRA, ensure you comply with IRS rules and avoid self-dealing or prohibited transactions. For instance, purchasing property within an IRA cannot be used for personal living or business use – even if rental income covers its expenses of operation.

Be wary of any fraudulent investment offers made available through your self-directed IRA, such as new investment companies with no track record and unrealistic claims of high rates of return. In order to make sound investments decisions, verify financial information independently such as prices and asset valuations before making decisions based on these. For additional assistance if suspicious offers or investors arises, reach out to the IRS.

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