Does the IRS Audit Self-Directed IRA?
Most people are surprised to discover the wide array of investments available for Self-Directed IRAs; however, investments must be conducted properly to avoid IRS penalties and prohibited transactions.
An IRA cannot invest in companies controlled by you or anyone disqualified, nor should it receive personal benefits of any kind.
What is a Self-Directed IRA?
Self-directed retirement accounts offer greater flexibility for those interested in investing beyond stocks and mutual funds, including private equity and real estate assets typically only accessible to larger investors.
However, there are specific rules and it’s advisable to work with an advisor in order to abide by them correctly and avoid prohibited transactions.
As well as avoiding prohibited transactions, it’s also important to make sure your custodian is appropriately supervised. Many IRA custodians are overseen by state or federal banking authorities to ensure your safety and security; however IRAR provides peace of mind by being directly regulated for compliance with IRS rules and regulations and thus giving your account the best care possible. Working with a trusted IRA custodian provides more than just investment guidance or support – they offer access to world-class advisory and support services!
How Does the IRS Audit Self-Directed IRAs?
Self-Directed Individual Retirement Accounts (SDIRAs), in which investors select their investments themselves, have seen rapid growth over the years. These investment vehicles differ from traditional IRAs in that SDIRA custodians can include household-name brokerage firms as well as RITA members that specialize in this service.
SDIRAs offer investors higher returns and greater diversification than what can be found in mainstream markets, yet require investment expertise beyond many investors’ reach. Furthermore, there are risks involved, including prohibited transactions that could disqualify an IRA account or incur taxes and penalties.
One common tax trap involves the investments made through an IRA in operating businesses and real estate. Such investments may generate unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) and unrelated debt-financed income (UDFI). Although such income does not disqualify an investor from tax benefits altogether, it may trigger penalties tax. Furthermore, promoters of such investments often fail to properly document or record these transactions.
What Should I Do if I Receive a Notice from the IRS?
The prohibited transaction rule states that you may not directly benefit from transactions conducted within an SDIRA or LLC owned by an IRA, known as SDIRA-owned LLCs. If this rule is breached, your entire IRA or SDIRA could be retroactively declared invalid and the assets distributed at fair market value (and potentially subject to taxes and penalties).
Successful investors often benefit from working with an advisor when investing in self-directed IRAs. They understand that self-directed investing requires more knowledge than traditional stock markets and recognize that opportunities for greater returns exist outside these securities markets.
Complicated investments like SDIRAs can quickly become complicated. Coupled with the fact that custodians of SDIRAs cannot provide financial advice, and investors could easily fall prey to mistakes made either due to ignorance or deliberate violations of prohibited transaction rules; often this happens as investors attempt to reap more than legally permissible from their SDIRA investments.
What Can I Do if I Receive a Notice from the IRS?
Traditional and Roth IRAs can be useful tools for retirement, estate, and tax planning; however, setting one up correctly may prove challenging. Without due care taken when making investments in one, any tax benefits associated with it could quickly dissipate, leading to penalties and interest due from penalties accruing.
One of the key advantages of a self-directed IRA is its ability to invest in alternative assets with higher returns than are usually available through traditional brokerage accounts and mutual funds, including real estate, private equity and private debt investments.
However, it is essential that individuals remain informed about any prohibited transactions. One common example would be using an IRA to invest in a company owned by themselves or their family directly – something which could result in unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) and unrelated debt-financed income (UDFI). Furthermore, an IRA cannot own real estate that they personally use themselves and/or their family for living purposes.