What does a Precious Metals IRA entail?

A Precious Metals IRA refers to various types of individual retirement accounts, including Traditional, ROTH, SEP, SIMPLE, Rollover, or Inherited IRAs, that hold precious metals as retirement investments. These metals can include gold, silver, platinum, or palladium.

The option to use IRA funds for purchasing approved precious metals has been available since 1998, following the enactment of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. This legislation expanded the investment choices for IRAs beyond traditional paper assets.

Which precious metals can be held in a Precious Metals IRA?

A Precious Metals IRA can contain four primary types of precious metals: gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. Gold holdings within an IRA are typically limited to Gold American Eagles (Uncirculated or Proof) in weights of 1 ounce, ½ ounce, ¼ ounce, and 1/10 ounce.

Other gold products, such as coins or bars, are also allowed if they meet the minimum purity requirement of .995%. For silver to qualify for an IRA, it must have a minimum purity of .999%. Similarly, platinum and palladium must have a minimum purity of .9995%.

Is a Gold IRA the same as a gold certificate?

No, a Gold IRA and a gold certificate are distinct. A gold certificate is a piece of paper representing ownership of physical gold and can be redeemed for the metal. In contrast, with a precious metals IRA, the gold IRA account owns physical bullion bars or coins you select and order personally.

Why is it necessary to transfer or rollover my IRA to purchase gold? While any IRA can legally invest in gold and other precious metals, many primary custodians, such as Charles Schwab, Merrill Lynch, and JP Morgan Chase, do not offer physical precious metals as investment options. These traditional custodians are typically structured to hold paper assets and managed funds rather than physical retirement assets.

Investing in physical precious metals requires a self-directed approach and often necessitates a custodian that offers self-directed IRA investments. If your current custodian doesn’t provide precious metals as an investment option, we can assist you in initiating a rollover or direct transfer to a custodian who does. Notably, such transfers or rollovers are non-taxable events.

What are the fees associated with a Precious Metals IRA?

Typically, custodians charge several standard fees for a Precious Metals IRA. These fees commonly include an account opening fee, an annual maintenance fee that covers statements and filings, and a storage fee for holding precious metals. Some custodians may also apply a transaction fee when you purchase metals. It’s important to note that fee structures vary significantly among custodians. At Midas Gold Group, we maintain an up-to-date chart of estimated fee schedules for various custodians.

Why do Precious Metals IRA fees tend to be higher than regular IRAs?

Precious Metals IRA fees

Many of the most prominent IRA custodians in the country, such as JP Morgan, TD Ameritrade, Edward Jones, and Merrill Lynch, primarily offer structured financial products like stocks, mutual funds, and CDs. These custodians often charge nominal or no direct fees for having an account with them because they generate revenue from the investment products they sell. Banks can also earn money by lending out deposited cash due to the fractional reserve banking system.

On the other hand, self-directed IRA custodians do not profit from the assets held within your IRA. Consequently, they need to charge fees to cover their operational costs, provide essential custodial services, and ensure secure storage of the retirement assets on behalf of the gold IRA account holder.

Are the fees for setting up and maintaining a Gold IRA tax deductible?

All setup and annual IRA fees are eligible for tax deductions as allowable expenses.

What is the distinction between an IRA transfer and an IRA rollover?

An IRA transfer involves moving funds or assets directly from one custodian to another. It typically requires the account holder to sign a transfer form, which is then submitted by the receiving custodian to the releasing custodian, requesting the transfer of IRA funds. The funds are transferred directly between custodians without incurring any tax consequences.

On the other hand, an IRA rollover is commonly used when transitioning between different types of accounts, such as moving funds from a 401(k) to an IRA. A transfer can be conducted either as a direct transfer, with the funds sent directly from one custodian to another or as an indirect transfer, where the funds are distributed to the account holder. In the case of an indirect transfer, the account holder has 60 days to deposit the funds into another eligible retirement account, such as an IRA.

If the funds are not deposited within the 60-day window, they may be subject to taxes and potential penalties for early withdrawal. This type of transfer is often referred to as a 60-day rollover. It’s important to note that you are generally allowed only one 60-day rollover within a 12-month, as per IRS regulations.

Read about the top gold rollover companies we recommend and find out which one we invested with.

Are the fees for a precious metal account paid from my IRA or out of pocket?

When establishing a new IRA or transferring funds from an existing IRA or retirement plan, you can cover the start-up fees using the assets within the IRA. Alternatively, you can pay these fees directly out of pocket through methods like check or credit card. Any fees paid as part of your IRA setup are fully tax-deductible.

Do I need to invest all the funds in my Gold IRA simultaneously?

No, you have flexibility when investing in your Gold IRA. Once your Gold IRA is set up, you can transfer or rollover funds from an existing IRA or retirement plan. You can keep the transferred amount in cash until you’re ready to purchase precious metals. You can invest as much or as little as you want, maintaining a cash balance or exploring other investment assets.

Can I use my ROTH IRA to purchase gold?

Certainly! A ROTH IRA can hold gold and other IRA-approved precious metals like any other type of IRA. This includes Traditional IRAs, SEP-IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, Inherited IRAs, Rollover IRAs, and Spousal IRAs.

What exactly is a Gold IRA?

A Gold IRA refers to a self-directed individual retirement account that can be a Traditional IRA, ROTH IRA, SEP-IRA, SIMPLE IRA, or Inherited IRA. It is specifically designed to hold physical gold coins or gold bars that meet the criteria for IRA eligibility.

What about a Silver IRA?

Similarly, a Silver IRA operates under the same IRA structures as a Gold IRA. It can be a Traditional IRA, ROTH IRA, SEP-IRA, SIMPLE IRA, or Inherited IRA. The account holder has self-directed control over the IRA and can hold permissible forms of physical silver coins or bars. Many precious metals IRAs include a combination of both gold and silver holdings.

What does a Palladium IRA entail?

A Palladium IRA is a specialized type of self-directed IRA or Precious Metals IRA that focuses on investments in approved forms of physical palladium, such as palladium coins or palladium bars. This type of IRA allows individuals to diversify their retirement portfolio by including palladium as a precious metal investment.

What is the significance of a Platinum IRA?

A Platinum IRA is an IRA that allocates some or all of its assets to IRA-approved forms of platinum bullion. Typically, a Platinum IRA is established through a self-directed IRA custodian, allowing investors to incorporate platinum into their retirement investment strategy.

Can I invest only a portion of my IRA funds in precious metals?

Indeed, it is common for individuals to opt for a partial IRA rollover to a Gold IRA. You can transfer only a portion of your IRA or retirement account into a Gold IRA. It’s important to note that you can have multiple IRAs and distribute your IRA assets among different custodians as per your preference.

Is it possible to include rhodium in my IRA?

No, rhodium is not currently authorized as a precious metal for inclusion in an IRA. Therefore, it cannot be held as part of an IRA investment strategy.

What alternatives do I have if my IRA custodian doesn’t offer gold investments?

If your current IRA custodian does not offer gold as an investment option, you have other avenues available. You can transfer your IRA to a self-directed IRA custodian that provides gold investments. Midas Gold Group collaborates with a wide range of self-directed IRA custodians that offer gold investments, and we can assist you in initiating a tax-free transfer or rollover to a new custodian. There is no limit on the number of direct IRA transfers you can initiate between custodians, enabling you to explore suitable options for your gold investment needs.

Is it possible to utilize my employer-sponsored retirement plan to purchase gold?

If you have a retirement plan from a previous employer or if you’re retiring or changing jobs, you have the option to roll over the funds from employer plans like a 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), or TSP into a self-directed IRA for investing in precious metals. However, suppose you’re employed, and your employer offers the plan. In that case, you should check with your plan administrator to determine if you can roll over a portion of your plan into an IRA. Some employers may allow employees to transfer a portion of their retirement plan to an IRA while still employed.

Am I allowed to store the precious metals in my IRA personally?

As per IRS regulations, precious metals owned by an IRA must be held in the possession of a trustee or custodian. The trustee or custodian must be a bank, a federally insured credit union, a savings and loan association, or an entity approved by the IRS to act as a trustee or custodian, as specified in the 26 US.

Code § 408. While some individuals may consider using a “checkbook control IRA,” “LLC IRA,” or “Home Storage IRA” structure as a perceived loophole in the US Tax Code, it’s important to note that Midas Gold Group generally does not recommend this approach, as it has not been approved or recognized by the IRS. Storing IRA metals at home could expose the account holder to IRS penalties. Custodians offering a Checkbook IRA structure often recommend clients store the IRA metals in a bank safety deposit box.

How do Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) work for a Gold IRA?

Once you reach age 70 ½, IRA holders are required to take Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). With a Gold IRA, you can take your RMDs “in kind,” meaning you can receive the physical precious metals directly. Alternatively, you can sell the precious metals and take the distributions in cash.

Are taxes applicable when transferring funds into a Gold IRA?

No, when you correctly transfer funds from an IRA or retirement account to a Gold IRA, no tax implications are involved.

Are any precious metals prohibited from being held in a Precious Metals IRA?

Precious Metals IRA

Yes, certain precious metals are permitted within a Precious Metals IRA, including:

  • Gold: Gold American Eagles (Proof or Uncirculated) in 1-ounce, ½ ounce, ¼ ounce, and 1/10-ounce sizes, as well as other gold coins or bars with a minimum purity of 99.5%.
  • Silver: Coins or bars with a minimum purity of 99.9%.
  • Platinum: Coins or bars with a minimum purity of 99.95%.
  • Palladium: Coins or bars with a minimum purity of 99.95%.

Can I include silver in my Gold IRA as well?

Absolutely. Many Gold IRA holders choose to diversify their holdings by including silver in their IRA alongside gold.

What is the process for liquidating my Precious Metals IRA if needed?

If you need to sell the gold or precious metals in your IRA, you can do so at any time without incurring taxes or penalties, as long as you keep the funds within your IRA. However, if you withdraw the cash from your IRA, you will be subject to taxes unless it is a ROTH IRA.

What happens to my Gold IRA in the event of my passing?

If you pass away, your Gold IRA and its assets will be transferred to your designated IRA beneficiary or beneficiaries. When establishing your account, you can name beneficiaries and update this information at any time.

Can I leave my Precious Metals IRA to a charitable organization or my church?

Indeed, you can designate your church or any charitable organization as the beneficiary of your IRA and its assets.

Can I contribute additional funds or transfer more assets to my Precious Metals IRA?

Absolutely. You have the flexibility to contribute additional funds to your Precious Metals IRA. This can be done by transferring funds from another IRA or retirement plan. Additionally, you can make annual contributions to your IRA based on the limits set by the specific IRA category and your age.

Can I switch between different precious metals within my Gold IRA?

You can trade, transfer, swap, or sell the precious metals in your Gold IRA without tax implications.

Where are the storage facilities for my Precious Metals IRA located?

Different custodians utilize various storage facilities to store your precious metals securely. Some custodians offer multiple facility options, allowing you to choose the preferred location. Midas Gold Group maintains an updated list of available storage options through various custodians. Popular facilities include Delaware Depository Service Company (DDSC) in Wilmington, DE, Brink’s Global Service in Los Angeles, CA, Salt Lake City, UT, and Springfield Gardens, NY, and International Depository Services (IDS) in New Castle, DE, Toronto, Canada, and Ontario, Canada, among others.

Will my Precious Metals IRA be stored safely, and are my metals insured?

The depositories utilized by reputable self-directed IRA custodians employ state-of-the-art security systems, armed security personnel, and advanced surveillance measures. These facilities also maintain excess insurance policies provided by major global insurers such as Travelers and Lloyd’s of London. Some policies have coverage in the billions of dollars. By selecting a trustworthy custodian and storage facility, you can have peace of mind regarding the safety and security of your IRA’s precious metals.

Is it possible to switch storage facilities for my precious metals?

If you’re dissatisfied with your current storage facility or the associated fees, you can transfer your precious metals to a different storage facility. In some cases, changing storage facilities may require changing IRA custodians if your current custodian doesn’t offer the desired storage options.

Can I physically deliver the metals in my IRA to fulfill the RMD requirement?

Indeed, you can always directly take delivery of the precious metals in your IRA at any time and for any purpose, including satisfying the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) requirement.

How can I make payment for my annual Precious Metals IRA fees?

You can pay your annual Precious Metals IRA fees using checks or credit cards. Alternatively, you may pay the fees from any available cash within your IRA. It’s important to note that all out-of-pocket fees paid for your IRA are fully tax-deductible.

What happens if I miss the payment for my annual IRA fees?

If you miss your Precious Metals IRA payment, a late fee will be charged. In the event of significant payment delinquency, your custodian may potentially sell some of the precious metals within your account to cover the outstanding fees.

Will I receive statements for my Precious Metals IRA?

Yes, your custodian will provide you with quarterly statements detailing your IRA account’s activity and status.

Can I arrange to view the precious metals in my Gold IRA physically?

Depending on the storage facility you select, it is generally possible to schedule an appointment to view your precious metals personally.

Tim Schmidt


Tim Schmidt is an Entrepreneur who has covered retirement investing since 2012. He's also a published author, and his views on investing have been featured in USA Today, Tech Times, The Huffington Post, Nasdaq, and many more.