A Self-Directed IRA requires the account owner to make investment decisions and investments on behalf of the retirement plan. IRS regulations require that either a qualified trustee or custodian hold the IRA assets on behalf of the IRA owner. Generally the trustee/custodian will maintain the assets and all transactions and other records pertaining to them, file required IRS reports, issue client statements, assist in helping clients understand the rules and regulations pertaining to certain prohibited transactions, and perform other administrative duties on behalf of the Self-Directed IRA owner for the life of the IRA account. Self-Directed IRA accounts are typically not limited to a select group of asset types, and most truly self-directed IRA custodians will permit their clients to engage in investments in most, including real estate, stocks, mortgages, franchises, partnerships, private equity and tax liens.Self-Directed IRAs can be traditional, Roth, Educational, SEP, SIMPLE, and rollover IRAs.
- Roth IRA – contribution are made with after-tax assets, all transactions within the IRA have no tax impact, and withdrawals are usually tax-free. You can contribute to the plan only if your AGI (Adjusted Growth Income) meets IRS requirement
- Traditional IRA – contribution may be tax-deductible or non tax-deductible depending on your income level. All transactions and earnings within the IRA have no tax impact. Withdrawals at retirement are taxed as ordinary income, except for those portions of the withdrawal that corresponds to non tax-deductible contributions.
- Educational IRA – A savings plan for higher education. Parents and guardians are allowed to make nondeductible contributions to an education IRA for a child under the age of 18. The funds in an education IRA can be withdrawn tax free when they are needed for educational purposes.
- SEP IRA – a provision that allows an employer (typically a small business or self-employed individual) to make retirement plan contributions into a Traditional IRA established in the employee’s name, instead of to a pension fund account in the company’s name.
- SIMPLE IRA – a simplified employee pension plan that allows both employer and employee contributions, similar to a 401k plan, but with lower contribution limits and simpler administration.
- Rollover IRA – an individual retirement account that has the funds rolled over from the retirement plan at work (401(k), profit-sharing plan, etc.). Rolling over to an IRA allows you to keep your savings tax-deferred and typically gives you a broader choice of investments.
Earning potential of real estate has caused many individuals and small business owners to rethink their current retirement strategies and select real estate inside an IRA. However, it is important to use a qualified custodian who can help you through the process. Using professional to handle the rollover can avoid the severe penalties of doing something incorrectly.