Private Storage Gold IRA (Is it Allowed?)

Understanding IRS Rules and Avoiding Potential Pitfalls

Jane Pardo | Updated June 1, 2023

If you have a self-directed IRA, you probably thought of storing your IRA gold in your safe deposit box or at home for easy access.

However, there are strict do’s and don’ts when investing in precious metals with a self-directed IRA.

Find out whether private storage IRAs are allowed and where to store your IRA gold.

Storing IRA gold at home

Simply put, the IRS forbids anyone to store gold from a self-directed IRA at home or in any private safe deposit box. Investors who commit this violation may face taxes, fees, and penalties on their entire IRA.

Subject to taxes and penalties

Privately storing gold that should be in a self-directed IRA will compel the IRS to consider it as an IRA distribution, incurring an extra 10% penalty if you’re below 59 ½ years old. You’ll owe income taxes as your IRA investment will no longer be tax-deferred.

Potential IRA audit

The IRS may perform an audit if they learn about your suspicious IRA gold storage activity, leading to more fines and penalties if they uncover more violations — intentional or not.

Note: You can still store gold at home as long as it’s not part of your self-directed IRA, whether you’re collecting numismatic gold coins or stacking silver bars.

Where to store IRA gold

financial institution for storing gold

The IRS recommends storing your IRA gold assets in the following places:

  • Financial institutions like banks or credit unions
  • IRS-qualified IRA custodian (non-bank facility), like a depository

Basically, you must not hold the IRA-purchased physical gold. Your chosen financial institution or IRS-approved depository will make sure your gold is securely stored and insured.

Home storage gold IRA

Avoid deceptive “home storage” offered by some precious metals dealers through a “checkbook LLC” to circumvent the IRS guidelines, as it could be illegal activity. The last thing you want is to put your retirement at risk with questionable self-storage processes.

Final thoughts

It’s best to follow the IRS rules when it comes to storing IRA precious metal assets to avoid unwanted repercussions.

Work with a trusted IRS-approved custodian to guide you throughout the process.

When you don’t break the IRS rules, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re not endangering your retirement funds.

Written by Jane Pardo

Jane Pardo

Jane Pardo is our senior gold & silver expert. Jane lends insight into precious metals investing, collecting, testing, and maintenance.