There are cases where the self directed IRA owner is a real estate agent and they want to earn a commission from selling property to their IRA or some other disqualified party’s self directed IRA. Such a transaction would be viewed as conducting a transaction with your IRA or receiving an indirect benefit. Either way, it would be considered a prohibited transaction.
Another common scenario is that someone is a good money manager or investment guru type and they want to bring in or combine several family member’s IRA account and manage it as a pool. In exchange, the money manager (a related and disqualified party) wants to earn fees or commissions from their activities. In this case the money manager is a disqualified party, and they receiving a direct benefit from the IRA accounts of disqualified persons. This clearly would not be allowed.
A disqualified person can be paid reasonable fees and expenses for providing services to the IRA. Such an example could be that your spouse is a CPA and your self directed IRA LLC hires your spouse to do tax work. There are not any clear lines as to what constitutes reasonable. So, our position on any transactions with any disqualified party is just don’t do it!
As tempting and harmless as some of these transactions appear to be, we feel its better to steer clear of having to potentially defend your actions in the event of an audit.
These scenarios and opinions expressed above are for informational and educational purposes and are not intended to be an exhaustive list of scenarios. If you feel your situation may have an exception or you require a more definitive opinion then you should contact your personal tax advisor.
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