Can I Take Physical Possession of Gold in My IRA

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Gold IRA Physical Possession

In short: The answer to “can I take Physical possession of Gold in my IRA” is as follows.

The IRS does not allow anyone to take physical possession of the precious metals held in a Gold IRA. This is to prevent the potential for fraud or illegal activity. The precious metals must be stored with the approved custodian at all times.

The rest of the answer is this;

Are you considering investing in a Gold IRA? If so, it’s important to understand the tax rules associated with this type of investment. Knowing how taxes will affect your investments is essential for making informed decisions and maximizing returns.

In this article, we’ll explore the different gold IRA tax rules that may apply to your situation, including gold IRA physical possession, and provide tips for navigating them successfully. With this information, you can make sure that your investments are working as hard as possible for you while still abiding by all applicable laws.

What are Gold IRA's?

A Gold IRA, or precious metals IRA, is a type of individual retirement account that allows investors to hold physical goldsilverplatinum, and palladium as part of their retirement savings portfolio. This type of account is available to individuals and businesses, allowing them to diversify their retirement savings with the added protection of hard assets.

Get Your FREE Gold IRA Guide Here!

Advantages of Gold IRA's

Gold IRAs offer several advantages such as:


Gold IRAs allow investors to add tangible assets to their portfolios in addition to stocks and bonds. This can help reduce risk and increase returns.

Tax Advantages

Gold IRAs may offer the potential for tax-deferred growth, allowing investors to maximize their investment gains without paying taxes until withdrawals are taken. On the opposite end, Roth Gold IRAs provide tax-free withdrawals.

tax rules Gold IRA

Inflation Protection

Gold has traditionally been a hedge against inflation, allowing investors to protect their assets against devaluation of currency over time.


Unlike stocks or bonds, physical holdings, such as gold coins and bars have a tangible value that can’t be easily manipulated or devalued. This makes them a secure investment even in times of economic uncertainty.

Augusta Precious Metals

Tax Rules for Gold IRA's

It’s important to understand the specific tax rules for gold IRAs before investing in them. These can vary greatly from traditional retirement accounts, as gold IRAs involve physical assets rather than investments in stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments.

Thankfully, for those interested in investing in alternative assets, you can receive the same tax advantages as a standard traditional IRA or Roth IRA.

However, there are still plenty of tax rules that must be followed when investing in a Gold IRA. These rules are in place to ensure that the IRS can properly tax any gains made on the investment.

International Revenue Agency

Contributions are Limited

Investors are allowed to contribute up to $6,000 per year (or $7,000 if you’re over the age of 50) to their Gold IRAs. This limit is set by the IRS and applies to all types of retirement accounts. The maximum contribution may be reduced if the investor has already made contributions to other retirement accounts, such as traditional or Roth IRAs.

More about how much you can put in a Gold IRA.

Withdrawals are Taxable

Any withdrawals made from a Gold IRA before the age of 59 ½ will be subject to income tax and a 10% penalty. Withdrawals after age 59 ½ are generally only subject to income tax, but it’s essential to check with your tax advisor for specific details.

It’s also important to note that all withdrawals will be subject to any applicable federal, state, or local taxes.

Tax Deductions for Gold IRA

Contributions to a Gold IRA may be tax deductible if the investor is eligible to deduct their traditional IRA contributions. This can provide a significant tax advantage, allowing investors to reduce the amount of taxable income they must report while still maximizing their retirement savings.

It’s important to remember that these deductions are only available if the investor is eligible and doesn’t exceed the annual contribution limit. Additionally, any deductions taken in one year must be reported on taxes for that year.

Purity Level

Not to mention, any precious metal you buy must be of a certain purity level. The IRS only allows investment in gold, silver, platinum, and palladium that meet certain fineness requirements.

Gold purity

Minimum Purity Levels:

  • Gold — Must be at least 99.5% pure.
  • Silver — Must be at least 99.9% pure. 
  • Platinum — Must be at least 99.95% pure.
  • Palladium — Must be at least 99.95% pure.

Any precious metals that do not meet these requirements cannot be held in a Gold IRA.

Gold IRA's are Self-Directed

It is important to understand that a Gold IRA is a self-directed IRA. This means that the investor has control over the assets in the account and can make investment decisions, unlike a traditional IRA where a custodian chooses the investments. With a self-directed IRA, the investor is responsible for ensuring that all investments comply with IRS regulations.


Gold Must Be Stored Properly

One of the main tax rules for a Gold IRA is that the physical precious metals held in the account must be stored with an IRS-approved custodian/depository. This custodian must be a bank or trust company that has been approved by the IRS to hold precious metals. The custodian is responsible for maintaining the security of the precious metals and reporting any transactions to the IRS.

You may be wondering: can I hold my gold in my home rather than in an IRS-approved depository?

The answer is no

One of the most critical rules is that you are not allowed to take physical possession of the precious metals held in the account. This is because the IRS considers physical possession of IRA-eligible gold and precious metals as a distribution, and this can have serious tax consequences.

When the IRS considers an IRA distribution, it means that you have taken money out of the account before you have reached the age of 59 and a half. This can result in heavy taxes and penalties. You will have to pay income taxes on the entire value of the account at their ordinary income tax rate. Additionally, they will also be subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty, unless an exception applies. Other fees and penalties may also apply for storing gold in your home.

It is important to note that this rule applies even if you only possess the precious metals for a brief period. The IRS does not distinguish between short-term or long-term possession, and the consequences will be the same.

To avoid these tax penalties, you must ensure that the precious metals are stored with an IRS-approved custodian or depository. This ensures that the precious metals are always under the custody of a third party and not in the possession of the individual.

Birch Gold Group

Capital Gains

Another important tax rule to be aware of is that any gains made on the precious metals held in a Gold IRA are subject to capital gains taxes. For example, if an individual buys gold for $1,000 and sells it for $1,500, they will be subject to capital gains taxes on the $500 profit, much like stocks. 

Fortunately, this issue can be circumvented with the help of a Roth Gold IRA account. This type of retirement fund taxes you when making contributions but allows tax-free withdrawals at retirement time.

Get Your FREE Gold IRA Guide Here!

Consult a Professional

It is important to consult with a tax professional before making any decisions about investing in a Gold IRA. They can help ensure that all tax rules are being followed and can provide advice on how to minimize taxes on any gains made on the investment.

American Hartford Gold

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Gold IRA is a great way to diversify your retirement savings and protect your assets from market fluctuations, but it is important to understand the tax rules that come with it. 

One of the most important rules you need to remember is that you cannot take possession of physical gold. It must instead be stored with an IRS-approved custodian or depository. Always consult with a tax professional before making any investment decisions.

See “Home Storage Gold IRA” post for more.

Our Gold IRA Company Recommendation

We recommend Augusta Precious Metals as the top Gold IRA company to work with. 

Augusta Precious Metals has a highly trusted name in the gold investment industry, with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, as well as a AAA rating from the Business Consumer Alliance, and loads of reviews from satisfied customers.

They can help you move an existing registered plan into an IRA, as well as set up a new one. Augusta Precious Metals team members are always there to answer your questions and concerns, and to help you pick the right precious metals that will suit your needs. With your personal financial goals in mind, the Augusta Precious Metals team ensures a smooth and clear transfer process with no additional IRS fees.

Augusta Precious Metals offers a wide variety of precious metals so that you can diversify your portfolio with a selection of gold and silver bars and coins. As you work your way towards retirement, continue to add to your IRA each year to grow your wealth.

We are confident that you’ll choose Augusta Precious Metals as your top pick as well. Visit the Augusta Precious Metals website today and fill out their application form to begin the process in setting up your IRA. You’ll be happy you did!

Augusta Precious Metals

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

A Gold IRA is an example of a Self-Directed IRA. Self-Directed IRA’s were designed to give individuals more freedom in the selection of investments that they could hold in their retirement account. A Gold IRA is unique to precious metals, where the investor/individual has the ability to hold gold, silver, and other precious metals such a platinum and palladium in their account rather than being limited to traditional stocks and bonds.

By holding precious metal investments in a Gold IRA, this gives the ability for individuals to make their portfolio more diverse and prepare themselves for future financial success. Having a diversified portfolio makes for a better chance to survive a stock market crash and still have some of your funds held in other categories, such as gold.

There are various options when it comes to investing in gold. One option is to purchase gold coins or bars from a local retail shop or gold investment company. You may then hold the metals until you are satisfied with their growth, ready for retirement, or need them for another expense. 

Another option to invest in gold is by setting up a Gold IRA. These are a form of a Self-Directed IRA, only your funds can be held in gold rather than stocks and bonds. This is a good way to invest in precious metals without worrying as much about taxes.

The value of a gold coin increases as the value of spot gold increases. The number that is printed on each gold coin (known as the face-value) is not an accurate reflection of its true valuation. In fact, its value is likely much higher than the face-value based on the current price of gold today.

Depending on your age, current financial position, and personal preferences, the answer to this question will vary per person. If you are coming up on retirement, you’ll want to take fewer investment risks and may not want a large portion of your money in gold. If you’re still young and have more time to take greater investment risks, you may want a larger percentage of your portfolio invested into gold. 

Like many investments, it is optimal to buy at a low value. Generally speaking, when the stock market is over-performing, the value of gold is at a much lower amount. Gold also follows some trends such as a decrease in certain months of the year, including January, March, and April.

It is always a good idea to seek out a financial advisor to help discuss the best options for your current situation. This way you can shift your investments based on what makes the most sense for your financial goals, and the current economy.

Your current plan may not give you the option to invest in gold, but there are numerous other plans that allow gold investments. Keep in mind that there are specific rules set out by the IRS regarding how gold can be bought and stored. Because of these rules, it’s important to find a reputable company to work with.

You are legally allowed to do a 401(k) rollover and avoid paying taxes and penalties, but to do this you must follow the correct process. Start by contacting your current 401(k) plan and explain your situation. The rollover may take several weeks or months to complete, so it’s best to begin as soon as possible.

Traditional 401(k) plans and IRA’s are tax-deferred savings accounts, meaning you do not need to pay any taxes on your contributions. Once you retire and eventually withdraw your funds, you will pay taxes on those withdrawals. You will not get any tax breaks if you purchase gold for personal ownership. Right now, the only way to avoid paying taxes on gold is by purchasing it through your 401(k) plan or IRA.

Although this process is a bit tricky, you absolutely can purchase physical gold in your 401(k) plan. Since your IRA cannot be the seller and holder of the gold, they will need to store the physical gold with a third party. You are also not personally allowed to hold the gold. You may only keep gold and silver in a plan of this type if someone else is storing it, according to the IRS. While you will not be allowed to have physical control over the gold, you may still be allowed to access the storage facility.

Yes, any gains made on the gold held in a Gold IRA are subject to capital gains taxes. Additionally, if you take a distribution from the Gold IRA before you reach the age of 59 and a half, you may be subject to income taxes and a 10% early withdrawal penalty. Things may differ depending on whether you have a traditional IRA or Roth IRA.

No. You are not allowed to take physical possession of the gold or other precious metals held in an IRA account. 

No. Home storage is not allowed and could have serious tax implications if you are found to be taking physical possession of the gold held in your IRA. You must store the gold with an IRS-approved custodian. Any company that promotes home storage is not providing sound advice and should be avoided. 

No. The IRS does not allow precious metals to be stored in a safe deposit box. The custodian/depository must always maintain possession of the gold.

This is a tricky question. 

Mostly, no. For most folks, it’s impossible to take physical possession of their gold without paying severe fees.

There is however a workaround for very (VERY) few individuals. 

A “Checkbook IRA” allows the IRA owner to have more control over their investments. They can use an LLC to make investment decisions and hold assets on behalf of the IRA. The LLC is owned by the IRA and managed by the IRA owner or someone else. The assets, including precious metals, can be stored in a place chosen by the LLC, like a storage facility or the IRA owner’s home as long as it’s secure and insured. Though, the IRS has strict rules for using a Checkbook IRA and storing IRA-owned assets. 

Some of these rules include:

  • A minimum net worth of $250,000.
  • Must have a corporate legal counsel.
  • Ownership must be shared among multiple individuals.
  • And much more

Keep in mind that this loophole is not recommended. There is a possibility that you will be penalized and even possibly disallowed from future investments. It’s not worth the risk, even if you do meet all these requirements. 

Remember that your specific situation and goals should always be discussed with your tax advisor.