Tag Archives: quest ira

Using IRA to invest in Laundromat Business?

Question:

I appreciate if you can answer my two questions below:

1- Can I use my IRA and invest in a Laundromat business as my down payment and borrow rest from SBA?

2- Can I buy a 2nd home with my SDIRA?

Answer:

1) Not directly in the IRA, no.  Your IRA is to be invested for your future, not for your current benefit (or to benefit any other disqualified person).  Some people say that you can set up a ROBS arrangement (Rollovers for Business Startup).  This works like this:  a) you set up a C corporation; b) you appoint yourself the sole director and officer; c) you have the corporation adopt a 401(k) plan; d) you roll your IRA into the 401(k) plan; e) you, as trustee of the 401(k) plan, purchase all of the shares of the C corporation; and (f) you hire yourself to run the corporation.  If this sounds a bit complicated to set up and a little expensive, that’s because it is.  The IRS has issued some guidance on concerns it has with ROBS arrangements, so if you go down that path you will need to work with someone who is very knowledgeable about this area and can satisfactorily address the IRS’ concerns.  Investing your retirement money into what is essentially a start up business certainly can be risky.  I would encourage you to do some research on ROBS arrangements and do some soul searching before setting this up.  Many companies offer to set up ROBS arrangements.  One such firm in Houston is DRDA, Inc., www.borsaplan.com.  I am not qualified to make a judgment as to the validity of the structure, so that is something you must decide for yourself.  Good luck!

 

2) Self-directed IRAs do buy real estate all the time.  However, if you are asking can you buy a second home which you intend to use periodically personally then the answer is no, for the same reason the first answer is no.  You cannot either directly or indirectly gain a personal benefit from your IRA’s assets, other than in the form of a distribution from the IRA.

 

Good luck with your investments, and let me know if you have any further questions.

 

Have a great day!

 

How many Real Estate transactions can I complete in a calendar year?

Question:

Quincy

With my Quest Roth IRA and utilizing the PPT, how many real estate transactions can I complete in a calendar year. Specifically optioning  a property then, assigning the option and pocketing the assignment fee.

 

Answer:

 

 

There is nothing that indicates a specific limit on how many such transactions you can do BUT (and it’s a big BUT) there are some potential areas of concern.  An IRA is meant to be for investments only, and not necessarily for running a business.  So if you are in the business of buying and selling property, or buying and selling options on property, then your IRA may be subject to unrelated business income tax on its profits from that business.  So how many can you do before it’s considered to be a business?  Nobody knows.  It has to do with intent, and volume, and how exactly the business is handled.  The best hint I can give you is that if you would report your activity as business income outside of your IRA, then it is almost certainly business income inside your IRA, and taxes will be owed by your IRA on its business profits. You should consult with your CPA on this issue.

 

Another issue you will want to consult with your CPA on is the tax filing requirements for your personal property trust.  My experience has been that many people using trusts ignore completely the tax filing requirements for trusts.  If your trustee is using Optional Filing Method 1 instead of filing a 1041 for the trust, then you don’t have to report anything to the IRS, but you will want to make sure that option is available for your trust activity reporting and that the conditions for using this option are acceptable to you.  I did write an article on this topic and if you like I can send you a copy of it.  Or you can just look it up on my blog at www.irawebadvisor.com.

 

A bigger issue involves who is doing the activity.  If you are essentially running a business inside of your Roth IRA, then you may be considered to be contributing your services to the Roth IRA.  This has the potential to be considered by the IRS as an excess contribution under IRC Section 4973, or a prohibited transaction under the prohibited transaction rules of IRC Section 4975(c)(1)(C) (the provision of goods, SERVICES, or facilities between a plan and a disqualified person).  It may also be considered an abusive Roth transaction which falls under IRS Notice 2004-8, in which case it is a listed transaction that you must specifically report in order to avoid severe penalties.

 

If it sounds like I’m trying to scare you off of using options, I am not.  I am simply pointing out that you cannot donate your personal services to your Roth IRA where the IRS will never get its share of the money.  You may make as much money as you like on your INVESTMENT activity.  You may even own a business in your Roth IRA, but you personally cannot run that business, and the business must pay taxes on its income, either through the entity that owns the business or directly by the Roth IRA if the entity running the business is non-taxable.  There is often a very fuzzy line between investment selection (which is no problem) and providing services.  Some people are willing to dance closer to the line than others, and there are no definitive answers.  The analysis is very fact specific, so there is no bright line answer to your question.

 

One thing I think is fair to say is that “piglets get fed but hogs get slaughtered.”  By that I mean that too much of a good thing can cause the IRS to take the position that what might otherwise be investment activity changes its character to business activity.  The higher the dollar amount involved the higher the level of interest by the IRS will be if they audit.  Generally it is a good idea to have more than just one type of investment activity to avoid the appearance that you are simply creating options as inventory to be sold off for a profit.

 

As you know I cannot give you tax, legal or investment advice.  Hopefully the information above will give you and your tax or legal advisors some areas to analyze.  Good luck with your investments, and have a great day!

 

The Balancing Act

I traveled to Pompano Beach, FL last week to record a financial segment for “The Balancing Act”, a Lifetime Television show.  A lot of hard work went into this and it went off without a hitch! It was such an honor for me to be on their show, the topic was my personal favorite (and area of expertise), Self-Directed IRAs. I finally got to wear my awesome suit that I have been tweeting about but I wasn’t ready for my lesson on wearing make up and eating spicy food- ha ha!!

See below for the pics And click HERE for the Press Release!

The recording will air on February 19th- Make sure you record your DVRs to watch me appear on National Television!!