Self Directing IRA to pay for rehab costs

5 Replies

HI Everyone! My wife and I have some money in our IRAs and was thinking about using it to invest in real estate. Looking for any recommendations for custodians in AZ that specialize in self directed IRA's for real estate. Any suggestions would be great :)

There are many. Check our sensefinancial.com or mysolo401k.net. I tend to favor solo 401k over self directed IRAs personally but do some research on both.  Lots of reasons to do this as the benefits are tremendous. Message me if you want to chat more on the topic. I use this strategy currently via solo401k. The only thing is to avoid making any disqualified transactions either direct or indirect to remain compliant. 

@Chris Keator

While a solo 401k or an IRA can both be invested in real estate, the funds cannot be used to invest in a property that you already own. The IRA and solo 401k also may not be used to pay rehab costs on a property that you already personally own.

However, you can borrow from the solo 401k through a participant loan and can use those funds however you wish including for improving a property that you may already own. 

Following are the similarities and differences between the solo 401k and the self-directed IRA.

The Self-Directed IRA and Solo 401k Similarities

  • Both were created by congress for individuals to save for retirement;
  • Both may be invested in alternative investments such as real estate, precious metals tax liens, promissory notes, private company shares, and stocks and mutual funds, to name a few;
  • Both allow for Roth contributions;
  • Both are subject to prohibited transaction rules;
  • Both are subject to federal taxes at time of distribution;
  • Both allow for checkbook control for placing alternative investments;
  • Both may be invested in annuities;
  • Both are protected from creditors;
  • Both allow for nondeductible contributions; and
  • Both are prohibited from investing in assets listed under I.R.C. 408(mThe Self-Directed IRA and Solo 401k Differences
  • In order to open a solo 401k, self-employment, whether on a part-time or full-time basis, is required;
  • To open a self-directed IRA, self-employment income is not required;
  • In order to gain IRA checkbook control over the self-directed IRA funds, a limited liability company

The Self-Directed IRA and Solo 401k Differences

  • In order to open a solo 401k, self-employment, whether on a part-time or full-time basis, is required;
  • To open a self-directed IRA, self-employment income is not required;
  • In order to gain IRA checkbook control over the self-directed IRA funds, a limited liability company (IRA LLC
  • must be utilized;
  • The solo 401k allows for checkbook control from the onset;
  • The solo 401k allows for personal loan known as a solo 401k loan;
  • It is prohibited to borrow from your IRA;
  • The Solo 401k may be invested in life insurance;
  • The self-directed IRA may not be invested in life insurance;
  • The solo 401k allow for high contribution amounts (for 2018, the solo 401k contribution limit is $55,000, whereas the self-directed IRA contribution limit is $5,500);
  • The solo 401k business owner can serve as trustee of the solo 401k;
  • The self-directed IRA participant/owner may not serve as trustee or custodian of her IRA; instead, a trust company or bank institution is required;
  • When distributions commence from the solo 401k a mandatory 20% of federal taxes must be withheld from each distribution and submitted electronically to the IRS by the 15th of the month following the date of each distribution;
  • Rollovers and/or transfers from IRAs or qualified plans (e.g., former employer 401k) to a solo 401k are not reported on Form 5498, but rather on Form 5500-EZ, but only if the air market value of the solo 401k exceeds $250K as of the end of the plan year (generally 12/31);
  • When funds are rolled over or transferred from an IRA or 401k to a self-directed IRA, the amount deposited into the self-directed IRA is reported on Form 5498 by the receiving self-directed IRA custodian by May of the year following the rollover/transfer.
  • Rollovers (provided the 60 day rollover window is satisfied) from an IRA to a Solo 401k or self-directed IRA are reported on lines 15a and 15b of Form 1040;
  • Pre-tax IRA contributions on reported on line 32 of Form 1040;
  • Pre-tax solo 401k contributions are reported on line 28 of Form 1040;
  • Roth solo 401k funds are subject to RMDs;
  • A Roth 401k may be transferred to a Roth IRA (Note that from a planning perspective, it may be advantageous to transfer Roth Solo 401k funds to a Roth IRA before turning age 70 ½ in order to escape the Roth RMD requirement applicable to Roth 401k contributions including Roth Solo 401k contributions and earnings.);
  • Roth IRA funds are not subject to requirement minimum distributions (RMDs);
  • The fair market value (FMV) of assets held in a self-directed IRA is reported on form 5498;
  • The fair market value of assets held in a solo 401k are reported on Form 5500-EZ;
  • At termination, the solo 401k is required to file a final Form 5500-EZ and 1099-R; and
  • At termination, the self-directed IRA is only required to file a form 1099-R.

@Chris Keator

The self-directed IRA is a great way to invest retirement funds into real estate. If you have self-employment activity, the Solo 401k is even better. You can transfer IRA assets into a self-directed Solo 401k.

Compared to an IRA, Solo 401k contributions limits are roughly 10 times higher and there is no custodial requirement for the 401k. You can take participant loans from the 401k, you don't need the additional expense and administration of an LLC to have checkbook control, and there is a built in-Roth component if you'd like to make tax-free investments. A spouse can also participate in the same plan, there are additional tax benefits compared to an IRA, and there is generally greater privacy. Finally, the plans are often quicker to setup and cost less money over time especially compared to most IRA LLCs. Just some food for thought.

I ended up going with with a local company - selfdirectedretirementplans llc. It was pretty fast to set up. I went with a self directed 401k. If you haven't already created an account, I would at least give these folks a call.