Precious Metals IRA – what to include?
While some of our American readers may already own a precious metals IRA, others may not be familiar with that form of investment yet. The basic laws that stipulate the rules and regulations for precious metals IRA’s can be found on the website of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The most important thing that you have to remember from this article is that all precious metal coins/products that are classified as “collectibles” cannot be included in IRA’s.
In the rest of this article, we go into great detail to define what is and what is not classified as collectible by the IRS. According to IRC Section 408 (m) (2) coins are in general classified as collectibles which would make them ineligible for inclusion in an IRA. However, the Internal Revenue Code excludes certain coins and metals from the definition of collectible. The exception for certain coins and bullion is specified in Section 408 (m) (3).
Collectibles in Precious Metals IRA’s?
The criteria for gold coins to not be classified as collectibles are written down in the paragraphs (7), (8), (9) and (10) of section 5112(a) of title 31 of the United States Code. Paragraph (7) mentions “A fifty dollar gold coin that is 32.7 millimeters in diameter, weighs 33.931 grams, and contains one troy ounce of fine gold.” That description fits the 1 oz American Gold Eagle coins so these coins can be included in a precious metals IRA. Paragraph (8) then mentions “A twenty-five dollar gold coin that is 27.0 millimeters in diameter, weighs 16.966 grams, and contains one-half troy ounce of fine gold.” So that would be the 1/2 oz American Gold Eagle coin then.
Paragraphs (9) and (10) then continue in the same fashion to exclude the 1/4 oz Gold Eagle (“A ten dollar gold coin that is 22.0 millimeters in diameter, weighs 8.483 grams, and contains one-fourth troy ounce of fine gold.”) as well as the 1/10 oz Gold Eagle (“A five dollar gold coin that is 16.5 millimeters in diameter, weighs 3.393 grams, and contains one-tenth troy ounce of fine gold.”) from being classified as collectibles. So basically, paragraphs (7) – (10) are just telling us in a legalistic way that the four denominations of the American Gold Eagles are not classified as collectibles and are therefore allowed to be included in a precious metal IRA.
The American Silver Eagle and American Platinum Eagle coins are also excluded from being classified as a collectible in sections 5112(e) and 5112(k). The latter section even specifically excludes proof versions of the platinum coins from the classification as collectibles. It is hence allowed to include proof American Platinum Eagles in a precious metal IRA.
Furthermore, the law also excludes “any gold, silver, platinum, or palladium bullion of a fineness equal to or exceeding the minimum fineness that a contract market requires for metals which may be delivered in satisfaction of a regulated futures contract” from being classified as collectibles. The minimum fineness for gold bullion is 99.5%.
For that reason, 22 karat gold coins like the South African Krugerrands cannot be included in a precious metal IRA, even though the Krugerrands have the same level of purity as the American Gold Eagles. However as mentioned above, the American Gold Eagles are specifically excluded from the collectible classification whereas other 22 karat gold coins are not. It makes perfect sense after all for the US government to exclude coins that are minted under its jurisdiction so that more Americans will buy these coins (and put them in their IRA’s).
The minimum purity for silver bullion is 99.9% and that is the world market standard for silver bullion coins anyway, so none of the popular silver bullion coins are excluded from being included in a precious metal IRA. Platinum and palladium bullion products that you want to include in a precious metals IRA must be at least 99.95% pure.
Finally, it is important to note that all bullion that you want to include in a precious metal IRA must be kept in the physical possession of a trustee. That means that there is no home storage possible for the bullion that is registered in a precious metals IRA! Precious metal dealers that offer gold IRA’s collaborate with one or more trustees (companies where the bullion is physically deposited) such as the Delaware Depository Service Company as an example.
If you want to avoid the hassle and pitfalls of setting up a precious metal IRA all by yourself, you can contact IRA experts such as Regal Assets. They will take care of the entire process of setting everything up for you so you can rest assured that all government and IRS regulations will be followed to the letter!