John Worley Blog

Self-Directed Checkbook IRA LLC

John Worley - Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A self-directed checkbook IRA LLC is an IRS and tax courts approved structure. Furthermore, it provides you with complete signing authority over your retirement funds for the purpose of investing them without the intervention of the self-directed checkbook IRA control custodian. The self-directed checkbook IRA LLC is popular among real estate investors. It offers increased investment freedom, and allows you to manage assets, providing greater freedom in meeting your retirement savings goals.

How it Works

In order to attain checkbook control, you are required to first establish an LLC that is owned by your IRA. Once established a business checking account is established in its name, and also a tax ID number, and a copy of the Articles of Incorporation. You will receive both a checkbook and its control as the managing member of the business checking account that is linked to the self-directed IRA funds.

With a self-directed checkbook IRA LLC, you will not be required to seek approval of each investment by the custodian of your account. All checkbook IRA investment decisions are yours. When investing, you simply write a check or wire the funds straight from your checkbook IRA bank account, allowing you to act quickly when investment opportunities are under a time constraint.

Possessing control over a checkbook IRA enables you to avoid the requirement for custodian consent, and administrative and transaction fees typically associated with an IRA without checkbook control. Even when the LLC owns multiple investments, the administrator only charges for one asset, the LLC. 


The self-directed checkbook IRA LLC enables you to access safer IRA investment alternatives. For example, you can invest retirement funds in real estate, tax liens, franchises, precious metals, foreclosures and other alternative investments. In addition, you can rollover a 401K plan from a previous employer or when you retire. The self-directed checkbook IRA LLC places the control of investing in your hands.


With the control over your retirement funds through a self-directed IRA checkbook control, comes a high degree of responsibility when it comes to possessing the in-depth knowledge of the market for the qualified investment you are considering, making the decision on the amount to invest, when to invest and recognizing when to divest.

The responsibility of successfully managing the investments relies on your maintaining a vigilant watch over the portfolio at all times. As with any business, success greatly depends on your diligence to the portfolio in order to preserve the capital and recognize opportunities to grow it further.

In addition, you are responsible for adhering to all state laws that apply to the LLC, and also, all IRS rules regarding prohibited transactions for an IRA. Remember, the self-directed IRA checkbook control is a legal entity, and the requirements for an LLC owned by your self-directed IRA are the same as with any other business entity.

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