Do you own or are you considering ownership of a self-directed IRA? The IRS has issued a strong warning to taxpayers like you, and it’s simple: beware of promoters advertising IRS-approved investments for IRAs. These promoters advertise on television infomercials and on the radio, promising no-risk and sky-high returns on exotic investments in your retirement account.
The IRS does issue letters to IRA sponsors, trustees, and custodians certifying that they are complying with certain requirements and standards which allow your contributions to be deductible. However, the IRS does not issue any statement regarding the review or approval of any investments for your IRA. The IRS recommends that you avoid any investment falsely claimed as “IRS Approved” or otherwise endorsed by the IRS.
How can you protect yourself? Always proceed with caution when dealing with investment promotions, regardless of who is serving as the custodian, or how legitimate the advertisement appears to be. Federal and state government agencies investigate and regulate companies and individuals who offer investments for IRAs, so make sure to check with your state securities regulator to see if there have been complaints about the investment or the person selling it. Always educate yourself regarding an investment and a promoter before you turn over your money.
If you have any questions or complaints about IRA investment promotions that you’ve received by telephone, mail, or online, contact either the Federal Trade Commission at 877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) or the Securities and Exchange Commission at 800-SEC-0330 (732-0330).
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