In these unpredictable economic times, contributing precious metals to an IRA can be a sensible decision. Fortunately, the IRS has guidelines that allow you to contribute some gold coins to an IRA.

Normally, collectibles, such as many precious metals, are prohibited from being contributed to an IRA by the IRS. Contributions of art artifacts, stamps, antiquities, collectible alcoholic drinks, and most coin collections are forbidden. The donation of these things will be treated as a distribution by the IRS in the year they are placed in the IRA. As a result, the IRA owner may face a 10 percent extra tax.

Gold Coins Permitted

Gold Bullion Coins

Certain gold and silver bullion coins are exempt from this provision under 26 U.S.C. ยง 408 (m). In general, IRA contributions can be made using one ounce, one-half, one-quarter, or one-tenth gold coins struck by the US Treasury, or one-ounce silver coins produced by the Treasury. Gold coins must have a fineness of.9999 percent, and their worth must be determined by the purity of the gold rather than the coin’s rarity.

Proof and non-proof American Eagle Coins, as well as non-proof American Gold Buffalo Coins, are exceptions to the purity criterion. Coins struck outside of the United States that meet the fineness requirements are:

  • Canadian Maple Leaf Coins;
  • Australian Nugget Coins;
  • Austrian Philharmonic Coins;
  • Mexican Libertad Silver Coins;
  • Australian Kangaroo Coins;
  • Isle of Man Platinum Coins.

Many foreign coins are prohibited by the IRS because they do not match the fineness requirements. If you’re thinking about putting money into a gold IRA, make sure the coin fits IRS criteria.

Bullion Permitted

Aside from coins, bullion such as gold, silver, platinum, and palladium is accepted as a contribution as long as the fineness standards are met. Under the Commodities Exchange Act, the fineness must be equal to or more than the minimum for a precious metals futures contract (CEA). Bullion fabrication has to be done by a government mint or a refiner from the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The following are the CEA’s minimum fineness requirements.

  • Gold .995 percent;
  • Palladium .9995 percent;
  • Silver .9995 percent;
  • Platinum .9995 percent.

A standard or Roth IRA is a terrific way to defer taxes while investing. When gold and other precious metals are included in an IRA portfolio, they provide a great way to diversify the account.

Visit our IRA-approved precious metals website to learn more. We’ve examined all of the bullion coins and bars that can be held in an IRA, including gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.