IRA Rollover or Transfer - which is best for Gold IRA?

IRA Rollover or Transfer – which is best for Gold IRA?

Updated July 2022

In this article I look at the subject of IRA Rollover or Transfer -Any wise investor getting concerned with the current economic uncertainties can consider moving over to gold IRA investment through one of the best gold ira companies.

Unlike traditional IRA, investing in precious metals is regarded as a safer option and one of the best ways of utilizing retirement savings. However, moving gold and other precious metals to a traditional IRA is very challenging and must operate within the gold IRA rules and regulations. You will have to set up a new self-directed IRA account and understand that a gold IRA portfolio may not be the right move for everyone.

Gold IRA rollover versus transfer

IRA transfer refers to the process of moving assets or retirement funds from one account to another. It does not involve the exchange of money, meaning the assets must be moved directly between IRA providers, even without an employer-sponsored plan. Transfers can happen multiple times without the IRS being involved, and there are no restrictions between the financial institutions and the retirement account owners.

It’s important to note that an acceptable retirement account type must be used for the transfer to be successful and tax-free. For instance, you cannot move assets and funds between a Roth IRA and a traditional IRA account. In such situations, a Roth conversion must be done.

 How gold IRA transfers work

IRA transfers usually begin with a receipt of the fund distribution from the old account, which is issued through a check. The funds or check will have to be deposited into the new IRA account within a limited time of 60 days. The transfer period starts when you receive the IRA funds.

The internal revenue service is strict with the timeline, but there are situations where they will provide a waiver, especially if you miss the deadline because of circumstances you cannot control. Some of those situations include:

• Qualifying for the waiver automatically

• Certifying that you meet all the requirements for the waiver and waiting for verification from the IRS. They will audit your returns to confirm that you are eligible.

• Obtaining a private letter that supports your eligibility for the waiver. The application fee for such is $10,000.

 Automatic qualification occurs when:

• The financial institution transferring the funds makes an error that results in the new IRA account custodian receiving them after the 60 days have passed.

• You made sure the finds reached the financial institution receiving them on your behalf within the time limit. All procedures must be followed during the transfer.

• The retirement assets get deposited into the account within one year after the 60-day deadline.

Failure to meet the deadline or get a waiver will result in penalization in one of two ways. One, the retirement funds will be taxed if they are not from a Roth IRA, or there will be a 10% penalty for unauthorized early distribution.

IRA transfer is a better option if:

• You do not think the transfer can be completed within 60 days

• The accounts in use are similar. For instance, a 401k to a 401k or from one self-directed IRA to another one.

• You already used rollover IRA to transfer some funds, and one year has not elapsed.

• You prefer to have a streamlined process that will keep your IRA investments consolidated

• There is a possibility you may transfer more funds within 12 months

• You do not want the IRS to be aware of the transfer

Gold IRA rollover

Many self-directed IRAs use the rollover option, which is divided into two categories.


If an investor chooses to move funds from an account that is not IRA but is a qualified retirement plan or an employer-sponsored plan, the move is known as a direct rollover. An example is moving funds from a 401k plan to a traditional IRA. The funds are usually exchanged between the providers without being sent to the investor.

This method is similar to transfer, but it involves a lot of documentation, and the internal revenue service is usually aware. It is still tax-free even if the IRS knows.


An indirect rollover is where the investor receives the money in their personal bank account before putting it into a self-directed IRA account within 60 days. For instance, you can deposit a check into your bank account then write another one for the new IRA administrator. Tax penalties will be applied if the money is not in your new account within the stipulated duration.

The IRS only allows one rollover within one year with the indirect option, regardless of how many retirement accounts you have.

Tax implications of IRA account transfer

Possible tax implications should be one of your considerations when you are thinking about an IRA transfer. One of them is a 10% penalty for an early distribution if the money does not reach the new account in time. You may be forced to spend more money to complete the IRA transfer.

Leaving the transfer to your IRA custodian is the easiest way to deal with the situation and avoid such complications. They will work with the account administrator to ensure the transfer or rollover process goes smoothly without any delays.

An indirect or direct rollover IRA is a good idea if:

• You want to transfer IRAs between different retirement accounts. For example, from a 401k to a traditional or Roth IRA.

• You have not rolled over funds within 12 months

• You want to maintain control of the gold investments

• You only want to move part of the retirement funds and not all

pros and cons model illustration

Pros and cons of Rollover and transfer

With IRA transfers, you are not limited to the number of transactions you do in a year. They are not very complicated either. On the downside, you will have to rely on the IRA custodian to complete the transaction on your behalf.

When it comes to IRA rollovers, the IRA transfer can be completed quickly, which works if you need the funds fast. You also get 60 days to hold on to the funds and come up with a good retirement plan before depositing them.

The disadvantage of a rollover IRA is that you are given time limitations of only one transfer per year and 60 days to complete the transaction.

How to handle IRA account transfers or rollovers

When moving assets, you need a new gold IRA that is identical to the old one. For example, funds from an existing traditional IRA can be moved to a SEP IRA. A SIMPLE IRA can also suffice if you meet the right conditions, such as having it for at least two years before attempting the transfer.

Clarifying the retirement plan before starting the rollover or transfer process is also essential. Identify your goals and the kind of contributions you intend to make.

About self-directed IRA

A self-directed IRA is an individual retirement account that allows you to explore various types of alternative investments and ensures you get more control over the funds. The account owner gets to make all the decisions instead of leaving it in the hands of a custodian, and you can also invest in physical precious metals.

With this retirement investments account, you can buy physical gold or any other precious metal without worrying about penalties. Such gold investments can be held in a gold IRA or precious metals IRA, which is a type of self-directed IRA. The assets are usually transferred to different accounts without the IRA owner taking a taxable distribution.

The only major requirement with self-directed IRAs is that the precious metals meet the refinement or purity standards. They give the investor the freedom to select the preferable gold IRAs and keep track of how the gold and silver metals are being invested.

Starting the gold IRA ownership process

Having a gold IRA account allows you to diversify your investment portfolio by purchasing precious metals you are interested in without facing many complications. Precious metals IRAs can be traditional or Roth, so long as you have a qualified retirement plan. Whatever you choose must hold gold bullion, silver coins, or any precious metal. Having gold company stocks, mutual funds, or exchange-traded funds that track gold indexes is another alternative.

If you opt for the physical metals, you will need a custodian to keep the bullion coins you have decided to invest in, in an approved depository. You must also ensure they meet the fineness standards by the IRS. That means you cannot keep the bullion coins in a safety deposit box or at home.

Having a broker can also make your investment journey smoother. They will purchase gold coins and other precious metals while the custodian sets up and monitors the account and storage. The custodian can be a trust company, bank, brokerage firm, or credit union. You can ask the broker for recommendations of reputable custodians they have worked with before. Some of the important factors to consider during your search include:

Reputation: Find out what other customers are saying about the custodian.

Transparency: They should be upfront with their costs and not charge hidden fees later.

Qualification: Registration, licenses, bonds, and insurance are all important documents that can serve as proof of their qualifications.

Why invest in gold IRA

• Unlike paper assets, prices of precious metals like gold and silver have a better chance of surviving inflation.

• Gold coins and bullion have been around for the longest time, proving that it is the best way to expand investment portfolio and pass on wealth to other generations.

• Precious metals, especially gold, can withstand political and economic instability.

• The demand and gold prices have been on a steady rise, making gold IRAs the perfect retirement cushion.


If you want to invest in a gold IRA but do not want to deal with a custodian, a checkbook IRA is a perfect solution. You will need an LLC with a business checking account, making it a more complicated option. Regardless of how you choose to invest in gold and similar precious metals, make sure you understand the costs involved and consult a financial advisor.


Written by
Nathan Tarrant

Nathan has worked in financial services, marketing, and strategic business growth for over 30 years, as well as working in internet marketing since 1998.

In 2008 after the financial crash, Nathan operated as a financial & investment advisor to delegates of the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and senior managers of Fortune 500 companies in Geneva Switzerland.

He started Gold Trends as he enjoys working with alternative investments, having advised on them in the past.

Please note: Nathan is no longer a financial or investment advisor. The information he shares on this site is purely for education and information purposes only. You can read more on the About page

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Written by Nathan Tarrant