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Why are these rules considered to be complex?

These rules exist to ensure that your IRA does not engage in any investment activity other than for the exclusive benefit of the IRA. There are many types of investments which violate this law. For example, buying a house and then letting your mother rent it would potentially create a conflict of interests. If your mother, who was making rent payments, all of a sudden could not – you would be conflicted from evicting her and finding a more reliable tenant. You would then have a conflict of interest between your relationship with your mother and what is in the best interest of your IRA. These rules were put in place to help avoid these sort scenarios. See IRC 408