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Checkbook IRA Health Checkup


A Checkbook IRA program requires a bit of administrative maintenance to remain in good standing or adapt to changes in your situation.

We’ve designed the following checklist so you can ensure your self-directed IRA is in sound health.

Within each step, we’ve provided links to resources you can use to make necessary updates or correct any administrative deficiencies.

If you have a Checkbook IRA Trust, the “LLC” associated steps 2-4 below do not apply.

1 – Has Your Contact Information Changed?

If you have changed your address or other contact information there are several vendors associated with your checkbook IRA that you will want to notify.

It is critical that you maintain current contact information including an active email address with several vendors or you can miss out on critical notifications.

Please refer to the following article for more details:

Address Change

2 – Is Your LLC In Good Standing with the State?

Most states have some form of re-registration requirement.  This may be an annual or bi-annual report, a franchise tax or other activity.

Failure to comply with such requirements can result in your LLC entity being administratively dissolved by the state.  A dissolved LLC does not provide limited liability protection or standing with courts of the state.  Reinstatement of a dissolved LLC will require additional paperwork and fees.

Information about state compliance activities was included with your LLC plan documents.

To check the standing of your LLC, use the following steps:

  1. Perform an internet search for “{your state} LLC Name Search”
    Look for the result that is an official state agency
  2. Search for your LLC name
  1. View the resulting record for LLC, which should indicate whether the LLC is in “good standing”

If your LLC is not in good standing, work with the state corporation division to restore the LLC.  If you need help, please reach out to your local counsel such as a CPA or attorney.

Any fees for state filings/taxes or legal assistance must be paid from the LLC entity and may not be paid personally.

3 – Is the LLC Registered Agent Information Correct?

The Registered Agent for a LLC is the person or business providing an in-state physical address for the LLC where official notices or court summons can be delivered during normal business hours.

If the LLC was formed in your home state, you most likely were named as the registered agent.  If your LLC was formed out-of-state, you may have used a 3rd party individual or had Safeguard designate a service provider.

It is important that the registered agent information be current and correct.  If you or your designated agent have moved, it may be necessary to update the agent address or appoint a new registered agent.

The process of updating or replacing a registered agent is usually a simple filing with the state.  Check with your state corporation division for the necessary forms.

A small fee is often required when making a change.  This fee should be paid from the LLC and may not be paid personally.

If you have a more complex matter such as having moved out-of-state, please email Safeguard Advisors Support and we can assist you with understanding your options.

4 – Are you Current on Fees with your Professional Registered Agent?

If Safeguard Advisors appointed a 3rd party registered agent for your LLC, they will have annual fees for providing their service.

Be sure you are current with fees, or reach out to your agent to get back on track if not.  If you have moved, they may not know where to locate you.

Professional registered agents we have used include:

www.blumbergexcelsior.com

www.registeredagentsinc.com

Registered agent fees must be paid from your LLC and may not be paid personally.

5 – Can you Login to your IRA Services Online Account Dashboard?

IRA Services Trust Co. provides an online account dashboard that is a useful tool for staying informed and managing your account relationship, and downloading quarterly account statements.

Direct access is available at: account.iraservices.com

If you do not have access, please refer to the following article for assistance:

Online IRA Account Dashboard

6 – Is Your IRA Annual Valuation Current?

You are required to provide IRA Services Trust Co. with a statement of fair market value for your IRA-owned LLC or Trust entity as of December 31st each year.  This value is used in the annual IRS reporting submitted by IRA Services.

Failure to keep annual valuation current over an extended period of time can result in account resignation and potential severe tax consequences.

You can view the last reported valuation for your LLC by logging into the online dashboard, then clicking on the hyperlinked dollar value to the right of your LLC name.

If you are behind, you should enter a valuation as of the current date.  There is no need to backfill past-due annual valuations.

Most investors can report the fair market value of their IRA-owned entity quickly online using the IRA Services Valuation Portal.

https://valuation.iraservices.com/

You will be asked to provide your IRA account number, the last 4 digits of your SSN, and your date of birth to access the system.  Your account number is available on your IRA Services account statement.

Investors with an account subject to Required Minimum Distributions will not be able to use the online valuation portal and will need to submit a paper form with a 3rd party certified valuation.  A link to the IRA LLC Valuation form is available at the bottom of the valuation portal login page.

For more information on how to report fair market value, refer to the following article:

Year-End Valuation

7 – Is Your IRA Current on Fees and Cash Balance?

Your IRA account must hold a minimum cash balance of $300.  This is the repository from which quarterly account fees are drawn.

You can view the Custodial Cash Balance by logging into the online dashboard.  If you click on the hyperlinked dollar value, you can view details of past transactions in the cash portion of the IRA.

Past due fees are noted on your IRA account statement, which can be accessed from the online dashboard.

If you fail to replenish the account balance, the account can become delinquent on administrative fees.  This results in extra costs for paper invoicing.  If the account has past-due fees for an extended period of time, IRA Services Trust Co. may resign the account, which could result in severe tax consequences.

Please refer to the following article for guidance on maintaining the IRA cash balance:

Fees and Minimum Cash Balance

8 – Are Your Beneficiary Designations Current?

It is a good practice to review the Account Beneficiary Designations on your IRA account periodically.  You can view designations on your IRA Online Account Dashboard.

Use the following IRA Services Help Center resource for changing beneficiary information:

Beneficiary Designation

9 – Is your IRA with the Best Custodian?

IRA Services Trust Co. was the preferred IRA provider for Safeguard Advisors from 2005-2015.  We’ve switched to Kingdom Trust Co. and have been very happy with the change.  More importantly, our clients using Kingdom Trust Co. are happy.

We are now recommending that Safeguard Clients using IRA Services consider Changing to Kingdom Trust Co.  If you will continue to use your self-directed IRA for many years, want to simplify the administration of the account, and like to save money, a change will make sense.

IRA Services raised their fees to $240 per year effective April 1, 2020.  The annual fees at Kingdom Trust Co. are only $125, and the service is superior.

 

Download A Checklist

Following are checklists you can use to check the health of your checkbook IRA LLC

Checkbook IRA LLC Health Checklist

Checkbook IRA Trust Health Checklist

If you Need Help

For question about IRA account maintenance or to check on the status of an IRA-level transaction in-process please contact IRA Services Trust Co. directly.

www.iraservices.com

800-248-8447

Online Help Center

Monday – Friday; 8:00am – 5:00pm Pacific time

For general operational questions, or questions specific to investment transactions you intend to make within your Checkbook IRA, please contact Safeguard Advisors.

Please email support@ira123.com to initiate requests.  Most questions are asked frequently and we can generally provide a detailed written response promptly.  If your question requires, we will have the correct resource on our team reach out to you personally.

For matters that require explanation please Schedule a Support Callback.