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How To Sell a Gold IRA


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Written by retirement experts Pat Collins and John Halloran

Chances are, at some point, you will want to liquidate your gold or silver IRA account. So it’s only logical you have a plan to do so.

To help guide you through the process, the Certified Gold Exchange retirement account team created this overview on how to sell precious metals within your Self-Directed IRA.

The process will differ slightly depending on the custodian that manages your IRA and the precious metals company you utilize for the liquidation, but it should look like this:

  • Contact the company that helped you set up your gold IRA originally. (If you no longer want to work with them or they’ve gone out of business, our company’s precious metals IRA team can help.
  • Request a buyback quote.
  • If the quote is fair, ask them to send you an Investment Direction form. This document allows you to authorize the dealer to execute the transaction.
  • The Investment Direction form will contain your basic account information and a detailed breakdown of your gold and silver transaction.

Below is a screenshot of an Investment Direction form and the information it contains.


The next screenshot is the itemized transaction breakdown on the Investment Direction form.

_In-Kind_ Distribution Option of Physical Gold and Silver Coins

  • Your gold company will typically email or fax you the document, although they can send it via traditional mail as well.
  • Upon receipt, you’ll sign the Investment Direction form and return it to your dealer. (Some dealers may even accept electronic signatures that can speed up the process.)
  • Next, contact them to make sure they received your document safely and get a guarantee that your pricing is locked in.
  • They will then submit your document to the IRA custodian for processing.
  • The IRA custodian will request the transfer of the precious metals held in your account to your dealer’s account at the depository.
  • Once your dealer receives the precious metals, they will wire the proceeds to your IRA account. Typically within 48 hours. (This process can take up to 2 weeks if the precious metals depository has to ship the physical gold or silver to another location.)
  • You are now free to take a cash distribution, purchase a different asset or transfer your IRA funds to another custodian if you choose.

Note that the best gold IRA companies will always assist with the process should you accept their help.

In addition to the steps outlined above, here are four things to consider before accepting a liquidation quote for your precious metals IRA:

  • Does the dealer buying your precious metals keep an account at the depository where the physical gold and silver coins are stored? If so, your precious metals can be shifted internally from your IRA account to the dealers’, thus avoiding costly shipping and insurance fees.
  • Precious metal dealers will frequently discount the buyback quote and offer less than the highest prevailing bid of the day. Notorious Southern California precious metals dealers will likely underpay for your metals, causing you to lose money.
  • Some dealers require clients to assign them as Designated Representatives on their retirement accounts. A Designated Representative is the equivalent of a Power of Attorney and should never be authorized. Reputable precious metals IRA companies would never make such a request, so consider it a cause for concern.

Below is a screenshot of the Designated Representative option on the application.

Designated Representative Option on Gold IRA Application

When you sell precious metals with the Certified Gold Exchange, we check pricing with over three thousand gold bullion dealers to find the highest buyback of the day. And then we beat that price. Additionally, we send you a link to the highest gold or silver bids, so you have complete confidence you are receiving the highest price of the day for your sale.

CGE and our major trading partners also have accounts with the Delaware Depository and other IRS-approved depositories serving Self-Directed IRA custodians. Therefore you will never pay costly shipping and insurance charges when you sell gold IRAs with us.

For immediate assistance with the liquidation of IRA precious metals or metals held outside of retirement plans, call 1-800-300-0715.


Tax Considerations of Taking a Distribution After Liquidating

If you have a Traditional IRA, you are responsible for paying taxes upon taking distributions. If you have a Roth IRA, you are not.

A distribution is when you take funds out of your IRA account. That amount is added to your taxable income for the year.

Additionally, if you are under 59.5 years of age, you will pay an additional 10% penalty on early distributions.

If you create a taxable event, you can elect to withhold both Federal and State taxes on your Distribution Request form.

For additional answers to your questions, contact our gold IRA experts at (800) 300-0715.
Below is a screenshot of the Federal and State tax withholding option on a Distribution Request form.

Federal Tax Withholding Election on Distribution Request for a Gold IRA State Tax Withholding Election on Distribution Request of a Gold IRA

Selling Gold in Your IRA to Meet a Required Minimum Distribution

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) are the minimum amount you must withdraw from your existing IRA (or any other non-Roth accounts) each year once you turn 72 years of age.

Every year your IRA custodian will send you the exact amount you must take as an RMD. This figure is calculated based on your account balance at the end of the preceding year divided by a distribution period determined from the IRS’s “Uniform Lifetime Table”.

You have until April 15th of the following year to take your RMD. If you fail to take your RMD in the allotted time, the amount not withdrawn is taxed 50%.

When you receive your RMD notification from your IRAs custodian, simply contact your precious metals company and inform them of the amount you must withdraw. You will then follow the same steps as above to liquidate the appropriate amount of metal. Your dealer will also provide you with a Distribution Request form in the amount of your RMD.

You can then select how you would like to receive your distribution payment. Most IRA custodians will send an ACH payment and check for free but will charge a fee to send a wire.

Below are screenshots of the payment options you can select on the Distribution Request form.

In-Kind Distribution Option of Physical Gold and Silver Coins

Taking an RMD in Physical Metal Rather Than Liquidating It First

A unique feature of Self-Directed precious metal IRAs are “in-kind” distributions. “In-kind” simply means you opt to take physical possession of a portion of your metal rather than sell it and receive cash.

To take an “in-kind” distribution of silver and gold coins, you’d simply contact your dealer and provide them with the amount of your RMD. They will then complete a Distribution Request form that reflects the amount of gold and silver you’ll need to withdraw to satisfy your RMD.

Below is a screenshot electing to take an “In-kind” distribution of gold and silver coins.

Distribution options for Gold IRA

Your custodian will provide you with a shipping quote from either UPS or FedEx for you to approve. You can pay for the shipping via a credit card over the phone.

Once your precious metals arrive, you’ll want to store them in either a safety deposit box or a safe at home.

But remember this is a distribution, so you’re still liable for the taxes. You have the option of paying the taxes out of pocket or selling a portion of your precious metals to raise the proceeds.

It may seem that there are quite a few moving parts when it comes to selling a gold IRA. But you can rest assured that the Certified Gold Exchanges gold IRA retirement experts have executed 1000’s of transactions to date. We’ll hold your hand and guide you through the sale every step of the way.

For the nation’s guaranteed best buyback pricing or even if you just have some questions we may be able to help with, call the Certified Gold Exchange now at (800) 300-0715.

Disclaimer: Like all investments gold and silver IRA accounts carry risk. Additionally,  they don’t pay a dividend or interest, so they are not suitable for anyone needing to generate income. The only way to profit is to hold the metals long enough to pass your break even point and then liquidate.


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