Check Book IRA Client Buys and Leases Out Oil Tanker in North Dakota

Oil Truck

We received a call from one of our clients that had a tax related question and while on the phone I asked him what he was doing with his IRA LLC.

“Oh, I’m in the oil business”, he said.  I quizzed him a bit more because I wanted to be sure he understood that if you actually run a business an IRA can be subject to a Trust Tax called UBIT.

“Nope”, he answered.

“I bought the rig and am leasing out to a trucking firm in North Dakota for work on the pipeline”.

He was very excited because he’s earning a fabulous return and his retirement is invested in something he can literally kick the tires on.

We’d love to hear what you are investing in with your Check Book IRA.  The opportunities are endless as long as you stay within the rules.

Perhaps you will hit a “gusher” return like our friend from North Dakota!

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    1. barb bergman

      If I use the IRA money to purchase real estate for rental isn;t that a business and make me subjective to the the trust tax UBIT?

      • Jordan Sheppherd

        Hi Barb,

        Rental income is not subject to UBIT, so even if your IRA LLC were to purchase 50 rentals, the rent income would come back to the IRA LLC tax-deferred (or tax-free if you have a Roth IRA). Other forms of income that are exempt from UBIT are interest income, lease income, royalty income.

        Having said that, its not the income that is the deciding factor when figuring out if you will trigger UBIT. If you’re getting any of the income types above, then you are automatically exempted from UBIT, but if you’re getting another type of income, that income may not be subject to UBIT. Here’s a link to the IRS’s overview of their test to determine if UBIT will be an issue.