Simplified Employee Pensions, or SEPs, are structured to allow employees to purchase real estate in a tax-advantaged way. However, the use of the property is restricted in several ways.
SEPs are accounts that allow you to postpone taxes on rental income of qualified properties until the income is actually withdrawn. For eligible property, pre-tax dollars are used to make the purchase.
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Small business owners and self-employed individuals can take advantage of SEP IRAs. There are some differences between this and a Solo 401(k), although these are very similar in terms of benefits.
A SEP IRA is a type of retirement plan that can be used for tax purposes. As an added benefit, earnings withheld from the account are tax-free until they are withdrawn from the account.
Despite this, before opening a self-directed SEP IRA, it is essential to consider its potential benefits and limitations.
There are more investment options with a Solo 401(k), as well as others when considering investing in retirement. A self-directed 401(k) also offers unique features, such as the ability to use non-recourse financing to invest in real estate, and it is possible to take a loan against your retirement funds.
Real estate investment can be made with Roth IRAs, SEP IRAs, and traditional IRAs. To be able to invest in real estate investment trusts (REIT) as part of your IRA's stock portfolio, you will have to start a self-directed IRA account unless you are happy buying real estate investment trust shares.
You have more control over the investments in your IRA with self-directed accounts, allowing you to purchase assets like real estate and business interests. Still, they are more complicated and bear additional fees.
When starting a SEP, you must provide a custodian for your self-directed IRA for real estate.
A SEP is a self-directed escrow account used to purchase real estate using a custodian who is a licensed property manager or who can hire one to be the custodian of the account. As a result of the custodian using funds from the SEP to pay for the property, the custodian closes on the property.
Custodians take on the role of property managers or hire them to do so, and in turn, they seek to maintain the property. A SEP owner cannot manage the property themselves as it is under the ownership of one of the SEPs. The property is owned by someone else, so you cannot maintain it physically, collect rents, or cover expenses yourself.
Your custodian will handle your investments and your quality and performance of them, so you should be aware upfront that you're responsible for your decisions.
In general, you will not be able to run a business through a SEP-IRA, as it would be difficult to compete with your competitors, who must pay taxes on earned income. IRAs are subject to a tax on unrelated business income earned by IRAs, which means that it is hard to use SEPs as a tax advantage due to the unrelated business tax assessment.
The unrelated business tax exemption applies to passive rental income, meaning taxes are deferred until the income is withdrawn. Taxes on unrelated business income from the property are subject to any other form of income that arises from the property.
You can buy and sell real estate using your IRA without worrying about taxes, which is one of the main advantages of investing with an IRA. You don't have to pay taxes if you don't withdraw money from your account when you retire, and if you consider Roth IRA real estate investing, you don't even have to pay tax when you withdraw money in retirement.
It is also important to understand that any real estate losses cannot be written off when it comes to taxation. You have to empty out the Roth account, for example, if you want to deduct Roth losses from it. Taking a loss as a write-off is an option if the account's total value is less than the amount you initially contributed.
The options for alternative investments for your IRA include everything from residential and rental properties to raw land and mobile homes. You can select whatever type of real estate asset you want.
The increased diversification allows IRA owners to protect their funds from stock market fluctuations by allowing them to invest in additional assets. As a real estate expert or investor, it's a great way to leverage your experience if you have real estate knowledge or if you are an investor in real estate.
A great benefit of investing in index funds is that you can diversify your retirement portfolio outside of one geographic area, which is in addition to diversifying your portfolio. If you live in a country that permits the purchase of real estate, you can do so pretty much anywhere.
As with all investments, these investments carry a certain amount of risk, and no investment category or asset class can be deemed a guarantee of success.
Self-directed IRAs are not suitable for everyone, which is part of why they might not be the best choice in retirement account options, giving way to a list of possible drawbacks of this type of retirement account. For more real estate investing guides and resources, head over to Saint Investment today!
A master in Investment, Marketing, and Capital Raising.
Nic has honed his focus on the Real Estate and debt markets with Saint Investment Group and pursues large-scale Distressed Asset purchases with his partners and syndications.