Rocket Dollar Knowledge Base

Who is a prohibited person? How do I avoid prohibited transactions with them?

Your parents, spouse, children, spouses of children, and companies where you or a disqualified person owns 50% or more.

You are also a disqualified person.

Remember to keep your IRA separate from any conflicts of interests, just as you would from any family member. Your IRA and your retirement account should benefit from investments and business activity, not you.

Who is not a disqualified person in my family?

Un-adopted children, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, brothers, sisters, and non-blood related family friends.

Key persons at a company you own can be disqualified

If you or disqualified persons for your IRA own over 50% of a company, the CEO, offices/directors, and highly compensated employees can all be disqualified.

If other disqualified people, such as your children or spouse, own parts of the company, this counts in addition to your ownership towards the 50% limit.

For example, if you owned 15% of a friends company, but your children owned 40%, that company and certain key persons would be disqualified from doing business with your IRA.

Why are these rules in place?

Generally, the laws are designed so that a person cannot attempt to avoid or unfairly reduce generational transfer or business owning taxes.

The investment I want to make is associated with disqualified persons. How do I avoid a prohibited transaction?

You can aim to make an investment with someone who is not a disqualified person, or search for a similar investment opportunity that is free of from a disqualified person's involvement. Doing business with a disqualified person puts your IRA at risk of a forced distribution and other penalties by the IRS.

What are some of the possible penalties of a prohibited transaction?

  • Forced distribution of the IRA or Roth IRA.
  • Early withdrawal penalties if you are below 59 1/2, which can be 10% plus ordinary income taxes for IRAs.
  • Putting all of your investment gains up in a Roth IRA up for taxation from an early withdrawal.
  • The IRS may assign excises taxes of up to 15% for the amount involved for an error that was created unintentionally, which can increase to a full distribution if it is not fixed.
  • The IRS may also assign excise taxes to solo 401(k) up to 15%.