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Offshore Gold IRA: Storing Gold IRA Offshore



“I have been looking into options for storing a gold IRA offshore but I’m having trouble finding offshore IRA custodians who also allow gold. Help please Ally!”

Alison MacdonaldBullion.Directory’s Ask Ally Service
By Alison Macdonald
Commercial Editor at Bullion.Directory

Marc in New Jersey wrote me several questions all related to his difficulty in finding a choice of options for setting up an offshore gold IRA. And he’s right – things have changed over the past few years.

strategic wealth preservation bannerOffshore gold IRAs were a huge boom back in 2014-2019, thanks to very aggressive marketing by a now bankrupt company once notorious for taking over massive swathes of the US gold market.

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For a while it seemed every magazine, TV or radio show was heralding the offshore future of gold IRAs, be it in Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Switzerland or a glittering array of tropical islands. I remember Bullion.Directory running quite a number of ads for distant high security vaults in exotic locations. Then it just stopped.

Now, thanks to the hype having died down and some significant market consolidation, choices are indeed more limited.

But that’s not to say moving your gold IRA offshore, or the concept of going offshore are unsound. Far from it.


Introduction to Offshore Gold IRAs

gold iraA Gold IRA is a type of self-directed Individual Retirement Account (IRA) that allows for the investment in physical gold, and an Offshore Gold IRA is where this gold is stored in secure locations outside the United States.

This investment option is seeing a significant resurgence in popularity among investors who are looking to diversify their retirement portfolios beyond traditional assets and for a large number of reasons beyond the US boundaries.

The appeal of Offshore Gold IRAs lies in some unique advantages they offer, combining potential tax benefits, the security of having assets stored internationally, and the stability that comes with investing in gold.

As global economic uncertainty continues, with seemingly no end in sight, more investors are again considering Offshore Gold IRAs as a viable component of their retirement planning – and as such they are featuring again in some of the best gold IRA guides.


The appeal of Offshore Gold IRAs lies in several key factors

Geopolitical Diversification: Storing gold in offshore locations diversifies geopolitical risks, as it’s not tied to the economic or political stability of the investor’s home country. Looking at the nation’s books, governmental finances are not exactly looking good and for many, having gold somewhere outside of potential turmoil can only be a good thing.

Potential Tax Benefits: Gold IRAs are already tax advantaged either at purchase (Traditional IRA) or on distribution (Roth IRA) – but when it comes to offshoring an IRA, some jurisdictions may offer additional favorable tax conditions, depending on the investor’s overall tax strategy and how their tax affairs are set up. This can be a very complex topic and definitely requires professional advice!

Inflation Hedge: Gold is historically known as a hedge against inflation, helping preserve purchasing power over time. Holding gold offshore doesn’t necessarily add or subtract from this advantage – however many offshore IRA holders are themselves adventurous and see their retirement being somewhere offshore where living costs are significantly lower – a double win.

Asset Protection: Offshore storage can provide additional legal protections, safeguarding assets from domestic legal disputes or seizures. Do bear in mind this additional protection is nowhere near as much as can be offered and enjoyed outside of an IRA – and this is something the holder must look consider. It’s a choice between absolute privacy and the tax advantages offered by an IRA.

Currency Diversification: Investing in gold allows for diversification against currency devaluation. Again this is the same onshore and off, but for an offshore or internationalized individual, gold can offer considerable protection against weak currencies in some favorite retirement spots.

High Security: Offshore depositories offer state-of-the-art security for stored assets, with some of the world’s most secure facilities being in Dubai and Switzerland.

Privacy: Some investors prefer the privacy afforded by offshore investments. If the investor is looking for privacy from the US government however, an IRA would be one of the worst options!

These reasons collectively make Offshore Gold IRAs an attractive option for investors looking to enhance their retirement planning strategy.


Offshore Gold IRA Challenges

While Offshore Gold IRAs offer unique advantages, they also come with their own set of challenges.

1. Complexity
Navigating the legal and regulatory frameworks of offshore investments can be complex, often requiring specialized knowledge or advice. This is especially true if you are arranging things yourself, but much less of an issue if you work with an offshore IRA specialist such as SWP Cayman.

2. Costs
Although this is not always the case, there can be higher costs associated with offshore storage, including transportation, insurance, and storage fees. As with any market there is competition, and some gold IRA dealers who offer offshore options do so at broadly the same price as their US equivalent.

3. Regulatory Considerations
Compliance with both domestic and international regulations is crucial. Missteps can lead to legal and financial repercussions, both in the US and in the foreign jurisdiction. You must also check that the offshore facility has a level of legal and regulatory safeguards you’re comfortable with.

I’ll cover one of the most common pitfalls next…

US LLCs for Offshore Gold IRA

avoid llc gold iraThere are still companies selling the idea of setting up a US LLC and putting this company inside your IRA as an investment.

The theory being your IRA holds the company, but you manage the company and so can invest the company’s money in anything you wish, anywhere you want – and with as much privacy as the offshore world can offer.

Similar to the debunked idea of using a US LLC for home storage of gold in an IRA, using an LLC for offshore gold storage also doesn’t actually comply with IRS rules. This is because the IRS mandates that gold in an IRA must be stored in an approved depository – and no amount of creative structures like LLCs can change this requirement.

Misunderstanding or attempting to sidestep these regulations can result in significant penalties – and ignorance is not an excuse, especially when you have gone to a lot of effort in creating a complex ownership structure for something that can be achieved easily and directly.

As with any Gold IRA, the IRS has specific rules regarding Offshore Gold IRAs and compliance is key to avoid any legal issues.

The IRS mandates that physical gold in an IRA must be stored in an IRS-approved depository. This rule is in place to ensure the safety and security of the retirement assets.

Offshore storage facilities must comply with IRS standards. It’s not enough to simply store gold offshore; the storage facility must be recognized and approved by the IRS. This compliance is crucial to maintain the tax-advantaged status of the IRA.

Understanding and adhering to these rules is essential for anyone considering an Offshore Gold IRA to ensure legal compliance and the security of their investment.


Offshore Gold Shifts

strategic wealth preservation bannerAs I covered in my intro, there has been a significant change in the offshore gold IRA marketplace.

For a while, aggressive marketing by one particular Gold IRA company led to massive growth in the offshore side of the market, with copycat companies quickly offering similar packages.

Storage options in Canada, Dubai, Switzerland and more became commonplace at many Gold IRA specialists – however much of this came to an abrupt halt during the global pandemic, and several companies have since gone out of business.

That’s not to say there are fewer offshore gold companies and definitely not fewer Gold IRA companies, but the intersection between the two has shrunk considerably.

One significant factor influencing these changes is the consolidation being seen in the market and the formation of partnerships between many leading bullion dealers and top gold IRA companies with specialist entities such as Strategic Wealth Preservation (SWP Cayman).

These partnerships streamline services and offer more comprehensive solutions to investors- and as the market evolves, these collaborations can lead to more efficient and secure options for those interested in offshore gold IRAs, affecting the landscape of available services and providers.

As I write this, I have heard that SWP is opening a facility in Dubai to go with their 5 other offshore locations – so in many ways we’ve seen the market go full circle, heading back to where we were in the last Offshore Gold IRA rush – but this time with a proper and trusted foundation.


Choosing an Offshore Gold IRA Provider

online gold reviewsWhen choosing an offshore gold IRA provider, it’s crucial to select one that is reliable and compliant with regulations.

Look for providers with good reviews, a strong track record, transparent policies, and robust security measures for storing gold. Consider their reputation, customer service quality, and any additional services they offer, like assistance with paperwork and regulatory compliance.

Also, assess their fees and ensure they are competitive. It’s important to conduct thorough research and possibly consult financial advisors to make an informed decision that aligns with your investment goals.

I say this, but in practical terms many of these companies actually use the services of SWP, so for many going direct may be the best option.

Either way, Bullion.Directory lists, reviews and rates 100 Gold IRA specialists and 40 Offshore Gold companies.


To summarize, when considering an Offshore Gold IRA, investors need to carefully weigh the benefits and challenges.

Firstly, if the big draw is privacy, ask yourself if an IRA of any type offers the kind of privacy needed.

Will the tax advantages outweigh IRS oversight and essentially having your supposedly private offshore investment directly in the sights of the US government?

If so, then it’s essential to understand the compliance requirements, especially regarding IRS-approved depositories, and stay informed about market trends and the evolving landscape of offshore gold IRA specialists. Choosing a reliable and compliant provider is crucial, and investors should thoroughly research potential providers, considering factors like reputation, security, fees, and customer service.

Balancing the potential advantages of offshore gold storage with these considerations will help in making an informed and strategic decision for retirement planning.

Alison author Alison Macdonald

Ask Ally, is your direct line to gold investment wisdom. Alison “Ally” Macdonald, with her extensive experience and sharp tongue, cuts through clutter to offer honest, insider takes on your gold investment questions.

Need insights or industry secrets? Ally’s ready to deliver, combining professional expertise with a smattering of Glasgow patter. Get ready for straightforward, expert guidance from a one-time gold shill turned good guy. Ask Ally Today

The responses provided by ‘Ask Ally’ are strictly for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. Alison Macdonald’s insights and opinions are based on her personal experience and knowledge of the gold industry and should not be taken as professional financial guidance. Before making any investment decisions, we strongly recommend consulting with a qualified financial advisor. Bullion.Directory and Alison Macdonald are not liable for any financial actions taken based on the information provided in this service.

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