Transfer IRA – 3 Easy Steps

Transfer an existing IRA or multiple IRAs to an Equity Trust self-directed IRA in three easy steps.
  1. Open an Equity Trust Self-Directed IRA.
  2. Transfer your IRAs to the newly opened account(s).
  3. Choose your investments.

What You Need to Know about Transferring Funds to an IRA

Transfers occur when IRA assets and/or funds are moved directly from one financial organization to the same type of IRA at another financial organization. The important detail with this type of money movement is the IRA owner never has control of the assets and/or funds. These items are never issued to the client under their personal name, they always stay under the IRA’s ownership. 

Example: If you instruct your current financial institution to send funds and/or assets from your Roth IRA to a Roth IRA with Equity Trust Company, this would be an IRA transfer. 

How do I get an IRA transfer to Equity Trust Company started?

Our Account Executive Team and Client Service Team can help you complete a transfer request. A transfer request is an IRA owner’s authorization for the present custodian to send the requested funds and/or assets to a new custodian/trustee. You can also speak with your current custodian to request the transfer of assets/funds to Equity Trust Company. If your current custodian initiates the transfer, they should still obtain written acceptance from Equity Trust Company informing them we can accept the assets.  

Remember: Every financial institution may have their own transfer policies and it is in your best interest to speak with your current custodian to determine what their process is before you get started. 

If I’m older than 70 ½, can I transfer IRA assets from my current custodian to Equity Trust Company?

Yes. Remember, you must still take your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) by the due date if you have a Traditional IRA. If you have a Roth IRA, your age does not have any impact on Roth IRA to Roth IRA transfers.

Will there be tax reporting when I transfer funds/assets from my current financial institution to Equity Trust Company?

There is no tax reporting when transferring funds/assets from one IRA custodian to another IRA of the same type at a different custodian.    The IRA owner does not personally receive or control the assets, such as in a distribution, which would trigger a taxable event to report.

If a check from my previous custodian says the check is made payable to “Equity Trust Company, Custodian FBO (for benefit of) for an Individual’s IRA,” can I assume this is always considered a transfer?

No. Financial organizations use the documents provided by the sending financial organization, or by the IRA owner, to determine if the funds are a transfer, rollover, or other money movement.

For example, if the assets came from a Traditional IRA and are going to a Roth IRA, it is considered a conversion. Another example is if the assets came from a qualified employer plan, it is a direct rollover and can be deposited into a Traditional IRA only as a rollover.  Both of these examples would have the check made payable as described above, but would be reportable due to a taxable event that may occur as a result of the request.  A transfer between two custodians is not a reportable event.

Can I personally mail or deliver the transfer check from my current IRA financial organization to Equity Trust Company?

Yes; however, please make sure the financial organization allowing you to do this with the IRA funds has received in writing from Equity Trust Company that we will now act as the successor custodian. You want to make sure Equity Trust has received all necessary paperwork to open an account for you and the account is active to receive the funds before your previous custodian sends a check to you. 

The custodian sending the check should also communicate to Equity Trust Company that you will be mailing or delivering the check directly.  This is important to be sure that the transfer actually takes place and isn’t considered a rollover. It is in your best interest to send the check via courier with a tracking number to ensure funds are received in a secure and timely manner.

Is there any limit to the number of transfers I can do in a year?

No.  There is no limit to the number of custodian to custodian transfers you can do in a year.