Your IRA Could Be Taxed – Here’s What You Need to Know

Hey there, savvy investors! Let’s talk about something you might not expect: your IRA could be on the hook for taxes. I know, it sounds a bit off since we usually think of IRAs as our golden ticket to tax-deferred bliss. But, as with many things in the world of finance, it’s not always that simple.

Understanding the Tax Situation with IRAs

Usually, your IRA grows without worrying about taxes until you start making withdrawals, typically after hitting that sweet age of 59 1/2. But the IRS has rules that can make your IRA owe taxes before then, especially if you’re dipping your toes in certain types of investments.

Unrelated Debt Financed Income Tax (UDFI)

First up, let’s talk UDFI. This is a tax you could face if your IRA borrows money. Interestingly, Solo 401ks usually dodge this tax bullet. But for IRAs, when they use a specific type of loan called a non-recourse loan, things get tax-tricky. These loans have to be made to the IRA without personal guarantees from you or anyone closely related to you. And here’s the kicker: because these loans are non-recourse and don’t have personal guarantees, expect higher down payments and interest rates.

Most traditional banks aren’t too keen on making these loans, but don’t worry – we at uDirect IRA Services have got a list of lenders who are game. Shoot us a message, and we’ll hook you up with that info.

Imagine you finance 60% of a property through your IRA. Here’s the breakdown: 60% of the rental income could be taxable. You’d report this on the 990t tax return and also write off 60% of the expenses. If your IRA ends up with a profit, that’s when the tax comes into play.

Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT)

Then there’s UBIT. This one applies if your IRA or Solo k is running an active business, like a dry-cleaner, or dabbling in real estate ventures like flips or Airbnb. The UBIT tax rate sits at around the same as the Trust Rate. Remember, you (or your close family) can’t work for or draw personal income from these businesses.

For all these tax details, you’ll be dealing with the 990-T tax form. You can dive deeper into these rules on the IRS website (Pub 598) and also reach out to your own tax professional to make sure they can calculate these taxes for you.


uDirect IRA Services is not a fiduciary.  As always, for legal or tax advice, make sure to consult with your personal attorney or tax advisor. Remember, this isn’t financial or legal advice, just a friendly chat to keep you in the know!  Reach out to us at with your questions.