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[[I was wondering what the rules were for paying IRA account fees with money from outside the IRA

Just ask me, and I'll be happy to tell you.

[[ My broker says that it is alright to pay the yearly service charge with non-contributed
money, but that commisions on stocks must be paid from within the IRA.]]

And your broker is 100% kee-rect. If the annual fee is billed to you separately, and you pay the fee from funds outside of your IRA, not only does it save the IRA account money, but you get the deduction as a miscellaneous itemized deduction.

But commissions are clearly a different bird altogether. And those expenses must stay within the IRA account, and can not be reimbursed.

[[ My feeling is that it should
either be possible to pay all costs and fees from outside the IRA or they should all be from within.
Otherwise it seems to allow a loophole for certain individuals. But, I don't know - any help from the

Without going into a bunch of tax clap-trap, and boring you with technical jargon, simply understand that the IRS considers the IRA fee more of an administrative fee that is a charge for services rendered. But the commissions on the purchase/sale of stock are an intergral component to the asset purchased or sold. And it is a longstanding rule that any costs to purchase a capital asset must be added to the asset. And any costs to sell an asset must also be used to reduce the gross sales price of the assets.

Since your commissions are part and parcel of the stock transactions, they must remain with the stock, which must remain in the IRA.

Think about your own personal (taxable) account. You can't deduct the commissions that you pay on that account as an "itemized deduction", right? No you can't. Those commissions stay with the stock. As must the commissions on stock that you buy/sell within your IRA account.

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