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Mkraft asks:

<<Do brokerage fees for transactions in an IRA account *have* to be paid from the IRA assets?

-- e.g., if you want to buy stock in an IRA account using a 'limit' order but discover that after including the brokerage fee you will overshoot your account balance by a few dollars if the order goes through, can you arrange to pay the brokerage fee directly (i.e., not from the IRA assets) rather than cut your purchase by a share?>>

In general, the answer is yes trading fees must be paid from assets within the account. You could send in a check to pay for them, but that check would then count as part of and against your annual contribution limit of $2K per year. If you already made that $2K contribution, then sending in the check would result in an excess contribution giving rise to all sorts of hassle and a possible 6% penalty on that excess.

Bottom line: Pay trading costs with money in the IRA.

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