Fair Market Values

Let's make this simple.


What is Fair Market Value and do I have to do it?

You may have wondered why your IRA custodian requires a Fair Market Value (FMV) to be completed each year. As explained by the IRS, Fair Market Values are required to comply with the Internal Revenue Code requirements and Title I of ERISA.

A fair market value is a statement of the value of an asset at a given point in time. You can predict the Fair Market Value of a car, for example, by looking it up using the classic Kelly Blue Book tool. You can see the value of a stock by looking up its symbol. With self-directed retirement accounts, asset values may need a little research but must be reported to stay in compliance with retirement account rules.

Unlike a traditional brokerage account in which values are publically accessible, alternative assets can be more difficult to determine a value. As a Self-Directed account holder, you are responsible for ensuring the value reflected for your assets is accurate. And this must be updated at least once every 12 months.

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Where do I update the value?

The simplest way to update the value of your asset is by logging into your Midland account at midland360.com.

Click on “Account Details” after the relevant account

Under the Account Asset Holdings header, and after the relevant holding click the “Select an Option” dropdown and choose “Update Value”

Add the correct New Price Date (12/31 for year-end values)

Update New Price Per Unit and New Units Held if needed

Choose the Valuation Source

Add your backup documentation by clicking Choose File and then uploading it.

It's even simpler than it sounds. Give it a try today!


Here is a list of Frequenty Asked Questions about the Fair Market Value process.

Yes, you do. Fair Market Values are an annual requirement from the IRS for all retirement accounts. This is the one requirement that we have to receive in order to continue to keep your clients’ account is a tax-deferred (or tax-free if a Roth) status. To make the process as streamlined as possible, Midland reaches out every January by email for a report of the annual value of the asset.

We ask that the asset’s value be as of 12/31 of the previous year, if possible. However, we understand that this may not always be possible, so if you are unable to provide this date, just reach out and we will work with you. The requirement forces an asset to become "stale" after 12 months of no change in value, so it needs to be updated annually.

If you are unable to use your online access, we have a paper form which you can fill out and include with your documentation.
The documentation may be sent in the following ways:
Secure upload
Fax to 239-466-5496
Mail the form to us on the address included there.

We will follow up with you to be sure you have had a chance to do the update. If you do not respond to our requests, Midland will research the value. However, Midland charges a valuation research fee of $50 for this service. We do not like this job or the fee that goes along with it so we would rather help you find the simplest way to do it yourself to keep your account within IRS regs.
If year-end valuations are not updated, Midland reserves the right to resign as your account custodian.

No, there is no reason to go to the expense of an appraisal. The most common documentation used for updating the value of real estate in your IRA is a pdf of your tax bill. See the list below for other possible documents to submit for real estate valuation.

Our online portal will not allow you to change a value to zero. While we never want to see this happen, if you feel that your asset is worthless or if the value is unknown due to pending legal or other issue, please contact our office for further assistance. Midland has regulatory requirements for adjusting values on these types of assets so we may require additional information depending on the situation.


Various types of assets offer different documentation to show the value of your holding.

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Real Estate

The most common way to update your valuation is with your tax bill, but we can also accept an appraisal, broker opinion letter or even a valuation from Zillow showing the estimated market value.

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Closely Held LLC or LP

Closely Held LLC or LP – Value of each asset in the LLC is required. If your LLC owns real estate, the same standards as listed above apply. If you have other assets, such as bank or brokerage accounts, submit the statement for that account that coordinates with your valuation date. A K‐1 is not acceptable as it represents a historical value.

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Private Placement

Contact the manager of the private placement and ask how you can obtain a value for your investment. A periodic statement or letter from the manager on company letterhead will suffice, as long as that manager is not yourself or a disqualified person to your IRA.

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Notes and Mortgages

Typically, the value of a Note is equal to the outstanding principal balance. You only need to provide an updated valuation for notes if the current value differs from what our records show. It is important that you closely review your account statements to ensure the records appear correct, including proper allocation of principal and interest payments received.

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Problem Assets

For assets that you consider worthless or are in bankruptcy/litigation, provide any documentation you may have at this time. We may contact you regarding additional requirements for updating your account.


Please let us know if you have any questions.

Feel free to contact us.

(239) 333-1032 ext 14
1520 Royal Palm Sq. Blvd #320, Fort Myers, FL 33919