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.
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.
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.
Please let us know if you have any questions.
Feel free to contact us.