Are retirement fund management fees tax deductible?

Management fees paid from your IRA account have never been deductible on your federal tax return. Given the costs associated with investment advice, clients often want to maximize available tax benefits to help mitigate the cost. Fortunately, the IRS does allow a tax deduction for certain investment-related expenses, and while the treatment isn't ideal (a miscellaneous itemized deduction subject to the minimum of 2% AGI and an adjustment of the AMT), something is better than nothing. In fact, the IRS even allows investment advice fees to be deducted when they are paid on behalf of retirement accounts, such as IRAs and 401 (k) plans.

Alternatively, the IRS also allows investment advice fees to be paid directly from a retirement account, which in practice allows you to pay the fee with 100% of the money before taxes. If you have a traditional IRA, you can effectively organize a tax relief. You can choose to pay account fees directly with the IRA balance. By doing so, you're essentially making a tax deduction because you pay IRA fees with pre-tax dollars.

Because a Roth IRA is financed with money after taxes, it doesn't make sense to pay Roth IRA fees with the balance of a Roth IRA. The first question that arises is simply whether an investment management fee can be deducted when it is paid on behalf of IRA assets, since IRAs are tax-deferred and, in the first place, do not generate continuing income.