Internal Revenue Code Section 408(a) defines an IRA as “a trust. . . for the exclusive benefit of an individual or his beneficiaries.” But Section 408(h) permits a custodial IRA to be treated as an IRA for purposes of Section 4081 and the Treasury Regulations contain similar provisions.2 Indeed, in the early years of IRAs, financial institutions generally referred to themselves as “trustees” rather than “custodians,” even if the IRA owner made the investment decisions. I remember opening ...

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