1031 Exchanges

Whenever you sell business or investment property and you have a gain, you generally have to pay tax on the gain at the time of sale. IRC Section 1031 provides an exception and allows you to postpone paying tax on the gain if you reinvest the proceeds in similar property as part of a qualifying like-kind exchange. Gain deferred in a like-kind exchange under IRC Section 1031 is tax-deferred, but it is not tax-free.

Section 1031 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code allows investors to defer capital gains taxes on the exchange of like-kind properties. 1031, or tax-deferred, exchanges hold great advantages for investors. TIRC Section 1031, allows an investor to sell a property, to reinvest the proceeds in a new property and to defer all capital gain taxes. IRC Section 1031 (a)(1) states:

“No gain or loss shall be recognized on the exchange of property held for productive use in a trade or business or for investment, if such property is exchanged solely for property of like-kind which is to be held either for productive use in a trade or business or for investment.”

To understand the powerful protection a 1031 exchange offers, consider the following example:

  •  An investor has a $200,000 capital gain and incurs a tax liability of approximately $70,000 in combined taxes (depreciation recapture, federal and state capital gain taxes) when the property is sold. Only $130,000 remains to reinvest in another property.
  • Assuming a 25% down payment and a 75% loan-to-value ratio, the seller would only be able to purchase a $520,000 new property.
  • If the same investor chose to exchange, however, he or she would be able to reinvest the entire $200,000 of equity in the purchase of $800,000 in real estate, assuming the same down payment and loan-to-value ratios.

As the above example demonstrates, exchanges protect investors from capital gain taxes as well as facilitating significant portfolio growth and increased return on investment. In order to access the full potential of these benefits, it is crucial to have a comprehensive knowledge of the exchange process and the IRC. For instance, an accurate understanding of the key term like-kind – often mistakenly thought to mean the same exact types of property – can reveal possibilities that might have been dismissed or overlooked. Asset Preservation is your resource to obtain accurate and thorough information about the entire exchange process.

What property qualifies for a Like-Kind Exchange?

Both the relinquished property you sell and the replacement property you buy must meet certain requirements. 

Both properties must be held for use in a trade or business or for investment.   Property used primarily for personal use, like a primary residence or a second home or vacation home, does not qualify for like-kind exchange treatment.

Like-kind property is property of the same nature, character or class.  Quality or grade does not matter. Most real estate will be like-kind to other real estate.  For example, real property that is improved with a residential rental house is like-kind to vacant land.  One exception for real estate is that property within the United States is not like-kind to property outside of the United States.  Also, improvements that are conveyed without land are not of like kind to land.

As you can see, Like Kind Exchange can be complicated and we recommend discussing this option with you Tax Professional.  If you decide that this 1031 Strategy will help you achieve your Real Estate Investment Goals, Agresti Realty Ltd can help you sell and purchase a new property.