Under section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code, a real property owner can sell his property and then reinvest the proceeds in ownership of like-kind property and defer the capital gains taxes. To qualify as a like-kind exchange, property exchanges must be done in accordance with the rules set forth in the tax code and in the treasury regulations. The 1031 tax exchange can offer significant tax advantages to real estate buyers. Often overlooked, a 1031 tax exchange is considered one of the best-kept secrets in the Internal Revenue Code.
If you have real property that will net you a gain upon sale (generally property that has been substantially depreciated for tax purposes and/or has appreciated in fair market value), then you are exactly the person who should consider a 1031 exchange.
Section 1031 applies to the first and fourth categories, and potentially the fifth category. Business use is defined as, "To hold property for productive use in trade or business." Property retired from previous productive use in business can be qualifying property. Investment purpose defined as real estate, even if unproductive, held by a non-dealer for future use or increment in value is held for investment and not primarily for sale. Investment is the passive holding of property, for more than a temporary period, with the expectation that it will appreciate. Property held for sale in the immediate future is not held for investment.
Identification Period: Within 45 days of selling the relinquished property you must identify suitable replacement properties. This 45 day rule is very strict and is not extended should the 45th day fall on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.
Exchange Period: The replacement property must be received by the taxpayer within the "exchange period," which ends within the earlier of . . . 180 days after the date on which the taxpayer transfers the property relinquished, or . . . the due date for the taxpayer tax return for the taxable year in which the transfer of the relinquished property occurs. This 180-day rule is very strict and is not extended if the 180th day should happen to fall on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.
In a 1031 Tax Exchange you can exchange any real property for any other real property within the United States or its possessions if said properties are held for productive use in trade or business or for investment purposes. Examples of like-kind property include apartments, commercial, condos, duplexes, raw land and rental homes*.
As used in IRC 1031(a), the words "like-kind" mean similar in nature or character, notwithstanding differences in grade or quality. One kind of class of property may not, under that section, be exchanged for property of a different kind or class. Examples of qualified like-kind exchanges:
Examples of non like-kind properties include primary residences, stocks and bonds, notes, partnership interests, developed lots held primarily for sale and property to be resold immediately after initial purchase or completion of improvements.
Qualification for Section 1031 exchanges depends upon the extent of personal use
The QI is a person or entity that can legally hold funds to facilitate a 1031 exchange. To be qualified, the intermediary must not be relative or agent of the exchanging party. As an exception, a real estate agent may serve as an intermediary if the current transaction is the only instance in which the agent has represented the exchanging party over the past two years.
The use of a QI is essential to completing a successful 1031 exchange. The QI performs several important functions in the 1031 exchange process including creating the exchange of properties, holding the exchange proceeds and preparing the legal documents.
A TIC is a form of real estate asset ownership in which two or more persons have an undivided, fractional interest in the asset, where ownership shares are not required to be equal, and where ownership interests can be inherited. Each co-owner receives an individual deed at closing for his or her undivided percentage interest in the entire property. Through TIC ownership, the average person is able to enjoy ownership in an institutional-type property with a minimum investment.
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