Five 1031 Exchange Rules
1031 exchange rules have been refined since being created by the Department of Treasury ninety years ago. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) enforces a Treasury Regulation known as Section 1031 that provides all taxpayers with the ability to defer federal and state capital gain and recaptured depreciation taxes when property held for productive use in a business or investment is exchanged for like-kind property held for productive use in a business or investment. Supporting the 1031 code are 1031 exchange rules based on case law, regulations, revenue procedures, revenue rulings, private letter rulings, technical advice memorandum and other guidance from the IRS.
1031 Exchange Activity
The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that in Tax Year 2004, the total dollar amounts deferred were $73.6 billion. In Tax Year 2011, the estimated total tax dollar deferral is $2.5 billion, with $.800 billion from individuals and $1.7 billion from corporations. In Tax Year 2012, the estimated tax deferral is projected to increase to $3.2 billion.
1031 Exchange Rules
The basic five 1031 exchange rules include:
- The federal and state capital gains taxes are deferred if the replacement property is equal to or greater than the property sold.The common misconception is that only the realized gain needs to be reinvested. Both the net equity and debt retired – if any – from the sale must be reinvested to defer 100 percent of the gain.
- A Qualified Intermediary (QI) must be engaged to accommodate the exchange. This cannot be your CPA , attorney, realtor or financial advisor or a related party such as your employee or lineal blood relative.One exception is in a pure exchange where the Taxpayer and Buyer want each other’s property. For the nominal QI fee, it still makes sense to engage a QI to make sure the 1031 exchange rules are followed.A second exception is if the attorney has provided services related to title closing, they can also accommodate the 1031 exchange.
- The taxpayer cannot touch or have access to the exchange proceeds or those funds are subject to taxation. Once the exchange proceeds are touched, the exchange is over.
- The taxpayer who sells is the taxpayer who buys. If the wife owns an investment property, then the wife is the titleholder to the replacement property. The husband can be quit claimed or added to the replacement property title after the closing.
- Following the first leg closing, the forty-five calendar day identification period begins, followed by an additional 135 calendar days to acquire the replacement property, for a total of 180 calendar days.
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