The Benefits of A 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange

What is a Tax-Deferred Exchange:

During the sale of Real Estate, the property owner is taxed on any gain realized from the sale. However, through a Section 1031 Exchange, the tax on the gain is deferred until some future date.

Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code provides that no gain or loss shall be recognized on the exchange of property held for productive use in a trade or business, or for investment. A tax-deferred exchange is a method by which a property owner trades one or more relinquished properties for one or more replacement properties of "like-kind", while deferring the payment of federal income taxes and some state taxes on the transaction.

The theory behind Section 1031 is that when a property owner has reinvested the sale proceeds into another property, the economic gain has not been realized in a way that generates funds to pay any tax. In other words, the taxpayer's investment is still the same, only the form has changed (e.g. vacant land exchanged for apartment building). Therefore, it would be unfair to force the taxpayer to pay tax on a "paper" gain.

The like-kind exchange under Section 1031 is tax-deferred, not tax-free. When the replacement property is ultimately sold (not as part of another exchange), the original deferred gain, plus any additional gain realized since the purchase of the replacement property, is subject to tax.


General Guidlines:

-The value of the replacement property must be equal to or greater than the value of the relinquished property.

-The equity in the replacement property must be equal to or greater than the equity in the relinquished property.

-The debt on the replacement property must be equal to or greater than the debt on the relinquished property.

-All of the net proceeds from the sale of the relinquished property must be used to acquire the replacement property.


Time Restrictions:

A taxpayer has 45 days after the date that the relinquished property is transferred to properly identify potential replacement properties. The exchange must be completed by the date that is 180 days after the transfer of the relinquished property, or the due date of the taxpayer's federal tax return for the year in which the relinquished property was transferred, whichever is earlier. Thus, for a calendar year taxpayer, the exchange period may be cut short for any exchange that begins after October 17th. However, the taxpayer can get the full 180 days, by obtaining an extension of the due date for filing the tax return.


The Benefits:

-A Section 1031 exchange is one of the few techniques available to postpone or potentially eliminate taxes due on the sale of qualifying properties.

-By deferring the tax, you have more money available to invest in another property. In effect, you receive an interest free loan from the federal government, in the amount you would have paid in taxes.

-Any gain from depreciation recapture is postponed.

-You can acquire and dispose of properties to reallocate your investment portfolio without paying tax on any gain. 

Call me at 609-967-7950 or email me at  if you are looking to learn more about this tool and how it could affect your gains!


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