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How does a 1031 exchange work in real estate

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Discover the ins and outs of a 1031 exchange in real estate, a tax-deferred strategy allowing US investors to maximize their profits. Learn how it works, its benefits, and important considerations.


Are you a real estate investor in the US looking for ways to optimize your profits while deferring taxes? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of 1031 exchanges in real estate. Whether you're a seasoned investor or just starting out, understanding how a 1031 exchange works is crucial. So, let's jump right in!

Understanding the Basics of a 1031 Exchange

A 1031 exchange, also known as a like-kind exchange or a tax-deferred exchange, is a tax strategy that allows real estate investors to sell a property and reinvest the proceeds into a new property without immediate tax consequences. The name "1031" derives from Section 1031 of the US Internal Revenue Code.

  1. Eligibility and Qualified Properties

To qualify for a 1031 exchange, both the relinquished (sold) property and the replacement (purchased) property must meet certain criteria

A 1031 exchange is a strategy in real estate investing where an investor can defer paying capital gains taxes on an investment property when it is sold as long as another "like-kind property" is purchased with the profit gained by the sale of the first property.

What are the disadvantages of a 1031 exchange?

1031 Exchange Drawbacks
  • Exchange Structure and Complexity – Unlike a straight real estate sale, a 1031 exchange involves much more complexity, including meeting timing and other regulations.
  • Tax Deferred, Not Tax Free – It's important to understand that a 1031 exchange does not mean that tax liabilities disappear.

What is the 90% rule for 1031 exchange?

If the purchase of one of the properties fell through, the entire 1031 exchange will be disqualified because the exchanger did not acquire 95% of the fair market value identified (9/10 =90%). Of course, the result could be different in scenarios where some of the properties are more valuable than the others.

What is an example of how 1031 exchange works?

You choose to sell your current property with a $150,000 mortgage on it. It sells for $650,000. If you want to meet the conditions for a 1031 exchange, you much purchase a replacement property for at least $650,000. In addition, you need to borrow a minimum of $150,000 to pay for it.

What disqualifies a property from being used in a 1031 exchange?

The property must be a business or investment property, which means that it can't be personal property. Your home won't qualify for a 1031 exchange. However, a single-family rental property that you own could be exchanged for commercial rental property.

What are the steps for a 1031 exchange?

The main requirements for a 1031 exchange are: (1) must purchase another “like-kind” investment property; (2) replacement property must be of equal or greater value; (3) must invest all of the proceeds from the sale (cannot receive any “boot”); (4) must be the same title holder and taxpayer; (5) must identify new ...

What paperwork is needed for a 1031 exchange?

Appropriately entitled “Like-Kind Exchanges,” the IRS Form 8824 is filed by the annual income tax deadline. The form requires a description of the relinquished and replacement property, acquisition and transfer dates, and other information. Replacement Property Identification Form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is not allowed in a 1031 exchange?

Property that does not qualify includes but is not limited to a primary residence, a second home, flip properties, or a property held in inventory for sale. Recent changes to tax law disallow personal property (artwork, boats, etc.) as valid property in a 1031 Exchange at the federal level.

When should you not do a 1031 exchange?

The two most common situations we encounter that are ineligible for exchange are the sale of a primary residence and “flippers.” Both are excluded for the same reason: In order to be eligible for a 1031 exchange, the relinquished property must have been held for productive in a trade or business or for investment.

What are the risks of buying a 1031 exchange property?

Some of the risks of 1031 exchange DST properties may include the fact that there are no guarantees for monthly distribution amounts, no guarantees for projected appreciation, illiquidity, loss of day-to-day management control, interest rate risk and potential loss of entire principal amount invested.


Is it better to pay capital gains or do a 1031 exchange?
The main benefit of carrying out a 1031 exchange rather than simply selling one property and buying another is the tax deferral. A 1031 exchange allows you to defer capital gains tax, thus freeing more capital for investment in the replacement property.
What is a 1031 exchange transaction?
A 1031 exchange is a real estate investing tool that allows investors to exchange an investment property for another property of equal or higher value and defer paying capital gains tax on the profit they make from the sale.
Is a 1031 exchange bad for a buyer?
Costs associated with a 1031 transaction may impact investor's returns and may outweigh the tax benefits. An unfavorable tax ruling may cancel deferral of capital gains and result in immediate tax liabilities.

How does a 1031 exchange work in real estate

What is a property exchange called? A 1031 exchange is a swap of one real estate investment property for another that allows capital gains taxes to be deferred. The term—which gets its name from Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC)—is bandied about by real estate agents, title companies, investors, and more.
What is an exchange transaction in real estate? An exchange is a real estate transaction in which a taxpayer sells real estate held for investment or for use in a trade or business and uses the funds to acquire replacement property. A 1031 exchange is governed by Code Section 1031 as well as various IRS Regulations and Rulings.
  • How long does it take to do a 1031 exchange?
    • Requirements for IRC Section 1031 Exchanges Measured from when the relinquished property closes, the Exchangor has 45 days to nominate (identify) potential replacement properties and 180 days to acquire the replacement property. The exchange is completed in 180 days, not 45 days plus 180 days.
  • Do you have to reinvest 100% on a 1031 exchange?
    • A 1031 Exchange allows a taxpayer to defer 100% of their capital gain tax liability. To do this, the exchanger must buy new Replacement Property equal to or greater than in value to the property sold and reinvest all the proceeds from the sale of their old property.

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