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1031 Exchange for Southwest Florida Properties
Generally, if you exchange business or investment property solely for business or investment property of a like-kind, no gain or loss
is recognized under Internal Revenue Code Section 1031. If, as part of the exchange, you also receive other (not like-kind) property
or money, gain is recognized to the extent of the other property and money received, but a loss is not recognized. In a typical
exchange transaction, 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.
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.
“Like-Kind Properties” are of like-kind, if they are of the same nature or character, even if they differ in grade or quality. Personal
properties of a “like class”, are like-kind properties, however, livestock of different sexes are not like-kind properties.
The like-kind exchange under Section 1031 is tax-deferred, not tax-free. When the replacement property is ultimately sold, the
original deferred gain, plus any additional gain realized since the purchase of the replacement property, is subject to tax. Section
1031 does not apply to exchanges of inventory, stocks, bonds, notes, other securities or evidence of indebtedness.
What are the benefits of exchanging vs. selling?
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 essentially 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.
What are the requirements for a valid exchange?
Qualifying Property – Certain types of property are specifically excluded from Section 1031 treatment: property held primarily for
sale; inventories; stocks, bonds or notes; other securities or evidences of indebtedness; interests in a partnership; certificates of
trusts or beneficial interest; and chooses in action. In general, if property is not specifically excluded, it can qualify for tax-deferred
Proper Purpose – Both the relinquished property and replacement property must be held for productive use in a trade or business or
for investment. Property acquired for immediate resale will not qualify. The taxpayer’s personal residence will not qualify.
Like Kind – Replacement property acquired in an exchange must be “like-kind” to the property being relinquished. All qualifying real
property located in the United States is like-kind. Personal property that is relinquished must be either like-kind or like-class to the
personal property which is acquired. Property located outside the United States is not like-kind to property located in the United
Exchange Requirement – The relinquished property must be exchanged for other property, rather than sold for cash and using the
proceeds to buy the replacement property. Most deferred exchanges are facilitated by Qualified Intermediaries, who assist the
taxpayer in meeting the requirements of Section 1031.
What are the guidelines for a taxpayer to defer all the taxable gain?
- 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.
Qualified Intermediary-A Qualified Intermediary is the professional provider of the mandatory mechanics of an exchange. The use of
a Qualified Intermediary, as an independent party to facilitate a tax-deferred exchange, is a safe harbor established by the Treasury
Regulations. Sometimes Qualified Intermediary’s are referred to as “accommodators” or “exchange facilitators.”
When the taxpayer engages the services of a Qualified Intermediary, pursuant to an exchange agreement, the IRS does not consider
the taxpayer to be in receipt of the funds. The sale proceeds go directly to the Qualified Intermediary, who holds them until they are
needed to acquire the replacement property. The Qualified Intermediary then delivers the funds directly to the closing agent who
deeds the property directly to the taxpayer.
Without a Qualified Intermediary, and pursuant to an exchange agreement, the IRS may not define a transaction as an exchange,
thereby making it ineligible for tax deferment status.
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. If the
taxpayer does not meet the time limits, the exchange will fail and the taxpayer will have to pay any taxes arising from the sale of the
For additional information or to start your Section 1031 Exchange call at Emily Cox Antonas at 239-465-9596 or email