Facts on Tax-Deferred Exchanges
It is good to note that a like-kind exchange or a 1031 exchange is a swap of one company or investment asset for another and even though most exchanges are taxable as sales if they come in the scope of a 1031 they will either have no tax or lower tax due at the time of the exchange. The person can change the form of the investment without cashing out or recognizing capital gain, and that enables the investment to grow without being tax deferred, and there is usually no limit to how frequently the person can do a tax-deferred exchange. Using this method, the person can avoid tax on the item until they eventually sell it for cash many years later when they will just pay one tax that is the long-term capital gains rate that stands at 15%.
There is a unique rule that applies when the depreciable property is exchanged since it can gain called “depreciation recapture” which is taxed like regular income but it can be avoided if the person swaps one building for another or one machine for another similar machine. A known fact is that a 1031 is not for personal use, and the provision is only for investment and business property and even though there are ways that one can use a 1031 to swap a vacation, but the legal allowance on this aspect is quite narrow than it used to be.
A majority of 1031 exchanges are for real estate, but some exchanges on personal property like artwork or interest as a tenant in common (TICs) can qualify, but other things like for partnership interests and corporate stock do not qualify. It is good to note that the law provides that most exchanges must be of ‘like-kind’ and the person can exchange an apartment building for a raw piece of land or a ranch for a strip mall and these rules very liberal allowing people to exchange one business for another.
The truth is that an exchange involves a uncomplicated swap of one property for another between two people, but the chances of someone finds the exact property they want with a person that wants the particular property they have are quite slim. Due to such reasons, many exchanges are delayed, starker exchanges (the name was coined after the first tax case that allowed them to come into law) or three party. Within the context of a deferred exchange, the person needs an intermediary that holds the cash after they sell the property and use it to buy the replacement property for the person. It is good to note that there exists two important timing rules that must be adhered to in a delayed exchange and the first rule revolves around the designation of replacement property and once the sale of the property happens the intermediary receives the money.
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