Every new president brings rumors of a repeal of 1031 exchanges. Real estate executives are waiting for the President Trump tax reform program. Some experts think part of the tax reform includes 1031 exchange elimination.
Forbes quoted CBRE Americas head of research Spencer Levy. “Levy said the GOP tax reform plan would allow businesses to fully expense real estate investments apart from land. This would lead to the 1031 exchange elimination because the full expensing would enable a new type of exchange for all transactions apart from land. 1031 exchange elimination in this manner would lower the capital gains tax rate for businesses.”
Under current law, an exchange of property, like a sale, generally is a taxable transaction. If you sell a business or farm, taxes will be due on the gain from your basis (your cost). 1031 exchanges are a special rule that provides that no gain or loss is recognized if you exchange property for a like-kind property. “Like-kind is pretty broad. Currently, you can continue exchanging one property for another and not pay any capital gain taxes.
1031 exchanges do not apply, however, to exchanges of stock in trade or other property held primarily for sale, stocks, bonds, partnership interests, certificates of trust or beneficial interest, other securities, etc. They do not apply to your primary residence.
A like-kind exchange does not require that the exchange of properties happen simultaneously. As long as the property received in the exchange is identified within 45 days and ultimately received within 180 days of the sale of the original property, then gain is deferred.
Robert Wood writing in Forbes about 7 Key Rules About 1031 Exchanges says, “There’s no limit on how many times you can do a 1031 exchange. You can roll over the gain from one piece of investment real estate to another, then another and another. You may have a profit on each swap, but you avoid tax until you actually sell for cash.” But, he cautions, be careful and do it right. Doing it right means to Wood:
I suspect as the government looks farther and farther afield for money to run the government, 1031 exchanges will get repealed, or some way will be found to end the rollover ad infinitum. Meanwhile, enjoy your 1031 exchanges.
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