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A 1031 exchange, also known as a Starker exchange or a tax-deferred exchange, permits investment property owners to sell a property and defer tax payments by reinvesting the proceeds into a "like-kind" investment property or properties. A 1031 exchange is enabled by Section 1031 in the Internal Revenue Code


1031 Explained..........








 In order to completely defer the payment of tax with your 1031 exchange, among other things, the replacement property must be of equal or greater value, and all the equity from the sold investment property must be reinvested in the new investment property or properties.

Another option with a 1031 exchange is using it with a Tenants In Common interest ownership in a property, also known as co-ownership of real estate (CORE).  This type of ownership allows investors not only to defer their capital gains taxes, but also an opportunity to trade up to larger, institutional-grade properties.
  You can think of this as buying shares in a commercial property which otherwise you wouldn't be able to afford.  Many companies provide these services and you can get in on an investment with as little as $70,000.  Much like a mutual fund if you will where you will receive dividens from your investment based on the percentage of the property you own.  A 1031 provides a way to move your funds into different properties or sell your share at your convenience.

Internal Revenue Code Section 1031 is one of the single greatest wealth building tools available to the real estate investor.  More people are beginning to take advantage of this tax code. 

Normally when you sell property, you must recognize a gain or loss in that transaction. If it is a gain, it is subject to tax (Federal capital gains tax, potential State income tax and potential depreciation recapture taxes).  The tax implications to selling a property outright, can be devistating.

Section 1031 allows investors to defer the payment of capital gains taxes when selling an investment property and exchanging into another investment property.  Keeping more of YOUR money in YOUR pocket! 

That is not all....1031 properties can also be converted back into personal residences from investment properties.  Of course, a qualified intermediary is required and the use of a tax professional is strongly encouraged to make sure the rules of 1031 are followed in accordance with the IRS. 

In basic terms you can think of it like this:... you are exchanging Property A for Property B. The sale proceeds from A are used to pay for the purchase of B, and by using a "Qualified Intermediary" (also called "Accommodator") to transfer both properties and funds, rather than you doing so directly, your tax liability is deferred.

For example, Investor A is evaluating whether to exchange a rental property. Since taxes are paid on the capital gain, the following calculation will help to estimate the potential Federal tax liability. Here are some facts related to this example:

Original Purchase Price $500,000
Capital Improvements Made $25,000
Depreciation ($100,000)
Anticipated Sale Price $1,000,000
Sale Related Expenses $80,000

Determine the Basis
Original Purchase Price $500,000
PLUS Capital Improvements (+) 25,000
LESS Depreciation (-) 100,000
Adjusted Basis $425,000
Determine Your Gain
Sale Price $1,000,000
LESS Expense of Sale (-) 80,000
Net Sale Price $920,000
LESS Adjusted Basis (-) $425,000
Realized Gain $495,000
Determine Your Estimated Tax
Depreciation Recapture
(25% x $100,000)
Capital Gains
(15% x $395,000)
Estimated Federal Taxes Due $84,250

In the above example, should investor A decide not to exchange, the taxable gain will be $495,000. This equates to federal income tax liability of $84,250 for Investor A, plus any state tax liability. By acquiring replacement property equal to or greater than the net sales price ($920,000) and reinvesting all sale proceeds, the entire gain will be deferred and no taxes will be due.

  When selling investment property, you can generally expect to pay 15-25% of your capital gain in federal taxes, plus any applicable state taxes. Depending on the details of the transaction, this tax liability can be substantial. However, a 1031 exchange is used if you acquire other investment property while deferring the tax from your sale. The 1031 exchange is an invaluable tool for anyone selling and buying real estate. The use of a Qualified Intermediary is required.  Many companies offer this service on a national level.  For your convenience I have a link to a national company with a local team.

Summit 1031 Exchange

WaMu 1031 Exchange

IPX 1031 - Investment Property Exchange Services, Inc.

If you recently sold an investment property or you're considering selling, I can help you explore your real estate investment options. Contact me for more information.


The tax example above was provided by wamu 1031