1031 Exchanges

Final Paper "1031 Exchanges ? Insight for the real estate investor"

This paper is written to provide a reasonably comprehensive overview of Section 1031 of the IRC as it pertains to real estate transactions, and to offer some thoughts on the wealth-creation advantages that 1031 Exchanges offer.

For the greater part of the last decade, we in the United States have been witness to a consistently appreciating real estate market. Sometimes it seems that almost anyone who has purchased a house, piece of property, or other real estate type investment has done very well. I personally can point to a few examples where friends of mine have made several hundred times their first home equity investment. In sales of primary homes there is a tax advantage that the IRS permits, as long as the proceeds are invested into another home, the capital gains on your existing home sale are exempt from taxation. However, if the property in question is an investment, a capital gain tax is assessed every time there is a sale that includes a gain. A tax strategy that investors can employ in such situations is to transfer their investment property for another investment of "like-kind", this is a Section 1031 Exchange. Under Section 1031, if all its guidelines are met, the exchange is not a taxable event. Also, similar to tax rules regarding reorganizations - in a 1031 Exchange there is no taxable event and therefore no step-up in basis.
The wealth-creation advantage of a 1031 Exchange can be viewed in the chart below. The example depicts two sales of real estate, the initial assumption is that the property has been completely depreciated and the entire $100K of initial equity is a capital gain.

Event 1 Event 2
Typical Sale 1031 Exchange Investment experiences ...
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