1031 News This Week

Wed
01
Jun

Another Nail in the 1031 Fix-and-Flip Coffin

Whether a person can do an exchange on a fix-and-flip property (one that's been bought, fixed up, and put back up for sale) is a controversy that comes up from time to time--driven of course by taxpayers who have large profits on property they've owned for a very short period of time. We last saw a lot of interest in them when the real estate market was at the peak of the bubble. We're seeing it again as folks buy foreclosure properties, fix them up and put them back on the market.

Wed
01
Dec

Consult Your Crystal Ball and Read Your Tea Leaves

 

Tax Planning for Real Estate Sales at the End of 2010

I write this just before Congress returns for a short lame-duck session before adjourning for the Christmas holidays. That’s not much time to address all of the issues that were postponed in the frenzy leading up to the elections. The purpose of this article is to try and give you some guidance on what to expect and how best to plan for your year-end real estate transactions.

First some background: the Bush tax cuts expire at midnight on December 31. If the cuts aren't extended, the capital gain rate will automatically increase from 15% to 20% on January 1st. Tax brackets, especially the top brackets, will also be increased. For the tax brackets and the capital gain rates to stay the same, Congress will have to take some action.

Wed
18
Aug

How Basis and Gain Work in a 1031 Exchange

Probably the hardest concept for clients to grasp is why, if they get money back in a 1031 exchange, it's taxable. They don't understand why they have to pay tax on what they see as their own money–money that they've already paid tax on.

To explain this, let me use an actual client situation: Fred bought a foreclosure property from the bank last year for $90,000. Since it was a foreclosure, things were moving fast, so Fred used cash from his savings account to purchase the property.

Wed
04
Aug

Using 'Disregarded Entities' in a 1031 Exchange

One of the basic rules for holding title to property in a 1031 exchange is: "how you hold title to your old property is how you have to take title to your new property." This means that the title to the new property has to be taken by the same tax return that held title to the old property. For example, if Sue owns her old property in her personal name, she cannot have her corporation take title to her new property: the tax return that owns the old property (Sue's) is a different entity from the tax return that will take title to her new property (her corporation's). This exchange will fail.

Wed
07
Jul

A Reverse Exchange Primer

For the first time in a couple of years, we’re starting to get more calls about reverse exchanges.  To me, this is a positive indicator that things are slowly starting to get better in the real estate industry. It means that buyers are actually confident enough that we’ve hit bottom, and they’re willing to go on the hook to purchase new property when they still haven’t sold their old property.

Since it’s a hot topic again, and since there are several different types of reverse exchanges, now is a good time to do a quick primer on what reverse exchanges are, how they work and what options are available to you, the investor.  

Wed
10
Feb

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

 

Sell the property, defer the tax and keep some tax-free cash

1031 exchanges are wonderful things with lots of nuances most people don’t know about. One of those is the fact that you don’t have to do an exchange on the entire sale. Let me show you how to take that little nuance and use it to get some cash out of your sale without paying tax.

Let’s start with the assumption that you’re selling your rental duplex for $500,000. You have a substantial gain on this property and you want to buy another property with the proceeds. You intend to do a 1031 exchange so that you don’t have to pay tax on the gain, but you would really like to take some of that cash out to pay off one of your credit cards, or maybe even buy a car.

Wed
02
Dec

2010 OUTLOOK

 

For 1031 Exchanges

What’s going to happen to 1031 exchanges in 2010?
It seems like every client I talk to wants to know the answer to that question. With some people there’s a growing sense of panic over what that answer might be. They’re eagerly trying to sell their property in what’s clearly a buyer’s market at a time when tax rates are low but are bound to go up. Their worst fear is that their sale will close next year, but at this year’s low price, and after higher tax rates kick in, and after a repeal of Section 1031. In other words, they worry that their smallest possible profits will be eaten up by the largest possible taxes.

Wed
19
Aug

IRS Allows Exchange of Leasehold Interests in a 1031

There are different kinds of things that can be exchanged in a 1031 exchange without the payment of tax. Real estate (typically land and buildings) can be easily exchanged for almost any other type of real estate. However, ‘movable things’ like planes, boats, construction equipment, etc. (called personal property by the IRS), have exchange rules that are much more rigid and narrow. For example, an airplane hangar can be exchanged for a fish market or a ski-condo, but the airplane itself can only be exchanged for another airplane.

Wed
05
Aug

Using Section 1031 to Buy a House You Want to Live In

The subject of questions I get from clients seems to go in cycles – I won’t get any questions about a particular subject for a long time, and then all of a sudden I’ll get a lot of questions about that subject—and from different parts of the country. Such is the case with the subject of this article: “can you buy a residence as your 1031 replacement property and then move into it?”

Section 1031 rolls the taxable gain from the sale of your old investment property over to your new. The key word here is, “investment.” If you sell bare land and buy a rental house, Section 1031 rolls the gain on the land over to the house.

Wed
01
Jul

Speed Bumps: Selling Multiple Properties in a 1031 Exchange

Can you sell multiple properties in a 1031 exchange and roll all the gain into one larger property? A normal 1031 exchange has certain rules, and selling multiple properties doesn’t change those rules. But it certainly presents speed bumps that you’ll need to overcome. Nothing difficult, but things you will need to think about and that will take patience and discipline at the beginning of your transaction.

The first speed bump involves the money. Section 1031 requires that you 1) buy equal or up and 2) that you reinvest all the cash. Equal or up when you’re selling multiple properties means that the New Property’s purchase price must equal or exceed the sales price of all the Old Properties put together. Let’s say you want to sell four single-family rental homes and buy a 10-unit apartment building. If you’re selling each house for $250,000, the apartment building must cost at least $1,000,000 if you want to pay no capital gains tax.

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