Articles

Wed
19
Mar

IRS Issues Vacation Home Ruling

The IRS has just issued a new ruling that sets forth the guidelines for those taxpayers that wish to do a 1031 exchange involving a vacation home. While I believe that the IRS intends that the ruling will put to bed all of the controversy surrounding this issue, it will certainly create more controversy than it settles.

By way of background, you can only exchange property held for investment or used in a trade or business. Personal use property, such as a residence, does not qualify for an exchange; so the question is: are vacation homes investment property or personal use property? Up until last year there was no guidance from the IRS that said that vacation homes do not qualify for an exchange, but that changed when the U.S. Tax Court disallowed a taxpayer’s exchange from one vacation home into another.

Mon
08
Feb

Trump's Out and Biden's In—What does this mean for 1031 Exchanges?

Trump's Out and Biden's In—What does this mean for 1031 Exchanges?

Finally, the dust appears to have settled, the drama has ended, and the Biden regime has begun. So where are we now, and what do I think the 1031 Exchange industry can expect in the foreseeable future?

I've been writing a prediction article every year or so since about 1998—especially when we've had a Presidential regime change. I've struggled with writing this article more than any other because, frankly, I don't have a clear vision of what's going to happen next. So I'm going to start with big, broad categories, then break them down into smaller details. In the end, I'll try to tie them all together into a prediction of where the 1031 industry is going.

Wed
02
May

TICs Sold in Colorado are Securities

Colorado Securities Commissioner, Fred Joseph has determined that TIC interests sold in the state of Colorado by Mile High Capital and Replacement Property Solutions are considered securities rather than real estate.  Replacement Property Solutions was the qualified intermediary arm of Mile High Capital, a real estate investment firm.  Both companies have been closed by the State and their principals indicted for securities fraud.

A TIC (Tenant-In-Common) interest is a small ownership slice of a large property.  In 2002 the IRS ruled that TIC interests qualify for 1031 exchanges.  This means an investor can sell a piece of investment property and buy a partial interest in a large property, such as an office building or an apartment complex.  Prior to the IRS ruling, there was confusion as to whether TICs were treated as real estate, or as partnership interests (which are not allowed as 1031 exchange replacement property).

Wed
21
Feb

Narrow Deviation Allowed in 1031 title holding requirement

One of the critical requirements for a 1031 exchange is the same taxpayer must hold title to both the Old and New Properties in the exchange. While the exact amount of time these properties must be held is not defined by the IRS, it is clear that it has to be the same taxpayer, and both properties must be held for investment.

If Fred and Sue, for example, own an apartment building they are selling as joint tenants, and buy a replacement property for their exchange as joint tenants, then clearly the exchange involved the same taxpayers since Fred and Sue were on title for both the Old and New Properties. But what if Fred and Sue wish to protect themselves by putting the New Property into an LLC as soon as they acquire it? Most attorneys would say that was a smart business decision and quickly set up the LLC for them.

...if you have control over a transaction . . . the IRS could view your transaction as a violation...

Wed
21
Dec

Predictions of Things to Come for 1031 Exchanges

Around the end of most years I write a column predicting what you are likely to see in the 1031 arena over the following 12 months. I recently spent an afternoon in a meeting with one of the people responsible for Section 1031 of the tax code for the IRS. Based on that meeting, what follows are my predictions of changes to look for during the next year.

Tightening of the requirements for qualified intermediaries -The IRS knows that they have problems with what they call “Accom-modating Accommodators.” These people are qualified intermediaries (QI) who are pretty loose with the requirements of a 1031 exchange. The problems range from these QIs regularly allowing clients to do 1031 exchanges on fix-and-flips, to their allowing clients to change their identification letter after the 45th day. The IRS knows they are out there, but it is not always easy for them to tell who these intermediaries are.

Tue
01
Apr

Beware of Tenant-In-Common Schemes with 1031 Exchanges

The market for fractional ownership of commercial real estate (popularly known as Tenants-In-Common or TICs) is expanding its reach -- and look out!

These new ownership programs allow individuals, who normally may not have access to the institutional real estate market, to buy interests in large scale commercial real estate. In March, 2002, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2002-22 which set forth the conditions and guidelines under which the IRS will allow a small group of single owners to invest into large real estate projects such as: office buildings, apartment complexes, shopping centers, even the neighborhood Wal-Mart store. But there are some inherent drawbacks, such as no established secondary market for selling your TIC interest, resulting in a less liquid investment.

Fri
02
Aug

How to Rescue a Multiple-Property Exchange

Sometimes an investor exchanging multiple Old Properties into a single New one can have timing issues if one of the sales falls through. For example: say an investor begins the 1031 exchange process by selling two Old Properties, but one of the sales falls through due to an inspection or mortgage loan issue. If this failure happens right before the New Property purchase date, it can cause major dilemmas.

But there’s a solution! To gain an extra 180 days to complete the sale of the Old Property you can set up a Reverse Exchange within a simple deferred exchange transaction, thus saving your exchange!

Fri
16
May

IRS Ruling Gives Guidance on Contract Notes for a 1031

In today’s economic environment, an increasingly common question we get is how to structure a 1031 exchange for the seller of a property when the buyer wants the seller to carry back a contract in connection with the sale. We started advising our clients on this very issue over five years ago—this year the IRS said we were right!

Say you are selling your property, which is free and clear, for $200,000. The buyer offers to pay $50,000 at closing and wants you to carry a contract for the balance of $150,000. You have a $75,000 gain on this transaction and would prefer to do a 1031 exchange and want to know the procedures.

Wed
06
Jul

Are Contracts Exchangeable?

 

The “Contract Question” provides more questions than answers...

In certain areas of the country, real estate prices have been skyrocketing. It is not uncommon to see properties double in price over the course of a year -- even before the builder has completed construction! This phenomena has created a situation we are seeing more and more in the 1031 exchange business. Many investors are getting property under contract (pre-construction) and selling that contract prior to closing on the purchase at a substantial profit. In this situation, can they perform 1031 exchange?

As an example, Ivan Investor sees a new condominium development planned for completion in about a year and a half. Ivan plans to buy a unit and rent it out once it is completed. So, Ivan gets a unit under contract for a purchase price of $300,00

Tue
06
Jun

SIZE MATTERS When Purchasing A TIC (Tenant-In-Common) Interest

The big rage in real estate these days are TIC interests. TIC stands for "tenant-in-common," which is the legal title that these types of interests hold title to property. TIC interests are program investments similar to the partnership tax shelters of the 1970s and '80s, in that they pull together a group of investors to purchase one large property.

There are two major reasons for this great surge in these type of investments: the first is that the IRS approved TICs as suitable replacement properties for 1031 exchanges in 2002. Prior to that date it was uncertain whether a TIC interest could be purchased as the replacement for a 1031 exchange because their structure so closely resembles a partnership. As a result investors were wary of them. Today, however, approximately 70% of the TIC interests are purchased by such investors.

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