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How to Avoid Capital Gains on the Sale of an Investment Property
| 1031 Exchanges: How to Avoid Capital Gains on the Sale of an Investment Property|
Tue 11/10/09 09:43:25 am
by Christopher Benedict
Do you have an investment property that you would like to sell, but defer the capital gains taxes? If so, then you need to consider a 1031 exchange:
A 1031 exchange, otherwise known as a "tax deferred exchange" is a strategy and method for selling one investment property and then proceeding with an acquisition of another property, all of which must happen within a specific time frame as set by the rules of the Internal Revenue Service. It is because you will be "exchanging" and not simply buying and selling a real estate investment property that allows the taxpayer(s) to qualify for a deferred gain treatment. Sales of real estate are taxable with the IRS and 1031 exchanges are not.
NOTICE: Due to the fact that exchanging a property represents an IRS-recognized approach to the deferral of capital gain taxes, it is very important for you to understand the rules involved. It is within the Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code that you can find the appropriate tax code necessary for a successful exchange.
Why consider a 1031 Exchange?
If you are a real estate investor, or have real estate investment properties, you should consider an exchange when you expect to acquire a replacement "like kind" property subsequent to the sale of your existing investment property. A simple sale of the property would necessitate the payment of a capital gain tax to our friends at the IRS, which can range from 20% to 40% depending on the federal and state tax rates. By selling your property using a 1031 exchange, you are leveraging your purchaing power by keeping all of your funds intact.
To qualify as a 1031 exchange, you must adhere to these two rules:
1) The total purchase price of the replacement "like kind" property must be equal to, or greater than the total net sales price of the relinquished, real estate, property.
2) All the equity received from the sale, of the relinquished real estate property, must be used to acquire the replacement, "like kind" property.
Should either of these rules (above) be violated, then then a qualified tax attorney will have to help you determine the tax liability accrued to the person executing the Exchange. In any case which the replacement property purchase price is less, there will be a tax responsibility incurred. To the extent that not all equity is moved from the relinquished to the replacement property, there will be tax. This is not to say that the (1031) exchange will not qualify for these reasons. Keep in mind, partial exchanges do in fact, qualify for a partial tax-deferral treatment. This simply means that the amount, of the difference (if any), will be taxed as "non-like-kind" real estate property.
THE 1031 Exchange Rule
A property transaction can only qualify for a deferred tax exchange if it follows the 1031 exchange rule laid down i...
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