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Top 10 Misconceptions About 1031 Exchanges

For 2020, here are the latest top 10 misconceptions found that the public has about 1031 Exchanges.

  1. COVID-19 pandemic 1031 Extensions 
  2. Replacing Debt
  3. The Term Like-Kind
  4. Vacation and Second Homes Qualify
  5. Reverse Exchange
  6. Partial Exchange
  7. Qualified Intermediary Advice
  8. Identification Rules
  9. Timing Deadlines
  10. Loans, Equity & Tax Basis

Be sure to read the common 1031 misconceptions. 

COVID-19 Pandemic 1031 Extensions

IRS issued extensions that were granted for the 45 day Identification and 180 day exchange period for the COVID-19 pandemic are still in place


IRS extensions granted due to the COVID-19 pandemic ended July 15, 2020.  Sign up here to be notified if the IRS grants further extensions.  Be sure to check out our Coronavirus 1031 Resource page for the latest news. 

Helpful link:  Covid-19 1031 Exchange FAQs


Replacing Debt

You must replace the debt that you had on the Relinquished Property with at least the same amount of debt on the Replacement Property
Many taxpayers (and tax advisors) are under the misconception that the IRS mandates that they must have equal or greater debt on their 1031 Exchange Replacement Property (property they are purchasing). You do need to replace the VALUE of the debt paid off on the Relinquished Property. However, the debt does not have to be replaced with debt. The exchanger can always bring their own cash (from outside of the 1031 Exchange) to the closing table for the Replacement Property to offset any reduction in debt, or use other options.
Helpful link: See examples at Replacing debt in a 1031 Exchange

The Term Like-Kind

“Like-kind” is restricted to the same kind of real estate which means I must exchange the same type of property, for example, an apartment building for another apartment building


The term “like-kind” refers to the nature or character of the property, not its grade or quality. For this reason nearly all real property is like-kind to all real property, meaning that you can exchange an office building for an apartment complex, a strip mall, a warehouse, single family rental properties or even vacant land.
Helpful link: See what is qualified like-kind property?

Vacation and Second Homes Qualify

Vacation or second homes qualify for 1031 Exchange tax deferral
You can sell your investment real estate and reinvest the gain, tax deferred, to purchase your vacation or second home, however the challenge is making sure it will qualify as a 1031 investment property. Certain requirements must be met. Click the links below for details.
Helpful links:  Do Vacation and Second Homes Qualify?
How to Buy Your Vacation Home with a 1031 Exchange
Strategically Buying Your Dream Vacation Home with a 1031 Exchange

Reverse Exchange

In a Reverse Exchange, it’s as simple as buying new 1031 Replacement Property first, as long as my Relinquished Property is sold within 180 days
In concept the Reverse Exchange is simple, but in execution, there are details and rules that must be followed. In a Reverse Exchange, you cannot own your Replacement and Relinquished Properties at the same time. Many do not realize that that title to their new Replacement Property must be “parked” with an EAT (Exchange Accommodations Titleholder) until their old Relinquished Property is sold. It takes considerable time to properly structure and execute a Reverse Exchange. Before you close on any property sale, reach out to IPX1031, your Qualified Intermediary, to ensure your 1031 Exchange is properly structured, timed and executed.
Helpful links: Reverse 1031 Solutions
How to Initiate a Reverse Exchange

Partial Exchange

It’s not possible to do a partial 1031 Exchange
A 1031 Exchange does not need to be an all or nothing scenario. You can do a partial 1031 Exchange which qualifies for tax deferral under Section 1031 of the Tax Code. If you purchase property lower in value or take a portion of the cash from the closing of the sale and only invest a portion of your proceeds towards a 1031 Exchange, you will have a partially tax deferred transaction rather than deferring all of your taxes. You will pay taxes on those funds not reinvested (commonly referred to as boot).
Helpful links: Partial 1031 Exchange
Boot in a 1031 Exchange

Qualified Intermediary Advice

A Qualified Intermediary gives tax and legal advice as part of their role
While a Qualified Intermediary (QI) like IPX1031 is generally needed to create the “exchange of properties” and safeguard the exchange funds, QIs cannot provide tax or legal advice. IPX1031 cannot act as your advisor to structure your exchange transaction. While IPX1031 provides tools like our Capital Gains Estimator, always talk to your legal and tax advisors to determine what is best for your individual situation.
Helpful link:  How Important is Your Qualified Intermediary?

Identification Rules

I can change my identification after day 45 if that property has been sold to someone else and if needed, I can buy other 1031 Replacement properties that I didn’t identify
The 1031 ID rules are strict and very important. We’ve seen many exchanges fail due to exchangers not following these 1031 Exchange identification rules. From the day your Relinquished Property closes, you have 45 calendar days to identify potential replacement property using the 3 Property Rule (most common), 200% Rule or 95% exception. You can change your identification at any time prior to the expiration of the identification period. If you did not identify a property in the proper time period, that property does not qualify for 1031 treatment. In the case of an identified property no longer for sale, if you have no other identified property and it’s after day 45, your exchange will fail. Remember to start your search for identification property early – even before your Relinquished Property closes – so you have a head start in the identification process.
Helpful link: Deadlines and Identification Requirements
Video link:  1031 Exchange Identification Requirements

Timing Deadlines

I have 45 days to identify then an additional 180 days to close
The 45 and 180 day periods are not separate time periods. All must happen within a total of 180 calendar days. From the time your Relinquish Property closes, you have 45 calendar days to identify your Replacement Property. Then you must buy and close on any identified Replacement Property(ies) that you want to purchase in your exchange within a total of 180 calendar days. Timing rules are strict and cannot be extended even if the 45th day or 180th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. They may, however, be extended by up to 120 days if the Exchanger qualifies for a disaster extension under Rev. Proc. 2018-58.
Helpful link: Deadlines and Identification Requirements
Disaster Extensions
Video link:  1031 Exchange Time Constraints

Loans, Equity & Basis

Loan balance or equity increases tax basis in a 1031 Exchange
The term “basis” is the cost of a property for tax purposes. When you sell a property, the difference between the sales price and the adjusted basis in the property will determine the amount of capital gain which is taxable. Loans or equity are typically not relevant and do not factor into basis. Click below to learn which items increase basis and the equation to determine adjusted basis:
Helpful link: What increases tax basis in a 1031 Exchange?

This material does not constitute an offer to sell, solicitation of an offer to buy, recommendation to buy, or representation as the suitability or appropriateness of any security, financial product or instrument, unless explicitly stated as such. This information should not be construed as legal, regulatory, tax, personalized investment, or accounting advice. This message (and any attached materials) is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain information that is privileged, confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. Any review, dissemination, distribution or duplication of this communication is strictly prohibited

Neither EFR (Exclusive Financial Resources, LLC), it’s officers or employees are authorized or permitted under applicable laws to provide tax or legal advice to any client or prospective client of EFR. The tax related information contained herein or in any other communication that you may have with a representative of EFR should not be construed as tax or legal advice specific to your situation and should not be relied upon in making any business, legal or tax related decision. A proper evaluation of the benefits and risks associated with a particular transaction or tax return position often requires advice from a competent tax and/or legal advisor familiar with your specific transaction, objectives and the relevant facts. We strongly urge you to involve your tax and/or legal advisor (or to seek such advice) in any significant real estate or business related transaction.

If you would like to find out more about Sales vs Exchanges please give Exclusive Financial Resources a call at (980) 242-2533, email Louis Herford at LHerford@Exclusive1031.com or schedule a 15-minute discussion here.