Every investor must adhere to rigorous deadlines in order to effectively conduct a 1031 exchange. However, investors frequently inquire as to whether a property must be held for a specific period of time in order to be eligible for an exchange. Although the IRS hasn't stated a holding time specifically, a few factors could shed light on the matter.
During the 1031 Holding Period
How long an investor keeps a piece of property is known as the holding period. IRC Section 1031 does not specify the length of the holding period, as was previously indicated. Instead, it depends on the investor's goals.
No gain or loss shall be recognized on the exchange of property held for productive use in a business, according to the IRS.
"Even though properties vary in grade or quality, they are still of the same sort if they have the same nature or character.
Whether they are renovated or unimproved, real estate properties are often of a like kind. An apartment building would often be similar to another apartment building, for instance. However, real estate within the United States is not comparable to real estate outside.
The goal of Section 1031 is to make it possible for investors who have owned their property for a long time, particularly those who did so for income-producing purposes, to exchange it for another property that would serve the same function.
Since not all real estate is owned for the same purpose, not all of it is eligible. A primary residence is the most frequent case that should be considered. A primary residence does not qualify for an exchange since it is not "kept for productive use in a trade or industry or for investment." On the other hand, because they are held as investments, residential complexes, office and medical buildings, shopping malls, and single-tenant assets typically qualify.
In order to achieve a 1031 exchange, developers must overcome additional obstacles. Purchasing land, constructing a property, and then selling it for a profit frequently disqualifies a transaction from a 1031 exchange since a property must be held for investment purposes. In this case, the property was held for profit-making purposes rather than as an investment.
If investors are unsure whether the property will satisfy Section 1031, they should think about holding it for at least one year, if not two.
Even while the IRS has never explicitly said that there must be a minimum hold period, there have been instances where the IRS refused to allow an exchange because the owner's intent was ambiguous.
Investors who are unsure of their eligibility may choose to follow the two-year advice in general. However, as always, consult with a tax expert to receive their opinion on your specific case. The IRS referred to the two-year holding term in Private Letter Ruling 8429039 from 1984. The letter was written in response to a request for an exchange from an investor who wished to sell his property. Until 1981, the subject property served as the investor's primary residence. The investor leased out the property in 1983. The IRS granted the investor's request for a 1031 exchange in 1984, noting that keeping rental property for at least two years satisfies the holding period test required by Section 1031. But since a private letter ruling only applies to this specific instance, it may only be regarded as a general recommendation for 1031 exchanges.
The one-year holding consideration, on the other hand, was first proposed by Congress in 1989 as a requirement for a property to be eligible for a 1031 exchange. However, because this suggestion was never included in the Tax Code, it is not necessary. Instead, in order to determine whether a property would be eligible under Section 1031, tax professionals have referred to this idea.
The fact that the investment will appear on one's taxes as an investment property for two filing years if it is held for at least a year is another factor for the one-year holding period.
Nevertheless, these factors are but that—factors. In the past, the IRS has made choices on like-kind exchanges that do not support these ideas. For instance, in the case Allegheny County Auto Mart v. C.I.R. from 1953, the court allowed an investor to complete a 1031 exchange even though they had only owned the property for five days. However, in other cases, like Klarkowski v. Commissioner from 1967, an investor was still ineligible even after six years of ownership.
Is a vacation home acceptable?
Those who own property as a vacation home can often sell it and buy a new property via a 1031 exchange, however this is typically how commercial investors talk about 1031 exchanges. The vacation home must, however, have tenants, and it must be managed like a company. In addition, if the vacation home is purchased as the replacement property, the investment-related use of the property must continue. The property can usually not be turned into a primary residence within five years of the exchange.
Additional 1031 Exchange Timelines That Are Important
Investors must be aware of and abide by the deadlines specified in Section 1031 in order to be eligible for a like-kind exchange.
There is no time limit on how long an investor has to sell an asset after it is put on the market. They can market it for one day or five years and sell it on or off the open market. In reality, they have the option to list the asset before deciding otherwise. Any gains are unrealized until the property is sold. A timetable doesn't begin until the property actually closes, and the investor may be liable for paying taxes on the realized gains.
An investor has 45 days to choose their replacement property and 180 days to close after the initial property, or surrendered property, closes. The 180-day period begins on the same day as the property's closure. With very few exceptions, every exchange that doesn't take place by these dates has all gains subject to taxation.
Speak with a Professional You Can Trust
Speaking with a trained professional is highly advised for anyone considering selling their real estate and buying a new property via a 1031 exchange. Many 1031 swaps have distinct looks. In addition to providing insight on the potential exchange, 1031 experts can lead investors to other 1031 exchange investment opportunities that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Not an offer to buy, nor a solicitation to sell securities. Information herein is provided for information purposes only, and should not be relied upon to make an investment decision. All investing involves risk of loss of some or all principal invested. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Speak to your finance and/or tax professional prior to investing.
Securities offered through Emerson Equity LLC Member: FINRA/SIPC. Only available in states where Emerson Equity LLC is registered. Emerson Equity LLC is not affiliated with any other entities identified in this communication.
1031 Risk Disclosure:
- There is no guarantee that any strategy will be successful or achieve investment objectives;
- Potential for property value loss – All real estate investments have the potential to lose value during the life of the investments;
- Change of tax status – The income stream and depreciation schedule for any investment property may affect the property owner’s income bracket and/or tax status. An unfavorable tax ruling may cancel deferral of capital gains and result in immediate tax liabilities;
- Potential for foreclosure – All financed real estate investments have potential for foreclosure;
- Illiquidity – Because 1031 exchanges are commonly offered through private placement offerings and are illiquid securities. There is no secondary market for these investments.
- Reduction or Elimination of Monthly Cash Flow Distributions – Like any investment in real estate, if a property unexpectedly loses tenants or sustains substantial damage, there is potential for suspension of cash flow distributions;
- Impact of fees/expenses – Costs associated with the transaction may impact investors’ returns and may outweigh the tax benefits