To qualify for Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code , the properties exchanged must be held for productive use in a trade or business or for investment. Stocks, bonds, and other properties are listed as expressly excluded by Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code , though securitized properties are not excluded. The properties exchanged must be "like-kind", i.e. , of the same nature or character, even if they differ in grade or quality. Personal properties of a like class are like-kind properties. Personal property used predominantly in the United States and personal property used predominantly elsewhere are not like- kind properties. Real properties generally are of like -kind, regardless of whether the properties are improved or unimproved. However, real property in the United States and real property outside the United States are not like-kind properties. Taxpayers may wonder whether items such as equipment used on a property are included in the lump-sum sale of the property, and if they are able to be deferred. Under Treasury regulation §1.1031(k)-1(c)(5)(i), property that is transferred together with the larger item of value that does not exceed 15% of the fair market value of the larger property does not need to be identified within the 45 day identification period but still needs to be exchanged for like kind property to defer gain. Cash to equalize a transaction cannot be deferred under Code Section 1031 because it is not like-kind. This cash is called "boot" and is taxed at a normal capital gains rate. If liabilities assumed by the buyer exceed those of the seller (taxpayer), the realized gain of the seller will be not only be realized, but recognized as well. If however, the seller assumes a greater liability than the buyer, the realized loss cannot offset any realized and recognized gain of receiving boot such as cash or other personal property considered boot. Originally, 1031 cases needed to be simultaneous transfers of ownership. But since Starker vs. U.S. (602 F.2d 1341), a contract to exchange properties in the future is practically the same as a simultaneous transfer. It is under this case, decided in 1979, that the rules for election of a delayed 1031 originated. To elect the 1031 recognition, a taxpayer must identify the property for exchange before closing, identify the replacement property within 45 days of closing, and acquire the replacement property within 180 days of closing. A Qualified Intermediary must also be used to facilitate the transaction
Section 1031(a) of the Internal Revenue Code ( 26 U.S.C.§1031 ) states the recognition rules for realized gains (or losses) that arise as a result of an exchange of like -kind property held for productive use in trade or business or for investment. It states that none of the realized gain or loss will be recognized at It also states that the property to be exchanged must be identified within 45 days, and received within 180 days.  1031(b) states when like-kind property and boot can be received. The gain is recognized to the extent of boot received. 1031(c) covers cases similar to those in 1031(b), except when the transaction results in a loss. The loss is not recognized at the time of the transaction, but must be carried forward in the form of a higher basis on the property received. 1031(d) defines the basis calculation for property acquired during a like-kind exchange. It states that the basis of the new property is the same as the basis of the property given up, minus any money received by the taxpayer, plus any gain (or minus any loss) recognized on the transaction. If the transaction falls under 1031(b) or (c), the basis shall be allocated between the properties received (other than money) and for purposes of allocation, there shall be assigned to such other property, an amount equivalent to its Fair Market Value at the date of the exchange. 1031(e) stipulates that livestock of different sexes do not qualify for like kind exchange. 1031(h)(1) stipulates that real property outside the United States and real property located in the United States are not of like kind. The sale of the relinquished property and the acquisition of the replacement property do not have to be simultaneous. A non-simultaneous exchange is sometimes called a Starker Tax Deferred Exchange (named for an investor who challenged and won a case against the IRS). See Starker v. United States , 602 F.2d 1341, 79-2 U.S. Tax Cas. (CCH) paragr. 9541, 44 A.F.T.R.2d 79-5525 (9th Cir. 1979).  For a non-simultaneous exchange, the taxpayer must use a Qualified Intermediary , follow guidelines of the Internal Revenue Service , and use the proceeds of the sale to buy more qualifying, like -kind, investment or business property. The replacement property must be “identified” within 45 days after the sale of the old property and the acquisition of the replacement property must be completed within 180 days of the sale of the old property. Section 1031 is most often used in connection with sales of real property. Some exchanges of personal property can qualify under Section 1031. Exchanges of shares of corporate stock in different companies will not qualify. Also not qualifying are exchanges of partnership interests in different partnerships and exchanges of livestock of different sexes. However, as of 2002 IRS ruling (see Tenants in common1031 exchange ), Tenants in Common (TIC) exchanges are allowed. For real property exchanges under Section 1031, any property that is considered "real property" under the law of the state where the property is located will be considered "like-kind" so long as both the old and the new property are held by the owner for investment, or for active use in a trade or business, or for the production of income. In order to obtain full benefit, the replacement property must be of equal or greater value, and all of the proceeds from the relinquished property must be used to acquire the replacement property. The taxpayer cannot receive the proceeds of the sale of the old property; doing so will disqualify the exchange for the portion of the sale proceeds that the taxpayer received. For this reason, exchanges (particularly non- simultaneous changes) are typically structured so that the taxpayer's interest in the relinquished property is assigned to a Qualified Intermediary prior to the close of the sale. In this way, the taxpayer does not have access to or control over the funds when the sale of the old property closes. At the close of the relinquished property sale, the proceeds are sent by the closing agent (typically a title company, escrow company, or closing attorney) to the Qualified Intermediary, who holds the funds until such time as the transaction for the acquisition of the replacement property is ready to close. Then the proceeds from the sale of the relinquished property are deposited by the Qualified Intermediary to purchase the replacement property. After the acquisition of the replacement property closes, the Qualifying Intermediary delivers the property to the taxpayer, all without the taxpayer ever having "constructive receipt" of the funds. The prevailing idea behind the 1031 Exchange is that since the taxpayer is merely exchanging one property for another property(ies) of “like -kind” there is nothing received by the taxpayer that can be used to pay taxes. In addition, the taxpayer has a continuity of investment by replacing the old property. All gain is still locked up in the exchanged property and so no gain or loss is "recognized" or claimed for income tax purposes.
The following sequence represents the order of steps in a typical 1031 exchange: Step 1. Retain the services of tax counsel/CPA. Become advised by same. Step 2. Sell the property, including the Cooperation Clause in the sales agreement. "Buyer is aware that the seller's intention is to complete a 1031 Exchange through this transaction and hereby agrees to cooperate with seller to accomplish same, at no additional cost or liability to buyer." Make sure your escrow officer/closing agent contacts the Qualified Intermediary to order the exchange documents. Step 3. Enter into a 1031 exchange agreement with your Qualified Intermediary, in which the Qualified Intermediary is named as principal in the sale of your relinquished property and the subsequent purchase of your replacement property. The 1031 Exchange Agreement must meet with IRS Requirements, especially pertaining to the proceeds. Along with said agreement, an amendment to escrow is signed which so names the Qualified Intermediary as seller. Normally the deed is still prepared for recording from the taxpayer to the true buyer. This is called direct deeding. It is not necessary to have the replacement property identified at this time. Step 4. The relinquished escrow closes, and the closing statement reflects that the Qualified Intermediary was the seller, and the proceeds go to your Qualified Intermediary. The funds should be placed in a separate, completely segregated money market account to insure liquidity and safety. The closing date of the relinquished property escrow is Day 0 of the exchange, and that’s when the exchange clock begins to tick. Written identification of the address of the replacement property must be sent within 45 days and the identified replacement property must be acquired by the taxpayer within 180 days. Step 5. The taxpayer sends written identification of the address or legal description of the replacement property to the Qualified Intermediary, on or before Day 45 of the exchange. It must be signed by everyone who signed the exchange agreement, and it may be faxed, hand delivered, or mailed either to the Qualified Intermediary, the seller of the replacement property or his agent, or to a totally unrelated attorney. Send it via certified mail, return receipt requested. You will then have proof of receipt from a government agency. Step 6. Taxpayer enters into an agreement to purchase replacement property, again including the Cooperation Clause. "Seller is aware that the buyer's intention is to complete a 1031 Exchange through this transaction and hereby agrees to cooperate with buyer to accomplish same, at no additional cost or liability to seller." An amendment is signed naming the Qualified Intermediary as buyer, but again the deeding is from the true seller to the taxpayer. Step 7. When conditions are satisfied and escrow is prepared to close and certainly prior to the 180th day, per the 1031 Exchange Agreement, the Qualified Intermediary forwards the exchange funds and growth proceeds to escrow, and the closing statement reflects the Qualified Intermediary as the buyer. A final accounting is sent by the Qualified Intermediary to the taxpayer, showing the funds coming in from one escrow, and going out to the other, all without constructive receipt by the taxpayer. Step 8. Taxpayer files form 8824 with the IRS when taxes are filed, and whatever similar document your particular state requires.