To start a 1031 Exchange, you first check with their CPA or accountant. You and your CPA need to figure out how much you would have to pay in taxes if you just sold the property outright. Your CPA can determine your adjusted basis in your property. Once your basis is known, you can then determine what the “normal” capital gain tax liability would be; and, also the amount of taxes that would be due to “depreciation recapture”, which is currently taxed at maximum rate of 25%. Note: The rate of capital gains taxes is higher for the portion of the gain that is attributable to depreciation.
Normal appreciation can be determined by your CPA or accountant from the natural increase in the value of your property. Normal appreciation is currently taxed at a maximum rate of only 15%. If you are in a state with an income tax or state capital gains tax, your CPA might also determine the amount of state and municipal tax liability.
Once all of the tax liabilities have been determined, an informed decision can be made as to whether to sell the property outright or to utilize the benefits of a 1031 Exchange. Typically, the cost of doing a 1031 Exchange is far less than the tax bill if you just sold the property outright.
Once the potential taxes are determined, a Qualified Intermediary should be brought in to help you complete a 1031 Exchange. Also, you need a written purchase agreement signed by both you as the seller and your purchaser stipulating your desire to sell your relinquished as part of a 1031 Exchange.
In addition, it is a good idea to add a stipulation or clause in the purchase agreement stating that you want to complete a 1031 Exchange with regards to the property and that the purchaser agrees to cooperate with such. You have now laid the basic groundwork for the closing. For sample cooperation clause go to http://www.1031podcast.com.
At the closing, the sale will become complete. The deed crosses the desk to the purchaser, and the net sales proceeds are paid directly to the Qualified Intermediary. This starts the 1031 countdown. The day after the closing is considered “day one” in the forty-five day identification period. During the forty-five days, you must identify in writing the property that you want to purchase as your replacement property. This “day one” is also the start of the 180 day exchange period that you have to complete the 1031 exchange and acquire your replacement property.
Now, I will review the steps you need to make in order to complete a 1031 Exchange transaction. The first step is to determine the capital gains tax bill, including depreciation recapture and state and local taxes. This step would be performed by your CPA or accountant. The next step is to determine if the 1031 Exchange process would be of benefit to you. This step would be made by your CPA or accountant with the help of a 1031 Exchange Qualified Intermediary. In step three, you should document your intent to sell the property to the purchaser, as well as your desire to complete a 1031 Exchange by inserting appropriate text in your purchase agreement.
If you do all of the above, you will start the process of deferring taxes and keeping your money working for you.
United States investors can save a lot of money by utilizing 1031 tax exchanges to defer all of their capital gains tax on the sale of investment property. 1031 exchanges are like an interest free loan from the U.S. Government.