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Check out Dave’s latest blog post on Bigger Pockets.
The statutory order of a 1031 is this: a sale followed by a purchase of investment real estate. You can’t exchange into something you already own, and you can’t exchange into construction on real estate you already own without a different approach.
In a reverse exchange, the qualified intermediary forms a holding entity called the EAT (exchange accommodating title holder). This EAT takes title to the lot you want to build on. The property is under your control, but you’re not on the title yet. Then you construct the building on that property. Now you complete your sale if you haven’t already, and you “purchase” the lot and building owned by the EAT for exactly what was paid/spent on it. By doing this, you are able to maintain the integrity of your exchange and also purchase the exact right replacement property.
Timing, complexity, financing, and cost are all the issues you’ve got to wade through. But reverses can be a pretty powerful tool to get you right where you want to be. Nonetheless, it might be worth talking to your tax expert about structuring a more straightforward 1031 exchange.
We all would like to have our cake and eat it too. For a real estate investor that might look like having a rental property and a primary residence all in one. Many folks would love to take advantage of the tax deferral for investment properties found in 1031 exchanges and then use the property as their primary residence. And the idea of living in the property but still treating it as an investment by “renting to myself” comes up frequently.
Renting to yourself. is a tricky business that can land you in hot water very quickly. If you simply move in and start paying yourself rent after a 1031 it’s very clear that your intent in purchasing that property was not to buy an investment property but to purchase your primary residence – 1031 disallowed.
You could set up an LLC to rent to yourself, but if that LLC is a disregarded entity (meaning that it doesn’t file its own tax return) the IRS will ignore the entity and say that you are the taxpayer for 1031 purposes. So, you would again be renting from yourself. And the whole intent issue once again rears its head.
If the LLC is a regarded entity with its own tax return and you are more than half member, then you are a related party to the LLC. You might be able to rent to yourself, but you better make it an arm’s length true rental. Collect the rent, declare the rent, etc.
Another issue, however, is that If you do that, then you are generating taxable income for the LLC from yourself. So you’re paying tax for the privilege of paying yourself rent. And at that point, you should be asking yourself “why?” Why not simply hold the property with an outside renter for a year or two and then convert you’re your primary residence by moving in. There is no statutory requirement that you keep the property as investment forever. And there’s actually specific IRS code allowing you to convert a property into your primary residence AFTER demonstrating your intent to hold for investment purposes.
By that time, you would have satisfied your 1031 intent requirements and are simply changing the use. No rent needed at that time.
Refinancing before and after a 1031 exchange are viewed differently by the IRS. Refinancing immediately before a 1031 starts is a good way to get heartburn from the IRS. The IRS has an extreme dislike for refinancing before an exchange. Refinancing after a 1031 is a different story. In a refi after a 1031 you are not accessing gain, you are borrowing against equity in a property you are holding for productive use. Which is the whole point of a 1031.
A short disclaimer though. If the IRS thought you were a bad actor and wanted to get at you anyway, could they challenge a refi done immediately after a 1031? Sure, but those instances are hard to prove and rare. Have your ducks and rationales in a row and wait until after the 1031 is complete. And always talk to your tax professional.
When it comes to 1031s, it is all about whose name is on the original tax return. This goes for LLCs as well as individuals. Multi-member LLCs follow the same rules as everyone else. The name on the original tax return must be the name on the title of the replacement property. If an LLC is multi-member, they probably file taxes as a partnership. Each LLC can sell the property it owns and do a 1031 to buy a replacement property. If you find a replacement property that is big enough, then each LLC could sell and buy a % of the larger replacement as a tenant in common.
Example – each LLC owns a property that is worth $500,000. They could both sell and 1031 each into a 50% tenant in common interest of a property worth $1 million.
Once the LLCs have completed their exchanges, they could simply remain as tenants in common. Or could work with their accountants to dissolve one or both and leave the property in one LLC with the same membership interest allocation.
Check out Dave’s recent article on the cost of 1031 Exchanges on the Bigger Pockets Blog here.
In simple terms, a reverse exchange is a 1031 exchange where the replacement property is purchased before the original investment property is sold. But they aren’t quite as simple as a 1031 exchange. It should be said before anything else, find a qualified intermediary (QI) before beginning the process.
1. Financing can be a hassle if you are in need of funds for the purchase until you sell. In a reverse, the QI takes title to the new property in the EAT (Exchange Accommodating Title holder). So the loan has to be made to the EAT but guaranteed by you.
2. The Reverse is relatively expensive because a holding company must be created to hold the replacement property until the exchange is complete.
Because of its complexity, taking some time with your QI to get fully educated on the nuances of the reverse will be well worth your while. It is always wise to check with your tax expert before making any moves towards a 1031.
If you are thinking of carrying out a 1031 exchange, you might be wondering, “What’s in it for me?” A 1031 has the power to transform your real estate investing strategy. More specifically, a 1031 offers you a chance to defer capital gains taxes and get your proceeds working for you. In order to qualify for a 1031, your intent must to hold the property for investment purposes only. What you will find is that as you hold your property for investing, it will also hopefully be accruing appreciation. With more equity to toy around with you are on your way to leveraging your first investment property into something better.
Once you are ready to exchange your first property, it is time to get imaginative. A 1031 gives you immense freedom when finding a replacement property. While primary residences, personal property, and inventory (fix and flips) are not allowed with a 1031, all other types of investment real estate are on the table. You can even leverage your first property into multiple replacement properties. A 1031 offers you a real chance to snowball wealth and build your fortune.