3 Myths That Haunt 1031 Exchanges

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Think tax-deferred 1031 Exchanges of real estate are too new, sketchy or scary to try? Every week, I talk to investors just like you who are surprised to learn that:

  • 1. 1031 Exchanges have been around longer than IRAs and 401(k)s;
  • 2. 1031 Exchanges are 100% legal; and,
  • 3. 1031 Exchanges can be completed by novice investors.

Here are some myths I confront every day:

Myth #1: 1031 Exchanges Are Too New To Be Trusted

In 1921, Congress enacted The Revenue Act which authorized the exchange of like-kind property without paying tax. It was added to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 1031 and “1031 Exchanges” were born.

These transactions were originally used by cash-poor farmers to allow for the “exchange” of investment real estate without paying tax on the gain. In the intervening 98 years, IRC 1031 rules and regulations have evolved to serve today’s real estate investors. As we approach the 100th anniversary of 1031 Exchanges, the myth of their novelty should be retired.

Myth #2: 1031 Exchanges Are Sketchy

1031 Exchanges are not a “tax loophole”. Like your 401k or IRA, the tax deferral benefits of a 1031 Exchange are government endorsed and sponsored. As times have changed, the ways in which 1031 Exchanges can be successfully conducted have been both clarified and refined. Your 1031 Exchange qualified intermediary can guide you through the specific steps of this legal transaction.

Myth #3: 1031 Exchanges Are Scary

Most investors I talk to tend to be annoyed by the restrictions imposed on their IRA or 401(k) rather than fearful of the tax-deferred retirement provisions in the law. Same with 1031 Exchanges – there are specific rules and regulations. Some of these are maddening and some of them are pesky, but millions of investors have navigated them successfully. If you have never completed a 1031 Exchange, don’t be put off or intimidated by unfamiliarity.

In the course of your real estate investing career, you may find yourself selling your appreciated or depreciated investment real estate and purchasing replacement investment real estate. Why not keep your taxes working for you in that transaction? Follow the 1031 Exchange rules and regulations and you can indefinitely defer payment of the tax that would normally be due on sale and grow your portfolio using Uncle Sam’s money. Its time tested, legal and entirely within your capabilities.

Myth busted!

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