There are many types of real estate investments that have tax advantages. Real estate agents who stay up-to-date on changes in the tax laws are more valuable to real estate investors. For example, it is useful to many clients if a real estate agent understands the basics of how to manage a tax-exchange sale (1031 exchange). This type of exchange sale includes purchasing a similar asset to postpone the payment of capital gains tax on the property that sells.
In addition to popular 1031 exchange transactions, there are lesser-known strategies that are beneficial for investors with specific circumstances These include exchanges based on IRS sections 1033 and 721 as well as the exclusion limit now in place for personal residences under section 121.
This provision allows an investor to make an exchange if a property the government takes property under an eminent domain action or if a natural disaster destroys a property. Property taken by an eminent domain process is replaceable by a similar asset for up to three years after it. For a natural disaster exchange, the investor has two years.
This IRS rule allows an investor to exchange an investment property (not a residence) for ownership interests in a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). This technique is called an “upREIT” transaction. Not only are capital gains tax deferred, but a REIT can also be sold in smaller pieces allowing liquidation over time with potentially tax beneficial consequences. This only works one direction to invest in a REIT. REIT ownership interests cannot be invested in real estate property using a 721 exchange.
For personal residences, the new 121 exclusion places a limit for the amount of capital gains exclusion of $500,000 for married persons and $250,000 for individuals.
Real Estate Investment in Opportunity Zones
New Opportunity Zones come from the JOBS Act and the recent changes in the tax code. The creation of these zones is a development stimulus for poorer areas. There are many of them all across the USA. The tax benefits on a federal level include either deferral of capital gains or permanent exclusion of capital gains tax for investments held over 10 years (or exchanged with like properties during the 10 years). There may also be state and local tax incentives for specific Opportunity Zones.
The Bottom Line…
Understanding tax-deferred investments are an important part of the real estate sector.
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