1031 Exchange Rules California

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“The 1031 exchange might be a good solution if you’re an investment property owner who wants to buy another property while selling your current one. You can defer capital gains tax on an exchange of like-kind properties by utilizing a 1031 exchange. The exchange mechanism can prove beneficial in various situations and occurs by some of the most successful real estate investors.”

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1031 Exchange Rules California

It provides information about 1031 Exchange Rules California, how to perform them, and why you may benefit from them. You can help if you use a qualified intermediary to assist you in understanding the intricate details of a 1031 exchange, a third-party company that assists you with the exchange process and helps you avoid making any critical mistakes that may jeopardize the sale of your property.


Exchange 1031

An exchange between one investment property and another, known as a 1031 exchange, occurs when you sell one and purchase another. You usually have to pay significant capital gain taxes when you exchange your current investment property for another.

However, these taxes can be deferred indefinitely if this transaction qualifies as a 1031 exchange. Investing in different real estate classes and shifting their focus to new areas without incurring significant tax burdens allows investors to change their portfolios without suffering significant losses.

  • One of the most essential requirements for a 1031 exchange is the purchase.
  • A different “like-kind” investment property of similar or more excellent value
  • You have to invest the proceeds from selling (no boots);
  • The title owner and the taxpayer should be the same
  • Define the home within the next 45 days.
  • And then purchase the property in one year.


Capital gains tax

Understanding capital gains tax is crucial in 1031 real estate exchange rules. You must pay a capital gains tax if you own investment property for over a year. A difference between the adjusted purchase price and the property’s sales price is taxed directly.

Taxes on capital gains vary depending on your tax bracket. The 1031 exchange falls under IRS section 1031, which is the source of its name.


Real Estate Exchanges by Type

For those wishing to participate in a 1031 exchange California, there are four types to choose from:

  • Simultaneous exchange
  • Delayed exchange
  • Reverse exchange
  • Construction or improvement exchange


Simultaneous Exchange

When selling a property and purchasing a property simultaneously, a 1031 exchange is called a simultaneous exchange and takes place on the same day. To benefit from this exchange, it must take place simultaneously. You would have to pay total capital gains taxes on either property if the closing of either property took place for a short period, so you would not be eligible for the exchange.

There are three types of simultaneous exchanges. The first type involves swapping deeds with the owner of another investment property. Secondly, there is a three-party exchange in which you and the other investment property owner work together through a third party called a Qualified Intermediary.

In addition to having training and experience in handling such transactions, qualified intermediaries will structure the entire transaction. It is possible to nullify a 1031 exchange and incur a significant tax burden without the assistance of a Qualified Intermediary.


Delayed Exchange

You can efficiently conduct a delayed exchange when you conduct a 1031 exchange. As a result, you can use the proceeds of one sale to purchase another property. You can sell or relinquish your investment property before purchasing another.

Marketing your property, finding a buyer, and signing a sale and final purchase agreement are necessary to conduct this exchange. After that, the seller must engage a Qualified Intermediary to retain the sale proceeds until they can acquire a similar property.

As you identify your new investment property and close it within 180 days, you will receive a binding trust with the profits from the sale of your previous investment property. While you must complete the sale of your new property within 180 days, you will have 45 days to find the investment property you wish to purchase. This timeframe gives you some flexibility as compared to a simultaneous exchange.


Reverse Exchange

Unlike a traditional exchange, a reverse exchange involves finding and purchasing a new investment property before selling your existing property. A trade will then take place for the property. To wait a while to sell your current property until its market value increases when you purchase a new property beforehand.

It is essential to understand that reverse exchanges typically occur in cash, and most banks don’t offer reverse exchange loans. This type of exchange involves purchasing another property, which means you will have 45 days to decide which of your current investment properties you want to relinquish. The sale will then take place within 135 days of the purchase.


Construction or Improvement Exchange

The construction exchange allows you to improve the property before the exchange occurs. This type of exchange allows you to make improvements to the property. You can improve the exchange equity while the property is in the hands of a qualified intermediary for 180 days. For all gains to be tax-free, you must meet three separate conditions.

It is necessary to make a down payment or improvements within 180 days of receiving exchange equity. To receive the exact property identified on the 45th day, the taxpayer needs to get the exact property identified on the 45th day. The property must be valued at the same or more excellent value when returned to the taxpayer. It is necessary to make improvements within 180 days of the property’s return.


California’s 1031 Exchange rules

What is a 1031 exchange in California? The 1031 exchange rules in California have some unique characteristics.


California’s 1031 Exchange rules


In most cases, the only difficulty arises when you exchange out of state, whether it be for:

  • The outside property for an inside property in California, or
  • An outside CA property for a CA property

Our discussion on CA claw-backs will continue later on. Let’s first take a look at the 1031 exchange rules for California. 1031 Exchange Company California can do 1031 exchanges by following these steps:

  1. An investment property or a business property must qualify.
  2. Having the same or more excellent value
  3. As well as like-kind
  4. It must be the same taxpayer who buys and sells the two properties.
  5. Within the 1031 exchange timeline, you must complete the exchange.

To make sure we understand California 1031 exchange rules clearly, let me break it down into three parts:


Be a business or investment property.

It is only possible to exchange 1031 property when you own a business or an investment property. According to the California Franchise Tax Board, personal property is not eligible for 1031 exchanges due to changes in the 2017 federal tax code.

It is possible to 1031 exchange personal property in some cases. For this reason, it’s essential to consult your tax professional to ensure you’re taking the proper steps to avoid any problems.

After you sell your property, you’ll have to pay capital gains tax if you make a mistake in the exchange.


Both properties must be equal in value or more significant.

A property you are buying in exchange for another property cannot have a smaller net market value than the property you are selling to qualify for a 100% tax deferment. Here are a few examples.

100% deferment is applicable in this case:

  • $1,250,000 for relinquished (sold) property
  • For exchange (purchased) property $1,400,000

Due to the lower value of the exchange property, this one doesn’t qualify:

  • $1,250,000 for relinquished (sold) property
  • (Purchased) property: $1,200,000

It is also important to note that this applies to the mortgages, not just the net market value. A replacement property’s net market value and mortgage must be equal to or greater than the value of the relinquished property.


The net market value

Using the net market value of this exchange, for example, the tax deferral would be 100%:

  • $1,250,000 is the net market value of the relinquished (sold) property
  • The net market value of the exchange (purchased) property is $1,400,000

It is invalid; however, if the mortgage balances are the same because the mortgage balance on the new property is less than the mortgage balance on the relinquished property:

  • Mortgage on relinquished (sold) property: $650,000
  • The mortgage on the exchanged (purchased) property is $515,000


Does The Replacement Property Have A Lower Value Than The Relinquished Property?

It will be necessary to pay the “boot” or the difference in value between the replacement and relinquished properties if it is less valuable than the relinquished property. You’ll have to pay capital gains tax on that difference immediately after closing.

A $50,000 difference would trigger capital gains tax in this scenario:

  • The surrendered real estate’s price (the one you’re offering to sell) amounts to $975,000.
  •  Replacement property (which you’re purchasing) is $925,000.

1031 exchange policy will allow the remaining $925,000 to be tax-deferred.


Like-kind must exist

While it may sound confusing and restricting, in most cases, it isn’t. When it comes to like-kind property, the IRS defines it as “property that has similar characteristics, regardless of its grade or quality.”

As a rule, both properties must serve similar purposes (including various uses). It’s pretty flexible, and there is generally nothing to worry about, even if both properties are commercial.


For both properties, the taxpayer must be the same.

The rules of a 1031 exchange California are relatively straightforward in this case. Generally speaking, both parties must be the same regarding who sold the relinquished property and bought the replacement property.

To avoid a potential loophole where there might be a property transfer between parties during a 1031 exchange, it is impossible to conduct a 1031 exchange by multiple parties.


Complete a 1031 exchange within a specified period.

It is essential to complete 1031 exchanges within 180 days of when the relinquished property sells. Becomes invalid if the exchange does not occur within this timeframe.

The 1031 exchange timeline also contains other essential details. Your first step should be to hire a qualified intermediary to help you with the exchange. You can do this when you establish a contract with your broker or realtor.

The 45-day mark marks the deadline for selecting 3 “exchange candidates.” To qualify for a 180-day extension, you must select one of these three properties as your replacement property.

To complete the exchange, your qualified intermediary must release the sale funds from the original relinquished property to purchase the replacement property.


Provisions of California’s Claw-Back Law

It’s not about defending yourself against California mountain lions under the Claw-Back Provision. Doing a 1031 exchange in California is important because of the “Claw-Back” Provision.

You could pay double taxes if you don’t fully understand the provision. California state tax applies to capital gains accrued through California property, per FTB Publication 1100 Irev 2007, section F.

This means that California property sold in a 1031 exchange and replaced with property outside the state must be subject to capital gains tax.


Isn’t that harmless?

That’s precisely how 1031 exchange real estate rules work. Unfortunately, California continues to apply this rule even after an exchange occurs between California and out-of-state properties.


An Example of California’s Claw-Back Provision

To better understand where the problem lies, let’s examine an example.

Consider an example in which you exchanged a Californian property for a Nevadan property on behalf of a client. The California property has appreciated $250,000 from $100,000 in the past year when you bought it.

With the exchange, you can defer taxation. After years of owning that Nevada property, you decided to sell it. In contrast to the previous $250,000 value, the current value is $350,000.

A $100,000 capital gain on Nevada property won’t only result in capital gains tax. Claw-back provisions require you to pay CA tax on $150,000 gains from the original California property you exchanged.

In this case, you’ll only be subject to California state taxes if the sale occurs in CA, if you exchange for a property in CA before the final sale.


Former California property annual information return

You must file a California information return if you own property outside of California every year. You won’t have to pay taxes if you exchange (or do not sell) the property yearly and submit the annual return.


Filing a California Tax Return for a 1031 Exchange

You can file a 1031 exchange on your California state income tax return relatively straightforwardly. Performing a like-kind exchange of California property requires you to report that exchange on FTB Form 3840 if both occur:

  1. If your property is outside of California, you should perform a 1031 exchange
  2. Under IRC 1031, you can defer gains or losses

It is necessary to file FTB 3840 during the year in which the exchange occurs. Following that, you must file it every year until one of the following occurs:

  • California state taxes are due on deferred gains or losses
  • A 1031 exchange involves exchanging one out-of-state replacement property for another out-of-state replacement property
  • A replacement property’s owner dies
  • A non-profit organization may receive the property, or you may donate it


The Bottom Line

Even seasoned investors can use a 1031 exchange to build wealth because of the complex moving parts and the requirement to understand the rules.

Hedy Ghavidel

HEDY GHAVIDEL Managing Attorney  Roseville Office  1-866-471-6981  info@attorneysre.com Bio...

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