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How to Save Taxes on Your Real Estate Investments with a 1031 Exchange

Exchanging Deeds on Investment Properties
Exchanging Deeds on Investment Properties

A 1031 Exchange can delay the Recognition of Gain on the Sale of an Investment Property

If you are a real estate investor, you probably know that selling a property can trigger a hefty tax bill on your capital gains. But what if you could defer or avoid paying those taxes by reinvesting your profits into another property? That's exactly what a 1031 exchange allows you to do.


A 1031 exchange, also known as a like-kind exchange, is a strategy that lets you swap one property for another without recognizing any gain or loss for tax purposes. This way, you can keep your money working for you in another investment, instead of giving it to the IRS.


Well, there are some rules and requirements that you need to follow in order to qualify for a 1031 exchange. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • The properties must be of like-kind. This means that they must be used for business or investment purposes, and they must be of the same nature or character, regardless of their quality or grade. For example, you can exchange an apartment building for a medical office, but not for a personal residence or a piece of art.

  • The properties must be located in the United States. You cannot exchange a domestic property for a foreign one, or vice versa.

  • The exchange must be completed within a certain time frame. You have 45 days from the date of the sale of your original property to identify one or more potential replacement properties, and 180 days to close on the purchase of the new property. These deadlines are strict and cannot be extended, even if they fall on a weekend or a holiday.

  • You must use a qualified intermediary. A qualified intermediary is a third-party entity that holds the proceeds from the sale of your original property and transfers them to the seller of the new property. You cannot touch or control the money during the exchange, or else you will invalidate the tax deferral.

  • You must reinvest all of the proceeds and equity. To defer all of the taxes, you need to buy a new property that is equal or greater in value, debt, and equity than the one you sold. If you receive any cash or other property that is not like-kind, you will have to pay taxes on that amount, known as boot.


As you can see, a 1031 exchange is not a simple transaction, but it can be a powerful tool to grow your wealth and save on taxes. If you are interested in learning more about how a 1031 exchange can benefit you, contact me today. I am a licensed and experienced realtor who can help you find the best properties for your investment goals and guide you through the 1031 exchange process. I can also put you in touch with experienced 1031 Intermediaries who can discuss your specific situation with you.


Long Term Capital Gains Rates for Federal and California

Long-term capital gains are profits from selling assets or investments that you have held for more than one year. The federal tax rates for long-term capital gains are 0%, 15%, or 20%, depending on your taxable income and filing status1. The state of California does not have separate tax rates for long-term capital gains. Instead, it taxes all capital gains as ordinary income, using the same rates and brackets as the regular state income tax2. These rates range from 1% to 12.3%, plus an additional 1% surcharge for income over $1,000,0003. Therefore, the combined federal and state tax rates for long-term capital gains in California can be as high as 33.3% (20% + 12.3% + 1%).

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