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Replacement Properties Purchase Do’s and Don’ts

Do’s

Do purchase your replacement property in the U.S. or U.S. Virgin Islands.

  • Foreign investment property does not qualify.

Do acquire property with equal or greater debt.

  • Unless the debt reduction is replaced with cash, you pay tax on the debt reduction and you have no funds from the exchange with which to pay the tax.

Do reinvest all exchange proceeds.

  • You pay tax on proceeds not reinvested.

Do plan ahead so you can settle on your replacement property within the 45 day identification period.

  • Real property has unforeseen pitfalls and after forty-five days you cannot add an identification.
  • The 45 day identification period is written in stone and all three identified properties can disappear.

Do identify three, or the maximum number of properties.

  • You have this option, and with real property certainties can become disasters with a surprise survey or environmental report.

Do contract with a Qualified Intermediary that is both bonded and full time.

  • A professional Qualified Intermediary will remind you of your deadlines and if an employee absconds with your money, the bond company will replace them so you can complete your exchange.

Don’ts

Don’t buy a real estate mutual fund or an REIT.

  • Only real "like kind" property qualifies for replacement property.

Don’t reinvest the proceeds in property you already own.

  • Do this and you lose the benefits of the exchange!

Don’t dissolve partnerships or change the manner of holding title during the exchange (without consulting an expert on exchange entities).

  • Do this and you lose the benefits of the exchange!

Don’t proceed as if you have 180 days to complete your exchange.

  • Time is important. Exceed this time limit and you lose the benefits of the exchange!

Don’t go to settlement unless your Qualified Intermediary’s documents are at settlement

  • Do this and you lose the benefits of the exchange!

Don’t file your income taxes for the year in which you do your exchange until you complete your exchange.

  • Do this and you lose the benefits of the exchange!
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