A tax-deferred exchange represents a simple, strategic method for selling one qualifying property and the subsequent acquisition of another qualifying property within a specific time frame. Although the logistics of selling one property and buying another are virtually identical to any standard sale and purchase scenario, an exchange is different because the entire transaction is memorialized as an exchange and not a sale. And it is this distinction between exchanging and not simply selling and buying, which ultimately allows the taxpayer to qualify for deferred gain treatment. So essentially, sales are taxable and exchanges are not. Internal Revenue Code, Section 1031.
Because exchanging represents an IRS recognized approach to the deferral of capital gain taxes, it is important for us to appreciate the components and intent underlying such a tax deferred or tax free transaction. It is within Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code that we find the core essentials necessary for a successful exchange. Additionally, it is within the Like-Kind Exchange Regulations, previously issued by The Department of the Treasury, that we find the specific interpretation of the IRS and the generally accepted standards and rules for completing a qualifying transaction.