5/14/2014

Do You Own Income/Investment Property? Read This about Proposed 1031 Changes

I just received this in my e-mail this morning:
  • "There are currently three different proposals that the federal government is weighing, which would significantly alter Section 1031:
  •  Former Sen. Max Baucus (D-Montana), who became U.S. ambassador to China earlier this year, released a draft proposal when he was chairman of the Senate Finance Committee that would potentially eliminate 1031 exchanges. His proposal, which is still before the Senate Finance Committee for discussion, contains other provisions unfavorable to real estate investments, including lengthening depreciation schedules for commercial and residential properties from 39 and 27.5 years, respectively, to 43 years for both and characterizing gains from real estate sales as ordinary income, instead of capital gain.
  •  U.S. Rep Dave Camp (R-Michigan), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, has released a proposed tax bill eliminating all Section 1031 exchanges beginning Jan. 1, 2015.
  • President Obama, in his 2015 budget proposal, wants to limit the amount of capital gains deferred in a 1031 exchange to $1 million (indexed for inflation) per taxpayer per taxable year, beginning Jan. 1, 2015." 
As so often happens, legislators propose laws that probably won't accomplish what they intend, in this case, raise tax money.  Property owners benefit greatly from the 1031 tax exchange laws, and should changes occur which prevent or greatly affect the benefits which have been in existence since 1921, many owners just won't make a change.   Sizeable tax consequences can be faced by some investors, so they could very well hold onto their properties rather than sell.

Real estate transactions generate business for many professionals, ancillary businesses and services. The ripple effect from a change in investment and/or commercial sales will impact not only the brokers, but many other job holders, i.e., environmental companies, appraisers, title and escrow personnel, contractors who restore/rehabilitate such properties.

Currently, the company that sent me this email has just exanded their office space on the East Coast because they are currently doing much more business.   But curtailing 1031 exchange activity may curtail many jobs and other economic activity.
"What can you do to help preserve Section 1031 exchanges? Contact your representatives in Congress to express support for Section 1031 in its current form, and the economic activity and job-stimulating aspects of this powerful tax code section."

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