Friday, December 18, 2009

Flip Real Estate Ineligible for Section 1031 Exchange

Working with a new real estate investor client yesterday and heard again what I have heard so many times: the real estate agent handling his flip offered him the choice of doing a Section 1031 exchange when selling the property. This is not possible. In a flip the buyer’s intention is clearly to hold the property short term and resell it, usually after making substantial improvements. The intent is not to hold for long-term appreciation. Therefore, the property is dealer property, not investment property, and ineligible for Section 1031 deferral of the tax gain. As dealer property, the gain is ordinary income, not capital gain, self-employment tax is usually owed.