If you’re a professional who represents high net worth clients, you know that capital gains taxes constitute one of their main challenges when they sell a highly appreciated piece of investment real estate or a business. Today’s long-term capital gains rates are 15% for taxpayers filing jointly who make between $80,001 and $496,600 per year. For those making $496,601 or more, the rate increases to 20%. In some circumstances, they may owe an additional 3.8% on the lesser of their net investment income or the amount by which their modified adjusted gross income exceeds the statutory threshold based on their filing status.
If you have invested in real estate in the past, you likely have also done a 1031 exchange. As you undoubtedly learned, however, 1031s have numerous risks and disadvantages. While they defer your capital gains tax liability when you sell a piece of appreciated real estate, the rules and regulations that apply to them can make them unappealing at best and downright dangerous at worst. Why? Because they often fail, leaving you with an enormous capital gains tax to pay.
If you invest in real estate, you likely have heard about Deferred Sales Trusts (DSTs), the innovative, legal and proven method of selling investment real estate that allows you to defer payment of capital gains taxes while offering you almost total flexibility in your investment choices. But have you ever considered the DST as a real estate exit strategy?
The DST can be used as a vehicle that does what a 1031 exchange does, without the problematic timelines and other stringent requirements, but it also can do so much more. In order to understand the pros and cons of a DST and a 1031 exchange and the benefit they give you, you must first understand 1031 exchanges themselves.
The Deferred Sales Trust is a tax strategy that uses the proceeds from the sale of virtually any asset to establish a trust held by a certified, third-party Deferred Sales Trustee. Read about two scenarios with varying degrees of post-divorce capital gain realization where the Deferred Sales Trust tax strategy would have been useful.
In Part 1, Charles and Maddie’s story illustrated how life and politics can make a father’s desire to provide for his daughter much harder than it should be. While not ultra-wealthy by any standard, Charles has enough retirement savings that he should be able to structure supplemental income for Maddie for many years should he succumb to heart disease complications or any other premature death.