If you’re thinking about doing a 1031 exchange of investment real estate or a business, or have already started the process, you know that the stringent time frames required by a 1031 exchange can be challenging at best and impossible to meet at worst. You have only 45 days from the sale of your property to identify “like kind” property to buy. You have only 180 days from the sale of your property to close on the purchase of the “like kind” property.
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.
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.
When you sell an asset that has appreciated in value since the time you purchased it, you trigger the capital gains tax on the profit you made. If you held the asset for less than one year, it’s called a short-term capital gain. If you held the asset for longer than one year, it’s called a long-term capital gain.
A client recently asked me this question: “What, in your opinion, is the possibility that a change in presidential or congressional leadership brought about by this year’s elections could lead to the closing of the DST tax loophole?”