Understand limits of “personal use” - by William Lopriore

April 20, 2018 - Front Section
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Many people own rental properties in vacation locations and want the benefits of tax-deferred exchanges while still enjoying their property for personal use. However, too much personal use can disqualify the property for tax-deferred treatment under Internal Revenue Code Section 1031. The Internal Revenue Service issued Revenue Procedure 2008-16, providing guidance on the limits of personal use under §1031. 

It includes nuanced requirements that must be met to avoid the risk of losing the tax deferment benefit. For example, the taxpayer must own the relinquished and replacement properties for at least 24 months immediately before and after the exchange. Yet, in each of the 12-month periods immediately before and after the exchange, the properties must also be rented at a fair market value to an unrelated party for a minimum of 14 days or more. During each 12-month period, the taxpayer’s personal use cannot exceed the greater of 14 days or 10% of the days that the property was rented at fair market value. Additional requirements define what constitutes visits to the property for maintenance, and defines use by family members and other parties as “personal use.” 

 The parameters can be complex, so owners of vacation homes should speak with a 1031 like-kind exchange specialist or real estate attorney before pursuing an exchange. 

William Lopriore is the northeast regional manager and counsel for First American Exchange Company, LLC, Wayland, Mass.

Nothing contained in this article is to be considered as the rendering of legal advice for specific cases, and readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel. This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of this author, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of this author’s employer, First American Exchange Company, LLC.

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