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Holding Period Requirements in a 1031 Exchange – Not Just a Matter of Time, Intent is Key

Exchange Update

Property must be “held” for investment or business use (a “qualified purpose”) in a 1031 tax-deferred exchange. This requirement applies to property being sold to start an exchange, as well as property acquired as replacement in an exchange. The length of a holding period is often cited by exchanging taxpayers to satisfy the qualified use requirement, but time is just one factor that the IRS and courts will consider in determining the taxpayer’s intent. Though the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Regulations are silent on this issue, a careful analysis of IRS rulings and case law yields some principles that can be stated with certainty.

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