A Multiple-Asset Exchange occurs when a taxpayer is selling/exchanging a property which includes more than one type of asset. A Common example is a farm property including a personal residence, farm land and farm equipment.
The Treasury Department has issued Regulations which govern how multiple-asset exchanges are to be reported. The Regulations establish "exchange groups" which are separately analyzed for compliance with the like-kind replacement requirements and rules of boot. Farm land must be replaced with qualifying like-kind real property. Farm equipment must be replaced with qualifying like-kind equipment. A personal residence is not 1031 property and is accounted for under the rules applicable to the sale of a personal residence.
The Multiple-Asset Regulations are ambiguous concerning how the personal residence portion of a multiple-asset exchange should be accounted for. However, it is common practice for the closing on the relinquished property to be bifurcated into two separate closings; one for the personal residence and the other for the remainder of the property. The proceeds applicable to the sale of the personal residence are usually disbursed to the taxpayer and not retained by the Intermediary in the exchange escrow. The balance of the proceeds is retained by the Intermediary for use in acquiring like-kind replacement property under the Exchange Agreement.
Another common example of multiple-asset exchanges is a real property sale that includes personal property (i.e. furniture and appliances). Rental properties including this type of personal property are multiple-asset exchanges. Hotel properties are a good example of a multiple-asset exchange including real and personal property.
A sale/exchange of a rental property includes a combination of real and personal property. In practice, the value of the personal property that is transferred with a rental property is commonly disregarded for calculation and income tax reporting purposes. However, there is no rule which permits a taxpayer to disregard the value of personal property, even if it is nominal.
The Multiple-Asset Regulations are complex and require the services of a tax professional for analysis purposes and income tax reporting. The tax professional is essential and will help in determining values, allocations of sale price and purchase prices to the elements of the transaction. Exchanges that include personal property of significant value should reference the personal property in the exchange agreement and be completed in a manner that complies with all of the exchange rules concerning identification, etc.
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