The regulations creating Qualified Intermediaries (companies like ours) have been around now for ten years. Word of the benefits of using IRC section 1031 as a capital preservation tool has spread far and wide. Yet, we still receive calls every week from investors as follows: “I have just sold a real estate investment and I want to do an exchange.”
The sad truth is that by that time it is too late to take advantage of the benefits of section 1031. Our company must be involved prior to the closing of the sale of the investment property, and we must receive the funds from the sale. If the investor receives the proceeds or if an “Exchange Agreement” is not in place with us at closing, then the benefits of section 1031 will not be available. Any attempt to take advantage of section 1031 after the fact will likely result in tax fraud which creates both civil and criminal penalties for the tax payer and anyone else who participates in the fraud. Don’t get caught in this situation.