The Basic Types of Exchanges
A Simultaneous Exchange is an exchange in which the closing of the Relinquished Property and the Replacement Property occur on the same day, usually back to back. There is no interval of time between the two closings. This type of exchange is covered by the Safe harbor Regulations.
A Delayed Exchange is an exchange where the Replacement Property is acquired at a later date than the closing of the sale of the Relinquished Property. The exchange is not simultaneous or on the same day. This type of exchange is sometimes referred to as a “Starker Exchange” after the well known Supreme Court case which ruled in the taxpayer’s favor for a delayed exchange before the Internal Revenue Code provided for such exchanges. There are strict time frames established by the Code and Regulations for completion of a delayed exchange, namely the 45-Day Clock and the 180-Day Clock (see detailed explanation below).
A Reverse Exchange (Title-Holding Exchange) is an exchange in which the Replacement Property is purchased and closed on before the Relinquished Property is sold. Usually the Intermediary takes title to the Replacement Property and holds title until the taxpayer can find a buyer for the Relinquished Property and close on the sale under an Exchange Agreement with the Intermediary. Subsequent to the closing of the Relinquished Property (or simultaneous with this closing), the Intermediary conveys title to the Replacement Property to the taxpayer. The IRS has issued safe harbor guidance on Reverse Exchanges (see below).
An Improvement Exchange (Title-Holding Exchange) is an exchange in which a taxpayer desires to acquire a property and arrange for construction of improvements on the property before it is received as Replacement Property. The improvements are usually a building on an unimproved lot, but can also include enhancements made to an already improved property in order to create adequate value to close on the Exchange with no boot occurring. The Code and Regulations do not take into account for exchange purposes improvements made to a property after the closing on the Replacement Property has occurred. Therefore, it is necessary for the Intermediary to close on, take title and hold title to the property until the improvements are constructed and then convey title to the improved property to the taxpayer as Replacement Property. Improvement Exchanges are done in the context of both Delayed Exchanges and Reverse Exchanges, depending on the circumstances. The IRS has issued safe harbor guidance on Reverse Exchanges (including title-holding exchanges for construction or improvement)