What Property Qualifies for a Like-Kind Exchange?
Both the relinquished property you sell and the replacement property you buy must meet certain requirements.
Both properties must be held for use in a business or trade or for investment.
Property used primarily for personal use, like a primary residence or a second home or vacation home, does not qualify for like-kind exchange treatment.
Both properties must be similar enough to qualify as "like-kind." Like-kind property is property of the same nature, character or class.
Quality or grade does not matter.
Most real estate will be like-kind to other real estate. For example, real property that is improved with a residential rental house is like-kind to vacant land. Also, improvements that are conveyed without land are not of like kind to land.
One exception for real estate is that property within the United States is not like-kind to property outside of the United States.
Real property and personal property can both qualify as exchange properties under Section 1031; but real property can never be like-kind to personal property. In personal property exchanges, the rules pertaining to what qualifies as like-kind are more restrictive than the rules pertaining to real property. As an example, cars are not like-kind to trucks.
Finally, certain types of property are specifically excluded from Section 1031 treatment.
Section 1031 does not apply to exchanges of:
Inventory or stock in trade
Stocks, bonds, or notes
Other securities or debt
Certificates of trust