Talk to an Advisor

Substantial Improvement

In the context of the 1031 exchange industry, substantial improvement refers to significant modifications or enhancements made to a replacement property to satisfy the requirements of a qualifying 1031 exchange transaction. A 1031 exchange, also known as a like-kind exchange, allows investors to defer capital gains taxes when they sell an investment property and reinvest the proceeds into a like-kind property.

For an improvement to be considered substantial, it typically means that the improvements must:

  1. Add Value: The improvements should add considerable value to the property, making it worth more than the original investment cost.
  2. Be Permanent: The improvements should be permanent in nature and not easily removable, ensuring they contribute long-term value to the property.
  3. Meet or Exceed a Certain Threshold: In some interpretations, the cost of the improvements should be substantial in comparison to the property’s initial purchase price. The “substantial” threshold might be defined in different ways, such as a specific percentage of the original purchase price.
  4. Completion within a Certain Timeframe: The improvements should typically be completed within a specified period following the acquisition of the replacement property. In some cases, this might be within 24 months, but specific timeframes may vary based on regulations and guidelines.

These improvements are essential in a 1031 exchange because they can help in maintaining or ensuring the like-kind nature of the exchanged properties, ensuring that investors can defer capital gains taxes legitimately. It’s crucial to consult a tax professional or a 1031 exchange expert to understand the specific rules and regulations that apply to substantial improvements in a 1031 exchange, as tax laws and regulations may change or be subject to different interpretations.