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    Sales and Exchanges of real estate

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    Please check my answers to the following questions.

    Question 1: When real estate is sold and a mortgage is involved, how is the amount realized on the sale determined?

    Answer: Amount realized.
    The amount realized from a sale or exchange is the total of all money received plus the FMV of all property or services received. The amount realized also includes any liabilities that were assumed by the buyer and any liabilities to which the property transferred is subject, such as real estate taxes or a mortgage."

    So, if buyer buys property for $10,000 cash plus assumption of the existing $80,000 indebtedness, the amount realized is $90K.

    Question 2: How does the depreciation deduction taken with respect to a specific parcel of real estate affect the amount realized when that parcel is sold?

    Answer: It does not affect the amount realized. It affects the amount of gain recognized, as well as the character.
    Generally, real estate investment property, as defined under Section 1250 of the Internal Revenue Code, must be depreciated for income tax purposes. The depreciation method used depends on a number of factors including when the investment property was placed into service, the type of investment property, and the depreciation methods allowed under applicable tax laws and regulations at the time the investment property was placed into service. However, a more complex set of rules comes into play when the asset sold is depreciable real estate. This is so because, in that case, a maximum rate of 25% will apply to what's called Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain and a maximum rate of 15% will apply to the balance of the gain. "Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain" refers to the portion of gain that is eligible for capital gain treatment even though it is attributable to previously allowable depreciation. A further complication is that the portion of the gain that is Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain depends, as shown below, on when the property was placed in service.

    Property placed in service after 1986. For real estate placed in service after 1986, all depreciation deductions allowable before the sale of the real estate give rise to Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain. Thus, if you sell, at a gain of $200,000, a building on which $90,000 of depreciation deductions were allowable to you through the time of sale, $90,000 of the gain is Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain that will be taxed at a rate of 25%. The remaining $110,000 of the gain will be taxed at a rate of 15%. Property placed in service before 1987 and after 1980. For real estate placed in service before 1987, but after 1980 (pre-1987 realty), the treatment of gain on sale depends on whether the real estate is residential or nonresidential.

    Do I need to include Section 1245 property? Please advise.

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    Solution Preview

    Yes. I would include the following part:

    "Even though property may not be of a character subject to the allowance for depreciation in the hands of the taxpayer, such property may nevertheless be Section 1245 property if the ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution discusses sales and exchanges of real estate. The exchange of total for all money received is determined.