Typically when property is sold any gain must be reported as taxable income. IRS Code Section 1031 allows for the deferral of tax of gain on sale of property by so-called like-kind exchanges, also known as 1031 exchanges. They work under the simple premise implied by the name: property is exchanged for like-kind property, and when all the rules are followed any gain that would have been taxable is deferred.
The deferral is allowed because the basis in the newly acquired property is reduced by the amount of gain recognized. Thus, the gain is eventually recognized when the new property is sold, because the decreased basis increases the amount of gain on sale (unless, somehow, the gain is deferred again by another like-kind exchange).
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