How To Do a 1031 Exchange in Florida and Defer Taxes Forever

Last updated on January 31st, 2020 at 07:07 pm

Whether you live in Florida full time, own a vacation property there, or are considering an investment in Florida, the 1031 exchange in Florida should be on your radar. If you’re thinking about moving from a northern state to Florida, you’re not alone.

Most areas of Florida such as Miami, Fort Myers, Tampa, and Orlando have experienced rapid price appreciation since 2008. Because of this, many investors are looking to take chips off the table and sell their property. Instead of paying Uncle Sam federal taxes, capital gains tax, and depreciation recapture tax, investors are turning to the 1031 exchange.

a 1031 exchange in Florida can save thousands on taxes. Cities such as Miami, Ft Myers, and Naples have seen a lot of appreciation

If you are thinking about doing a 1031 exchange in Florida, you likely have some questions. Among these may be “how are the 1031 exchange rules different in Florida than other states?” or “What are some reputable 1031 exchange companies in Florida?” This article will cover both, and more.

First, we’ll discuss the 1031 exchange at a high level. Then, we’ll talk about 1031 exchange rules that are specific to Florida (there’s not many!). Last, we’ve vetted and reviewed the best 1031 exchange companies and their qualified intermediaries. These are the professional facilitators who will help you do a 1031 exchange on your Florida investment property.

1031 Exchange in Florida Rules

Before we talk about the state-specific rules for Florida, we’ll start with a quick overview of the 1031 exchange basics. The IRC code section 1031 is a clause that has allowed real estate investors to defer taxes for decades. In section 1031, it says that you can exchange a property that is being used for business or investment for another “like-kind” property. Like-kind means that the “new” or “replacement” property is also being used for business or investment purpose.

A 1031 exchange can be as simple as an actual trade of two properties (also called a simultaneous exchange). However, a 1031 exchange is usually a sale of the “old” property, followed by the identification and purchase of another like-kind property within 180 days. This is called the forward or delayed exchange and is the most common type of 1031 exchange.

aerial photograph of florida - a great place to do a 1031 exchange

There is also the reverse 1031 exchange and the construction or improvement exchange. There are also strict timelines associated with each type of exchange.

1031 Exchange Rules That Are Specific to Florida

Unlike states such as California, Washington, and others, there are not many rules specific to the state of Florida. Since Florida does not have state income taxes, there is less tax deferral on the line compared to other states. This does not mean that a 1031 exchange isn’t worth it – it definitely can be depending on your situation.

Some states do have a claw-back, such as California, Oregon, Montana, and Massachusetts. Florida does not have this. Additionally, there are many states that mandate a “mandatory withholding” on real estate sales. This means that if you sell a property, the state mandates that you set aside funds to pay state income taxes. Since Florida does not have state income taxes, they do not collect a mandatory withholding.

Last, other states such as Washington and Colorado have instituted laws that 1031 exchange companies must follow. Florida does not have any such laws or regulations on the 1031 exchange industry. This makes it paramount that you choose a qualified intermediary in Florida who has been vetted thoroughly. During the 2008 financial crisis, a few 1031 exchange companies went bankrupt and investors lost their exchange funds. By following the list of recommended 1031 exchange companies in Florida below, you reduce the chances of this happening to you.

Best 1031 Exchange Companies in Florida

best cities to do a 1031 exchange in florida include miami, tampa, and jacksonville

Since Florida represents a unique place and individual real estate markets differ, we recommend choosing a qualified intermediary who knows the state and its landscape. While you can use a 1031 exchange company that is located anywhere in the United States, we recommend selecting a qualified intermediary who is local. This can also help with explaining complex aspects of a sale. Whiteboarding sessions and drawings can make extremely complex subjects easier!

We’ve spoken with numerous 1031 qualified intermediaries in Florida, real estate investors, tax attorneys, and more to determine the best 1031 exchange companies in Florida.

Investment Property Exchange Services (IPX 1031)

IPX one of the largest 1031 exchange companies in the United States, and it’s not surprising that they have a large presence in the state of Florida as well. With two separate offices and a large staff ready to help, they’re an excellent choice for any Florida real estate investors who need to do a 1031 exchange.

ipx one of the best 1031 exchange in florida companies

Both Claudia Kiernan and Sangeeta Banerjee are top qualified intermediaries and have a long track record of helping investors do the 1031 exchange in Florida.

Founded in the 1980s originally, IPX was one of the first groups of qualified intermediaries around. Also, they are a subsidiary of the Fortune 500 firm Fidelity National. Fidelity National is one of the largest real estate services firms in the country. With billions in annual revenue and market cap, this helps you know that IPX is not going anywhere, anytime soon.

1031 Exchange in Florida Services IPX Offers

The Florida IPX team has decades of combined experience in a variety of 1031 exchanges. Unlike other firms, they do not try to co-sell DST properties or other replacement properties. They only focus on the 1031 exchange, which helps their team focus on serving you in the best way possible. They are experienced with the following types of 1031 exchanges:

  • Delayed 1031 Exchange
  • Reverse 1031 Exchange
  • Improvement 1031 Exchange (Also called construction or build-to-suit exchange)
  • Simultaneous 1031 Exchange

IPX Experience and Financial Stability

Most of IPX’s facilitators have been in the 1031 exchange industry since it began, and the Florida team is no different. IPX conducts thousands of 1031 exchanges in Florida and across the country, and their team has seen nearly everything.

Also, many of their qualified intermediaries are also lawyers. While QI’s are not allowed to give legal advice while they execute your exchange, it’s a good resource to have on staff. Many of them will have in-depth knowledge of laws specific to Florida. Most of their 1031 exchange agents are part of the Federation of Exchange Accommodators, and some hold the Certified Exchange Specialist designation as well.

IPX takes client safety and security with the upmost importance. As proof, they hold an industry-leading fidelity bond and errors and omissions coverage. Somewhat incredibly, these coverages amount to $100M and $30M respectively. One aspect of IPX’s security is unique to nearly any other 1031 exchange company in Florida. They have a $50M performance guaranty.

IPX 1031 Locations and Customer Service

Since IPX has a large presence around the country and in the state of Florida, they are well represented with two offices in Florida. We have found IPX to be extremely responsive to inbound requests for information on a potential 1031 exchange in Florida. Since many of their qualified intermediaries are 1099 employees, they are motivated to bring new customers in the door and treat them well. If you need a 1031 exchange in Florida ASAP, we highly recommend IPX. Here are the locations they have in the state of Florida.

Augustine – 3505 US 1 South, Suite 2 Augustine, FL 32086

Sunrise – 13800 NW 14th Street, Suite 190 Sunrise FL 33323

Atlas 1031

Image result for atlas 1031 exchange in florida

Atlas is a unique 1031 exchange company in that they have two employees, and only have a presence in the state of Florida. They are closer to a “boutique” exchange company than many of the other qualified intermediaries we’ve highlighted. That said, this allows Atlas 1031 to focus on the Florida market, as they have extensive knowledge and experience in all of the major metro markets of the state. Whether you’re in Miami, Tampa, Orlando, or Pensacola, Atlas 1031 is a solid pick for your next 1031 exchange in Florida.

Founded in 2007 by managing member Andrew Gustafson, Atlas 1031 continues to advance the entire 1031 exchange industry. Andrew has spoken at numerous Wealth Camps, Real Estate Investment Clubs, and has accommodated nearly 1,700 real estate exchanges.

1031 Exchange in Florida Services Atlas 1031 Offers

Atlas 1031 offers the broadest set of 1031 exchange services that we’ve seen anywhere. In addition to the four main types of 1031 exchanges, Atlas also has experience conducting International 1031 exchanges. Not commonly known or talked about, it is possible for a US citizen to defer taxes on the sale of an international property. Atlas has done these exchanges before.

Atlas also has experience with the “leasehold” improvement exchange. Very complex, this allows you to improve property that you already own. This is the full list of 1031 exchange services Atlas offers:

  • Delayed 1031 Exchange
  • Reverse 1031 Exchange
  • Improvement 1031 Exchange (Also called construction or build-to-suit exchange)
  • Simultaneous 1031 Exchange
  • International 1031 Exchange
  • Leasehold Improvement Exchange

Atlas 1031 Experience and Financial Stability

Atlas has been in business since 2007, conducted thousands of 1031 exchanges, and has taken significant precautions to ensuring client safety. They have an excellent page on their website that outlines the many reasons to trust Atlas 1031 Exchange, and here’s a quick synopsis.

They are independently owned and operated, and Atlas only focuses on the 1031 exchange. They do not try to upsell or co-sell other financial products and limit their business to successful 1031 exchanges. Andrew, Atlas’ managing member, is a member of the FEA and has completed the Certified Exchange Specialist designation.

Like any reputable 1031 exchange company, Atlas also holds client funds in a secure manner. They keep funds in FDIC-insured accounts, or in a qualified escrow account. They clearly call out that exchange funds are not the asset of Atlas, preventing loss if there is a bankruptcy. Also, Atlas maintains a $250,000 errors and omissions coverage through Lockton Insurance Brokers. All of these measures ensure that your funds are safe and secure during the exchange process.

Atlas 1031 Locations and Customer Service

Atlas is extremely active in the 1031 community, and equally as responsive to client requests. After reaching out to Andrew and his manager, we had a prompt, accurate request for information within a few days. Also, they make themselves available on nights and weekends to accommodate your busy schedule. Additionally, they have two offices, one in Naples and the other in Orlando. This is helpful if you live on the Gulf side or in Orlando to meet the team in person. Here are Atlas’ Florida locations:

Orlando – 1816 Bimini Drive Orlando, FL 32806

Naples – 1725 Marsh Run Naples, FL 34109

Exchange Resources Group (ERG 1031)

Image result for exchange resource group (erg), one of the best 1031 exchange companies in florida

Originally started in 2007 before the financial crisis, Exchange Resources Group has carved out a niche in the state of Florida. They are one of the newer 1031 exchange companies in Florida, but their team has been in real estate for a long time. They’ve helped numerous investors do the 1031 exchange, and their team is active on online communities and chat rooms.

While the founders of ERG are in Colorado and work out of their Lakewood office, Dave Foster leads their Florida business. He started as a personal real estate investor, and is so passionate about the 1031 exchange that he became a qualified intermediary.

1031 Exchange in Florida Services ERG 1031 Offers

Since their Florida team is extremely adept at 1031 exchanges for their personal portfolio AND clients, they are capable of handling nearly any exchange out there. They are one of the preeminent firms for the reverse 1031 exchange, and advertise those specific services on their website.

In addition, they have written about the consolidation exchange, which is a 1031 exchange with multiple properties. Here’s the full list of services Exchange Resources Group offers in Florida:

  • Delayed or Forward Exchange
  • Reverse 1031 Exchange
  • Construction or Improvement Exchange
  • Simultaneous Exchange
  • Consolidation Exchange

ERG 1031 Experience and Financial Stability

ERG 1031 is one of the most safe and secure 1031 exchange companies in Florida. If you’re looking for peace of mind, ERG should be at the top of your list. Although they have one representative in the state of Florida, they have a large team located in Colorado that can step in to help during the exchange process.

ERG is somewhat unique in the 1031 exchange company industry in that they don’t provide a trust or escrow account for exchange funds. Instead of this, individual segregated bank accounts are set up. Then, they require dual signatures for any type of withdrawal, ensuring your funds are safe. Last, these accounts are set up with FDIC-insured banks.

Importantly, ERG 1031 provides errors and omissions coverage to all of its clients. If your 1031 exchange in Florida has a mistake due to the exchange company’s work, this policy kicks in. ERG also guarantees that an exchange will not fail due to their work, but does not provide a performance guaranty.

ERG 1031 Locations and Customer Service

ERG 1031’s primary east coast office is run by Dave Foster from his home on the west coast of Florida. With ERG 1031 headquarters in Lakewood, CO, they can provide backup if there’s a question or item outstanding. From speaking with ERG 1031’s clients, they are highly recommended for their fast service and quick responses to requests.

1031 Exchange Connection

Image result for 1031 exchange connection - a top qualified intermediary in florida

A lesser known brand, 1031 Exchange Connection has proven their experience helping real estate investors with the 1031 exchange in Florida. Originally started by Nace Cohen CPA in 2002, they have served investors in Florida, around the country, and abroad.

With an office in Bonita Springs, north of Naples, they are an excellent choice if having someone local is important to you. Or, if you have very complex tax questions, Nace has spent the majority of his career as a real estate CPA.

Services 1031 Exchange Connection Offers

1031 Exchange Connection offers the full gamut of 1031 exchange services, including the reverse exchange. Since Nace is also a CPA, he is fully aware of the current tax code and future changes that could happen. There is a huge advantage to having someone who is an expert on the IRC in your corner!

Things like the reverse exchange, international exchange, or turning a 1031 exchange property into a primary residence are things Nace and his team can handle. Here’s the full list of exchange services 1031 Exchange Connection offers:

  • Delayed or Forward Exchange
  • Reverse 1031 Exchange
  • Construction or Improvement Exchange
  • Simultaneous Exchange

1031 Exchange Connection Experience and Financial Stability

If you’re looking for a qualified intermediary who’s experienced, Nace Cohen and the team at 1031 Exchange Connection are an excellent choice. Owing to Nace’s multi-decade career as a real estate CPA, he knows the tax code in Florida and the United States as well as anyone.

If you’re concerned about 1031 Exchange Connection’s financial stability – don’t be. First, they keep all exchange funds in a non-commingled bank account that is local and completely FDIC insured up to $250,000. Next they go so far as to post their fidelity bond and liability insurance on their website. This is unusual for a 1031 exchange company in Florida (in a good way!), and helps you ensure that your funds will be safe, and the process will go smoothly.

1031 Exchange Connection Locations and Customer Service

If you’re looking for someone local to the west side of Florida, 1031 Exchange Connection is an excellent choice. We’ve found them to be fairly responsive to inbound requests for information. Unlike some of the other “one-person” 1031 exchange companies out there, Nace keeps a separate office from a home office. If visiting in person is important to you, that’s a major plus. Here’s the location of the team’s office:

Bonita Springs – 9400 Fountain Medical Ct Suite B-100 Naples, FL 34135

First American Exchange Company (First Am)

first american exchange company a top 1031 exchange company in florida

One of the largest 1031 exchange companies in the United States, First Am is also an excellent choice for Florida investors. They are also a subsidiary of First American, a diversified real estate services firm. With a location in between Jacksonville and Daytona Beach, any northeast Florida investors should consider working with First Am for your 1031 exchange in Florida. John King, Esq has decades of experience conducting client 1031 exchanges and is open to new customers.

Founded in the 1990’s originally, First American Exchange is a top pick nationwide for real estate investors looking to do a 1031 exchange in Florida. Also, they are a subsidiary of one of the largest real estate services firms in the entire country and have billions in revenue. This ensures you are not “left out to dry” and have the backing of a huge company.

1031 Exchange in Florida Services First Am Offers

Since First Am is one of the largest 1031 exchange companies in Florida and the entire country, they are able to offer every type of 1031 exchange in Florida. This includes the more complex reverse and construction exchanges, which absolutely require a qualified intermediary and potentially a CPA.

In addition, they have lawyers on staff or can refer you to someone local if that is necessary. Additionally, a CPA could be necessary before you start on your exchange. Since a qualified intermediary cannot provide tax advice, that could be a good step First Am can help with as well. Here is the full list of 1031 exchange in Florida services First American Exchange Company offers to its clients:

  • Delayed or Deferred Exchange: The most common exchange, gives investors 45 days to identify a replacement property and 180 days to close
  • Reverse Exchange: Instead of selling your old property then buying a new one, you buy a new property before your old property is sold.
  • Improvement Exchange (Also called construction or build-to-suit): Allows you to use part of the value in your old property to improve a new property
  • Simultaneous Exchange: When you find a replacement property the same value as your own. You and the second party trade deeds to the properties

First Am Experience and Financial Stability

First American Exchange Company, owing to their backing by First American, is one of the most stable and secure options for 1031 exchange in Florida or the country. They have a long operating history, have helped thousands of investors do the 1031 exchange in Florida, and have strong financial backing. There is very small likelihood that First American goes bankrupt anytime soon.

Even after all of that, First Am offers some additional security measures to ensure your funds are secure. First, First Am holds all client funds in FDIC-insured, separately held accounts. This ensures that your funds are not considered company money. In 2008, some 1031 exchange in Florida companies kept client funds commingled, and during a bankruptcy investors lost their funds. First Am ensures this will not happen.

Last, First Am has some of the best fidelity bond and errors and omissions policies of any 1031 exchange in Florida company. They hold a $20M fidelity bond and $10M E&O coverage. This helps you ensure that if something goes wrong during the exchange, you have recourse and a way to get your money back.

First Am Locations and Customer Service

First Am has some of the most responsive and aggressive qualified intermediaries of any 1031 exchange company. They are not headquartered in Florida, but John King keeps the Florida branch running from Saint Augustine. If you are in the northeast Florida area, John is one of the few qualified intermediaries around. If having someone local is important to you, this is a big differentiator for your 1031 exchange in Florida. Here’s John King’s First Am office location.

Saint Augustine – 108 Seagrove Main Street, Ste. A Saint Augustine, FL, 32080