This section discusses trades that generally do not result in a taxable gain or a deductible loss. For more information on nontaxable trades, see chapter 1 of Publication 544.taxmap/pubs/p550-023.htm#en_us_publink100010437
If you trade business or investment property for other business or investment property of a like kind, you do not pay tax on any gain or deduct any loss until you sell or dispose of the property you receive. To be nontaxable, a trade must meet all six of the following conditions.
- The property must be business or investment property. You must hold both the property you trade and the property you receive for productive use in your trade or business or for investment. Neither property may be property used for personal purposes, such as your home or family car.
- The property must not be held primarily for sale. The property you trade and the property you receive must not be property you sell to customers, such as merchandise.
- The property must not be stocks, bonds, notes, choses in action, certificates of trust or beneficial interest, or other securities or evidences of indebtedness or interest, including partnership interests. However, see Special rules for mutual ditch, reservoir, or irrigation company stock, later. Also, you can have a nontaxable trade of corporate stocks under a different rule, as discussed later under Corporate Stocks.
- There must be a trade of like property. The trade of real estate for real estate, or personal property for similar personal property, is a trade of like property. The trade of an apartment house for a store building, or a panel truck for a pickup truck, is a trade of like property. The trade of a piece of machinery for a store building is not a trade of like property. Real property located in the United States and real property located outside the United States are not like property. Also, personal property used predominantly within the United States and personal property used predominantly outside the United States are not like property.
- The property to be received must be identified in writing within 45 days after the date you transfer the property given up in the trade. If you received the replacement property before the end of the 45-day period, you automatically are treated as having met the 45-day written notice requirement.
- The property to be received must be received by the earlier of:
- The 180th day after the date on which you transfer the property given up in the trade, or
- The due date, including extensions, for your tax return for the year in which the transfer of the property given up occurs.
If you trade property with a related party in a like-kind exchange, a special rule may apply. See Related Party Transactions
, later in this chapter. Also, see chapter 1 of Publication 544 for more information on exchanges of business property and special rules for exchanges using qualified intermediaries or involving multiple properties.
If you receive money or unlike property in addition to the like property, and the preceding six conditions are met, you have a partly nontaxable trade. You are taxed on any gain you realize, but only up to the amount of the money and the fair market value of the unlike property you receive. You cannot deduct a loss. taxmap/pubs/p550-023.htm#en_us_publink100010439
If you give up unlike property in addition to the like property, you must recognize gain or loss on the unlike property you give up. The gain or loss is the difference between the adjusted basis of the unlike property and its fair market value. taxmap/pubs/p550-023.htm#en_us_publink100010440
If conditions (1) – (6) are met, you have a nontaxable trade even if you pay money in addition to the like property. taxmap/pubs/p550-023.htm#en_us_publink100010441
You figure your basis in property received in a nontaxable or partly nontaxable trade as explained under Basis Other Than Cost
For purposes of item 3 above, stock does not include shares in a mutual ditch, reservoir, or irrigation company if all of the following conditions are met at the time of the trade.
- The mutual ditch, reservoir, or irrigation company is an organization described in section 501(c)(12)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code (determined without regard to the percentage of its income that is collected from its members for the purpose of meeting losses and expenses).
- The shares in the company have been recognized by the highest court of the state in which the company was organized or by applicable state statute as constituting or representing real property or an interest in real property.
- The trade occurred after May 22, 2008.
You must report the trade of like property on Form 8824. If you figure a recognized gain or loss on Form 8824, report it on Schedule D (Form 1040) or on Form 4797, Sales of Business Property, whichever applies.
For information on using Form 4797, see chapter 4 of Publication 544.taxmap/pubs/p550-023.htm#en_us_publink100010443
The following trades of corporate stocks generally do not result in a taxable gain or a deductible loss.taxmap/pubs/p550-023.htm#en_us_publink100010444
In some instances, a company will give you common stock for preferred stock, preferred stock for common stock, or stock in one corporation for stock in another corporation. If this is a result of a merger, recapitalization, transfer to a controlled corporation, bankruptcy, corporate division, corporate acquisition, or other corporate reorganization, you do not recognize gain or loss. taxmap/pubs/p550-023.htm#en_us_publink100010445
On April 18, 2008, KP1 Corporation was acquired by KP2 Corporation. You held 100 shares of KP1 stock with a basis of $3,500. As a result of the acquisition, you received 70 shares of KP2 stock in exchange for your KP1 stock. You do not recognize gain or loss on the transaction. Your basis in the 70 shares of the new stock is still $3,500.taxmap/pubs/p550-023.htm#en_us_publink100010446
On July 25, 2008, RGB Corporation divests itself of SFH Corporation. You hold 75 shares of RGB stock with a basis of $5,400. You receive 25 shares of SFH stock as a result of the spin-off. You do not recognize any gain or loss on the transaction. You receive information from RGB Corporation that your basis in SFH stock is equal to 10.9624% of your basis in RGB stock ($5,400). Thus, your basis in SFH stock is $592.00. Your basis in RGB stock (after the spin-off) is $4,808 ($5,400 – $592).
In the case of a spin-off, the divesting corporation should send you information that includes details on how to allocate basis between the old and new stock. Keep this information until the period of limitations expires for the year in which you dispose of the stock in a taxable disposition. Usually, this is 3 years from the date the return was due or filed, or 2 years from the date the tax was paid, whichever is later.
You can exchange common stock for common stock or preferred stock for preferred stock in the same corporation without having a recognized gain or loss. This is true for a trade between two stockholders as well as a trade between a stockholder and the corporation.
If you receive cash for fractional shares, see Fractional shares
under Distributions of stock and stock rights
in chapter 1.
If in an otherwise nontaxable trade you receive money or other property in addition to stock, then your gain on the trade, if any, is taxed, but only up to the amount of the money or other property. Any loss is not recognized.
If you received cash for fractional shares, see Fractional shares
under Distributions of Stock and Stock Rights
in chapter 1.
Nonqualified preferred stock is generally treated as property other than stock. Generally, this applies to preferred stock with one or more of the following features.
- The holder has the right to require the issuer or a related person to redeem or purchase the stock.
- The issuer or a related person is required to redeem or purchase the stock.
- The issuer or a related person has the right to redeem the stock, and on the issue date, it is more likely than not that the right will be exercised.
- The dividend rate on the stock varies with reference to interest rates, commodity prices, or similar indices.
For a detailed definition of nonqualified preferred stock, see section 351(g)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code.
You generally will not have a recognized gain or loss if you convert bonds into stock or preferred stock into common stock of the same corporation according to a conversion privilege in the terms of the bond or the preferred stock certificate. taxmap/pubs/p550-023.htm#en_us_publink100010452
In November, you bought for $1 a right issued by XYZ Corporation entitling you, on payment of $99, to subscribe to a bond issued by that corporation.
On December 2, you subscribed to the bond, which was issued on December 9. The bond contained a clause stating that you would receive one share of XYZ Corporation common stock on surrender of one bond and the payment of $50.
Later, you presented the bond and $50 and received one share of XYZ Corporation common stock. You did not have a recognized gain or loss. This is true whether the fair market value of the stock was more or less than $150 on the date of the conversion.
The basis of your share of stock is $150 ($1 + $99 + $50). Your holding period is split. Your holding period for the part based on your ownership of the bond ($100 basis) begins on December 2. Your holding period for the part based on your cash investment ($50 basis) begins on the day after you acquired the share of stock. taxmap/pubs/p550-023.htm#en_us_publink100010453
Generally, if you convert the bonds of one corporation into common stock of another corporation, according to the terms of the bond issue, you must recognize gain or loss up to the difference between the fair market value of the stock received and the adjusted basis of the bonds exchanged. In some instances, however, such as trades that are part of mergers or other corporate reorganizations, you will have no recognized gain or loss if certain requirements are met. For more information about the tax consequences of converting securities of one corporation into common stock of another corporation, under circumstances such as those just described, consult the respective corporations and the terms of the bond issue. This information is also available on the prospectus of the bond issue. taxmap/pubs/p550-023.htm#en_us_publink100010454
If you transfer property to a corporation solely in exchange for stock in that corporation, and immediately after the trade you are in control of the corporation, you ordinarily will not recognize a gain or loss. This rule applies both to individuals and to groups who transfer property to a corporation. It does not apply if the corporation is an investment company.
If you are in a bankruptcy or a similar proceeding and you transfer property to a controlled corporation under a plan, other than a reorganization, you must recognize gain to the extent the stock you receive in the exchange is used to pay off your debts.
For this purpose, to be in control of a corporation, you or your group of transferors must own, immediately after the exchange, at least 80% of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock entitled to vote and at least 80% of the outstanding shares of each class of nonvoting stock of the corporation.
If this provision applies to you, you may have to attach to your return a complete statement of all facts pertinent to the exchange. For details, see Regulations section 1.351-3.taxmap/pubs/p550-023.htm#en_us_publink100010455
If, in an otherwise nontaxable trade of property for corporate stock, you also receive money or property other than stock, you may have a taxable gain. However, you are taxed only up to the amount of money plus the fair market value of the other property you receive. The rules for figuring taxable gain in this situation generally follow those for a partly nontaxable exchange discussed earlier under Like-Kind Exchanges
. If the property you give up includes depreciable property, the taxable gain may have to be reported as ordinary income because of depreciation. (See chapter 3 of Publication 544.) No loss is recognized.
Nonqualified preferred stock (described earlier under Stock for stock of the same corporation) received is generally treated as property other than stock. taxmap/pubs/p550-023.htm#en_us_publink100010456
The basis of the stock you receive is generally the adjusted basis of the property you transfer. Increase this amount by any amount that was treated as a dividend, plus any gain recognized on the trade. Decrease this amount by any cash you received and the fair market value of any other property you received.
The basis of any other property you receive is its fair market value on the date of the trade. taxmap/pubs/p550-023.htm#en_us_publink100010458
You will not have a recognized gain or loss if the insured or annuitant is the same under both contracts and you trade:
- A life insurance contract for another life insurance contract or for an endowment or annuity contract,
- An endowment contract for an annuity contract or for another endowment contract that provides for regular payments beginning at a date not later than the beginning date under the old contract, or
- An annuity contract for another annuity contract.
You also may not have to recognize gain or loss from an exchange of a portion of an annuity contract for another annuity contract. See Revenue Ruling 2003-76 and Notice 2003-51 in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2003-33. Revenue Ruling 2003-76 is available at www.irs.gov/irb/2003-33_IRB/ar11.html
. Notice 2003-51 is available at www.irs.gov/irb/2003-33_IRB/ar14.html
Exchanges of contracts not included in this list, such as an annuity contract for an endowment contract, or an annuity or endowment contract for a life insurance contract, are taxable. taxmap/pubs/p550-023.htm#en_us_publink100010459
A life insurance company may change from a mutual company to a stock company. This is commonly called demutualization. If you were a policyholder or annuitant of the mutual company, you may have received either stock in the stock company or cash in exchange for your equity interest in the mutual company.
If the demutualization transaction qualifies as a tax-free reorganization under section 368(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code, no gain or loss is recognized on the exchange. Your holding period for the new stock includes the period you held an equity interest in the mutual company as a policyholder or annuitant.
If the demutualization transaction does not qualify as a tax-free reorganization under section 368(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code, you must recognize a capital gain or loss. Your holding period for the stock does not include the period you held an equity interest in the mutual company.
If you received cash in exchange for your equity interest, you must recognize a capital gain. If you held an equity interest for more than 1 year, your gain is long term.taxmap/pubs/p550-023.htm#en_us_publink100010460
You can trade certain issues of U.S. Treasury obligations for other issues, designated by the Secretary of the Treasury, with no gain or loss recognized on the trade.