In a 1031 Exchange, the main services come from a qualified intermediary (QI), also known by names like facilitator or accommodator. The services are offered on fee-for-service basis. The services from the QI include paperwork, oversight, escrow services and making a bona-fide exchange agreement under section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code.
For Deferred Exchange treatment, the IRS and the Treasury Department have very rigid requirements. Therefore, to pass these requirements, the services from an experienced professional are essential.
To get the services right, it is essential to ascertain the credentials of the service provider before hiring. In a 1031 Exchange, physical possession or receipt of the money resulting from sale of the property is not allowed, and money is held by the QI only. Therefore, his credibility in terms of bonding, background, reputation and financial strength of are crucial.
The QI is supposed to put the exchange fees in a separate account for the taxpayer, and not commingle that money with any other exchange.
There are several private agencies that maintain a database of qualified intermediaries across the United States. They can be of use in selecting the right intermediary with a good reputation, high level of bonding, competitive fee schedule, financial strength, expertise and integrity.
In the exchange process, the quality of the services is marked by speed, accuracy and safety. A good QI will have concern for the safety of the client’s funds. Through unique exchange accounts he can ensure that the funds cannot be deposited or withdrawn without signatures from both the exchanger and the company. Many taxpayers had the bitter experience of exchange funds misused by unscrupulous intermediaries. Every aspect of the exchange has to be managed according to the IRS rules and regulations.
The build-to-suit exchange is now becoming popular, where the QI is a major player. Also called construction or improvement exchange, this variant has the QI himself acquiring fee ownership of the replacement property and making improvements to it.
After the necessary improvements are done, within the exchange period of 180 days, the ownership is then transferred to the Exchanger.
This new variant of the exchange gives the investors a high degree of flexibility and the opportunity to improve upon an existing property or construct a new replacement property itself. Thus, the range of services provided by the QI and associates are unlimited from the word go.