Roundtable Weekly
House Republicans Urge Biden Administration to Preserve Like-Kind Exchanges
August 6, 2021

A group of 88 House Republicans, led by Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-IA), above, sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Aug. 3 urging him “not to damage the livelihood of farmers everywhere by repealing or changing like-kind exchanges.” ( Coalition letter and Feenstra news release)

Agriculture Sector Impact 

  • Like-kind exchanges (LKEs) allow real estate, farming, and other businesses to defer capital gain when exchanging real property used in a trade or business for property of a like kind. Like-kind exchanges also help businesses to grow organically, with less debt, by reinvesting gains on a tax-deferred basis in new and productive assets.
  • President Biden has proposed restricting the use of LKEs by limiting deferred gain in any one year to no more than $500,000 for single taxpayers and $1 million for married taxpayers. (Treasury Department’s Summary of Revenue Proposals, “Green Book” budget documents, and Roundtable WeeklyApril 30)
  • The coalition of House policymakers emphasized in their Aug. 3 letter how LKEs allow farmers and other small business owners to improve their operations and invest in better income-producing properties. The letter noted that four out of five individuals who utilize these tax deferments are qualified as small investors by the IRS.
  • The letter stated, “For the agricultural community, a cap on like-kind exchanges would limit farmers' ability to improve their operations through combining acreage, purchasing more productive land, and mitigating environmental impacts. Further, capping like­kind exchanges could make it more difficult to restructure businesses so that young or beginning farmers can join operations. Retiring farmers could be prevented from using like-kind exchanges to exchange their farm or ranch for other real estate, allowing for the next generation to take over, without depleting their life savings.”
  • The 88 policymakers also commented how the negative impact of the administration’s LKE proposal would radiate outward from individual farm owners and agricultural investors into the larger agricultural sector and the national economy at large. 

Roundtable’s Strong Support for LKEs 

  • On May 27, a broad business coalition that included The Real Estate Roundtable held a virtual briefing for members of Congress and their staff on the longstanding economic importance of LKEs – and detailed the potential negative unintended consequences of limiting section 1031. (Roundtable Weekly, May 28)
  • The briefing, moderated by Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer, included expert speakers and featured recent research into the macro-economic impact of LKEs. (See “The Tax and Economic Impacts of Section 1031 Like-Kind Exchanges in Real Estate” by Professor Milena Petrova and Dr. David Ling)
  • On May 18, The Roundtable and others submitted detailed comments to the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees on like-kind exchanges and other pending tax issues. (Roundtable Weekly, May 21).  Additionally, in March, The Roundtable and 30 national real estate, housing, environmental, farming, ranching, and forestry organizations wrote to key policymakers to underscore the vital importance of real estate like-kind exchanges. (Roundtable Weekly, March 19)

The coalition “1031 Builds America” provides an online method for stakeholders to share their experiences with LKEs with members of Congress, and urge them to preserve Section 1031. 

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