This is a common question when it comes to 1031 exchanges. The short answer is no, you cannot 1031 exchange stocks and use the proceeds to purchase real estate.
1031 Exchanges are for Real Estate Alone
1031 is only for real estate exchanges. You cannot do a 1031 exchange with stocks. You could, however, use the new qualified opportunity zone legislation that was passed as part the tax reform (and not simplification) to reinvest those stock gains in a opportunity zone fund. Deferral is only until 12-31-2026, but up to 15% of those gains may be forgiven if you hold the investment for seven years (10% for the first 5 + 5 % for the next 2) before 12-31-2026. With that in mind, you ideally need to invest within 2019 and then the gain on the appreciation on the investment within the opportunity zone fund is excluded if you hold for at least a total of 10 years and sell before 2047.
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