If you’re a farmer or land owner and you’re approached by a government entity to grant a permanent conservation easement in exchange for a huge windfall of cash you may be scratching your head thinking “what am I going to do with this big windfall of cash? I’m going to have to pay a lot of it out in taxes.”
1031 Permanent Conservation Easement
The interesting thing is that a permanent conservation easement is eligible as a 1031 relinquished property. Now the trick is that at the very beginning of these negotiations you want to tell the government entity that you’re doing a 1031 exchange and you want to make sure that the proceeds – the check that’s going to be issued – is not given to you, but instead is given to the qualified intermediary.
Whenever you’re working with a bureaucratic governmental entity it helps to start early and to say it often that you’re doing an exchange and that there’s going to be a little bit different payment method here. Often, if you try to raise this at the eleventh hour and change the plans it can be difficult to get the governmental entity to come into alignment with what you want to do for the exchange.
Start Early & Notify
So start early, notify them early, and let them know where you want your proceeds to be sent. The whole idea in a 1031 exchange is to insulate the seller from receiving the proceeds and to have those monies instead go to the qualified intermediary so they can be earmarked to purchase new replacement property that will qualify for your 1031 tax deferral.