admin / January 25, 2019
A qualified intermediary is an independent agent that facilitates an exchange. The taxpayer’s attorney or accountant cannot be a qualified intermediary. Most intermediaries are affiliated with banks, trust companies or title companies. Using a qualified intermediary is one way of “safe harboring” an exchange. Essentially, the qualified intermediary takes an assignment of rights in the sale contract for the old property and the purchase contract for the new property. These are simple documents that the attorney fills out, along with a basic exchange agreement with the intermediary. Through these three documents, the intermediary is brought into the exchange and, subject to compliance with the timing rules discussed below, the transaction can qualify as an exchange rather than a taxable sale.
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