Internal Revenue Service announced the official estate and gift tax limits for 2019: The estate and gift tax exemption is
$11.4 million per individual, up from $11.18 million in 2018.
exchanges now limited to real property
Effective Jan. 1, 2018, exchanges of personal or intangible
property such as machinery, equipment, vehicles, artwork, collectibles, patents, and other intellectual property generally
do not qualify for nonrecognition of gain or loss as like-kind exchanges. However, certain exchanges of mutual ditch, reservoir
or irrigation stock are still eligible.
Like-kind exchange treatment now applies only to exchanges of real property
that is held for use in a trade or business or for investment. Real property, also called real estate, includes land and generally
anything built on or attached to it. An exchange of real property held primarily for sale still does not qualify as a like-kind
A transition rule in the new law allows like-kind treatment for some exchanges of personal or intangible
property. If the taxpayer disposed of the personal or intangible property on or before Dec. 31, 2017, or received replacement
property on or before that date, the exchange may qualify for like-kind exchange treatment.
Properties are of
like-kind if they're of the same nature or character, even if they differ in grade or quality. Improved real property is generally
of like-kind to unimproved real property. For example, an apartment building would generally be of like-kind to unimproved
land. However, real property in the United States is not of like-kind to real property outside the U.S.
can immediately expense more under the new law
A taxpayer may elect to expense the cost of any §179 property
and deduct it in the year the property is placed in service. The new law increased the maximum deduction from $500,000
to $1million. It also increased the phase-oput threshold from $2 million to $2.5 million.