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J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax 2013: For Preparing Your 2012 Tax Return by J.K. Lasser Institute

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18.22 Time Period for Buying Replacement Property

To defer tax, you generally must buy property similar or related in use (18.23) to the converted property within a fixed time period. The replacement period is either two, three, four, or five years:

1. A two-year replacement period applies for destroyed, damaged, or stolen property, whether used for business, investment, or personal purposes, but there is a four-year period for principal residences in federally declared disaster areas (18.3). The two-year period for damaged, destroyed, and stolen property starts on the date the property was destroyed, damaged, or stolen, and ends two years after the end of the first year in which any part of your gain is realized. A two-year period also applies to a condemned residence.
2. A three-year replacement period applies for condemned business or investment real estate, excluding inventory. However, the two-year and not the three-year period applies if the condemned business or investment real estate is replaced by your acquiring control of a corporation that owns the replacement property.
3. A four-year replacement period applies for a principal residence or its contents involuntarily converted as a result of a federally declared disaster (18.3). The four-year replacement period starts on the date the residence is involuntarily converted and ends four years after the end of the first taxable year in which any part of the gain is realized.
4. A five-year replacement period applies for ...

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