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What is an involuntary property conversion?

An involuntary conversion occurs when a taxpayer’s property is destroyed, stolen, condemned, or disposed of under the thread of condemnation and you receive other property or money in payment, such as insurance or a condemnation award. Involuntary conversions are also called involuntary exchanges. Nonrecognition treatment is offered for involuntary conversions assuming that the taxpayer will reinvest reimbursement proceeds and that it will restore them to the position they were in had the event never occurred.

Gain or loss from an involuntary conversion of your property is usually recognized for tax purposes unless the property is your main home. You report the gain or deduct the loss on your tax return for the year you realize it. (You cannot deduct a loss from an involuntary conversion of property you held for personal use unless the loss resulted from a casualty or theft.)

However, depending on the type of property you receive, you may not have to report a gain on an involuntary conversion. You do not report the gain if you receive property that is similar or related in service or use to the converted property. Your basis for the new property is the same as your basis for the converted property. The gain on the involuntary conversion is deferred until a taxable sale or exchange occurs.


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