Delaware Statutory Trusts (DSTs) allow owners of real estate to sell their investment real estate and potentially defer capital gains taxes. DSTs are derived from Delaware Statutory law as a separate legal entity and formed as private governing agreements for the purposes of managing, administering, investing, and/or operating real, tangible, and intangible property; or business or professional activities for profit that are carried on by one or more individuals who act as trustees for the benefit of a party who is entitled to a beneficial interest in the trust property.
Though Delaware Statutory Trusts are not new, in 2004 the IRS came out with an official Revenue Ruling detailing how a DST could be structured in such a way that it would qualify as a property replacement vehicle for 1031 Exchanges. Well known to real estate investors, a 1031 like-kind exchange allows you to defer the capital gains tax on the sale of investment property by reinvesting the proceeds into a similar qualifying property.
As a result DSTs have become an investment vehicle for investors who want the benefits of owning real estate without becoming a “landlord”, as well as current real estate investors who no longer want the responsibilities of being a landlord.
HOW DO THEY WORK
A property is identified and acquired under a DST by a sponsoring real estate investment firm. The same firm, also acting in the capacity as the master tenant, opens up the trust for potential investors to purchase a beneficial interest. In this realm an accredited investor would have an opportunity to own a beneficial interest in a property that would normally be out of reach to them from an investment standpoint. Additionally, they would also benefit from a professionally managed property without any of the associated landlord responsibilities.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A DST
- Receive passive income from real estate minus the work
- Own shares of major commercial real estate properties that currently produce income
- Cash out the equity on your highly appreciated property into an income producing property AND potentially defer your capital gains with a 1031 exchange
- Get the benefits of real estate ownership and income without the stress and hassles of property management
- Create an easily dividable asset for your heirs
Do you own highly appreciated investment property?
- Many people who own highly appreciated investment property feel trapped from cashing out due to the high tax bills they face on their gains. A DST qualifies as a 1031 like-kind exchange. That means you may be able to defer your tax bill AND still be invested in an income producing property without any property management responsibilities.
Are you interested in investing in income producing properties?
- If suitable in light of your other holdings and risk tolerance, a DST can be a great addition to your portfolio whether you are a seasoned real estate investor or new to investing in real estate. The sponsoring firms make it easy to choose from a portfolio of properties to find one that best suits your investment strategy. There are also opportunities to invest in properties that are currently producing income.
Are you a current landlord tired of the responsibilities and dealing with the Terrible Ts?
- A DST can be a great way to enjoy the benefits of real estate ownership without dealing with the Terrible Ts of being a landlord: Tenants, Trash, and Toilets. As an investor in a DST, you are not responsible for the property management. In fact, many of the properties have professional property management companies already in place so you no longer need to be involved in the upkeep and maintenance.
Are you looking for an easily divisible asset to leave your heirs?
- Owning property can be a wonderful investment but challenging to split up amongst loved ones. A DST is a real estate investment where you buy a fractional ownership interest that can be easily divided amongst your heirs avoiding potential family squabbles.
Did you just sell your highly appreciated investment property and can’t find a like-kind replacement?
- A DST qualifies as a like-kind 1031 exchange, so if you have sold your property and are almost out of time to find a suitable replacement, you can invest in a DST and defer your taxes on the gains. When it comes to investing in real estate, finding the right property is crucial. Don’t rush into it just because you may be running out of time. Invest in an income producing property that qualifies as a 1031 like-kind exchange.
What would be a reason not to do a DST?
- Liquidity – You are not in control of the decision as to when the assets will be sold. If you need liquidity in less than 10 years from your real estate investments, The DST may not be a good alternative for you. Many investors however wish to keep their 1031 exchanges going until there is eventually a step up in basis. Also, you may not be ready to retire from building your real estate empire. For instance, if you are younger and a successful real estate developer, you may have a much higher potential investment return continuing your building of real estate equity as an active investor rather than as a passive investor using the DST.