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Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain


Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain refers to a type of depreciation-recapture income that is realized on the sale of depreciable real estate. It specifically applies to the portion of gains that are accrued when selling depreciable real property that has been depreciated using straight-line method. This gain is taxed at a maximum rate of 25%, rather than the usual capital gains rate.


The phonetics for “Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain” would be:[ʌnriːˈkæptʃərd ˈsekʃən ˌtwɛlvˈfɪfti geɪn]

Key Takeaways

Here are three main takeaways about Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain:

  1. Definition: Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain relates to tax implications on real estate property depreciation. It refers to the gains that real estate investors realize when selling properties that had previously benefited from depreciation deductions.
  2. Tax Treatment: Compared to other long-term capital gains, Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain is typically taxed at a higher rate, currently at 25%. This unique tax treatment aims to recapture the benefit gained from depreciation deductions over the years.
  3. Circumstances: Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain only comes into play when the selling price of the property is higher than its adjusted tax basis (generally, the original purchase price plus any improvements and less any depreciation). It doesn’t affect property owners who sell at a loss or no gain.


Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain is a significant term in business/finance because it relates to tax implications on the sale of depreciable real estate property. This term accounts for the difference when a property, which has experienced depreciation over time, is sold for more than its depreciated value. Any gains from such a sale are subject to a maximum 25% tax rate, as opposed to the 15% or 20% long-term capital gain rate, which could potentially lead to higher tax liabilities. Therefore, understanding Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain is crucial for accurately estimating tax obligations and making informed investment decisions in the real estate market.


Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain serves a significant role within the field of finance and business, primarily relating to the handling of property-related taxation. In essence, this financial term is used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to categorize a particular type of income or gain, which can arise from the sale or disposition of depreciable real estate property. The purpose of this classification is to ensure that profits tied to real estate depreciation are taxed accordingly, and are not fully offset through deductions aimed at incentivizing property investments.The Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain is used to determine the tax rate applicable to the part of the gain related to depreciation that exceeds straight-line depreciation on the disposed property; effectively, this ensures that a percentage of the tax benefits obtained during the depreciation period are recaptured at the time of property sale. It plays an important role in maintaining tax equity and fairness, by ensuring that the IRS recoups some of the value of the depreciation deductions that have granted to real estate owners. This gain is thus a pivotal component of the IRS’s mechanism for maintaining balance in the tax liabilities of property owners.


Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain refers to a type of depreciation-recapture income that is realized on the sale of depreciable real estate. Here are three real-world examples:1. Property Developer Sale: A property developer who purchased commercial land for $1 million and depreciated $200,000 over the years sells the property for $1.5 million. The taxable gain on the sale would equal $700,000, from which $200,000 is unrecaptured section 1250 gain and is taxed at a maximum rate of 25%, rather than the typical capital gains rate.2. Rental Property Sale: An individual who purchased a residential rental property for $300,000 and claimed $75,000 of depreciation deductions over time, sold the property for $500,000. The gain on the sale is $275,000, of which $75,000 would be Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain, taxed at a rate of up to 25%.3. Real Estate Firm Sale: A real estate firm purchased a piece of property for $10 million and applied $2 million in depreciation deductions. They later sold it for $15 million. The firm would have $7 million in gain on the sale, $2 million of which is Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain. This gain would be subject to a maximum 25% tax rate as opposed to the standard capital gains rate.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain?

Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain is a type of depreciation-recapture income that is realized on the sale of depreciable real estate. It refers to the portion of the gains that are taxed as ordinary income, not capital gains.

What triggers an Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain?

It occurs when a real estate property, which was previous subject to depreciation, is sold at a gain. The amount of gain up to the amount of previous depreciation taken is considered an Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain.

How is Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain reported?

It is reported on IRS Form 4797 and then summarized on Schedule D of the tax return.

How is the Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain taxed?

The gain is taxed at a maximum rate of 25%, which is generally higher than typical long-term capital gain tax rates.

Can an Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain be avoided?

Yes, one of the ways to avoid this gain is through a like-kind exchange, also known as a 1031 exchange. This allows you to defer all capital gain taxes by reinvesting the proceeds from the sale into a similar type of property.

Does Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain apply to all real state properties?

No, it particularly applies to properties that have been depreciated using the straight-line method under IRS Section 1250.

Are there any deductions available to reduce Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain?

No direct deductions are available to reduce Unrecaptured Section 1250 gain. Its calculation is standard and reflects the amount of depreciation previously taken on the property. However, the associated tax implications can be mitigated through various real estate and tax strategies.

Do I need professional help to calculate my Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain?

While it’s not required, it often helps to seek the guidance of a tax professional. They can provide expertise and insight, ensuring this complex area of tax law is properly addressed.

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