The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed last December limited the types of property that can be used for like-kind exchanges. Exchanges of personal or intangible property such as machinery, equipment, vehicles, artwork, collectibles, patents and other intellectual property generally don’t qualify for nonrecognition of gain or loss as like-kind exchanges under the new law.
Like-kind exchange tax treatment now applies only to exchanges of real property that’s 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 doesn’t qualify as a like-kind exchange.