One of the most effective tax-saving tools, a like-kind tax-deferred exchange, is finally gaining widespread attention in the construction industry. Construction equipment is largely, if not entirely, depreciated by the time you replace it. But since the equipment retains significant market value, its sale often results in current-year taxable income, even if you sell the equipment at a loss. By using a like-kind exchange, you can defer those taxes for years and use the cash to help purchase replacement equipment. You don't have to purchase the new equipment from the buyer of your old equipment, and the two transactions can occur up to 180 days apart.

Like-kind exchanges aren't tax-free; they are merely tax-deferred. But you can pay the taxes over the multiyear tax-life of the new equipment rather than upfront, improving your cash flow and resulting in present-value savings.