Bloomberg Tax
Jan. 13, 2023, 2:00 PM

Spotlight on Real Estate Tax Exchange Specialist Max Hansen

Rebecca Baker
Rebecca Baker

Our Spotlight series highlights the careers and lives of tax professionals across the globe. This week’s Spotlight is on Max Hansen, managing director of Accruit, a service provider of 1031 exchanges, a real estate investing tool.

Hansen, a Montana native, joined Accruit in 2018 after 27 years as president and CEO of American Equity Exchange. He has helped taxpayers and real estate professionals complete 1031 exchanges for over 40 years as both an attorney and certified exchange specialist. Hansen serves on the government affairs committee of the Federation of Exchange Accommodators and remains active in the Montana Bar Association. He is also a past president of both of those groups.

When he gets a taste for something sweet, you may find Hansen enjoying a Dr Pepper, a Mountain Dew, or some vanilla bean ice cream with chocolate syrup. You also may find him daydreaming about being a cowboy “who gets Sundays, snow days, and occasional holidays off.”

What’s your official title and what does it mean? Managing director of Accruit. I am responsible first and foremost for assisting clients in their exchange process; I answer questions and work through strategy with them to ensure their 1031 exchange is properly set up in a way that will reap the most benefits for them. Additionally, I help train Accruit employees, assist in marketing initiatives, support the sales team in their endeavors, and generally promote and protect the best interests of the company.

Free time: book, audiobook, or podcast? If I have any free time, I may enjoy a book. However, given a choice between reading and other hobbies, I enjoy being outdoors and exercising, working with horses and other animals, and spending time with my wife and our family.

Tax is a huge subject. What’s your area of special interest? My specialty is 1031 exchanges and the various Internal Revenue Code sections that interrelate with Section 1031.

What’s the last movie or show that you watched and loved (DVD, Netflix, or in the theater)? It’s a toss-up: “Pig” starring Nicolas Cage as a serious study, and for comedy, “Masterminds” with Zach Galifianakis, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson, and other talented comedians.

What college did you attend and what did you study? For my undergraduate degree, I attended and graduated from Carroll College in Helena, Mont., where I majored in political science and minored in economics and French. I went on to graduate from the University of San Diego School of Law.

Go to pick-me-up: Coffee or tea? Neither—water, Mountain Dew, or Dr Pepper.

What’s the best tax or financial advice that anyone ever gave you? The best general financial advice given to me by my dad was to never spend more than you make. Some great insight I received specific to 1031 exchanges is the committee commentary to the legislative enactment of the precursor to Section 1031 outlining the sound tax policy for the section. That sound tax policy is the reason Section 1031 has survived for more than 100 years. Departing from that sound policy by attempting to repeal or limit the use of the provision would be a drastic mistake for every hard-working taxpayer and the US economy as a whole.

If you weren’t working in the tax profession, what would your dream job be? My dream job outside the 1031 exchange industry would be a cowboy who gets Sundays, snow days, and occasional holidays off.

If you had the opportunity to make one change in the tax world—an extra credit, a disallowed deduction, whatever—what would it be? It would be to assure no alteration of 1031 exchanges—ever! I would get Congress to pass legislation that would bar any future legislation or executive action to repeal, limit, or otherwise tinker with Section 1031 of the tax code.

Favorite food, snack, or candy during tax season or other busy time? Vanilla bean ice cream with chocolate syrup.

What tax news or move made the most impact on your practice or clients this past year? The potential for repeal or limitation of Section 1031 as a revenue raiser to fund the Build Back Better bill had the largest impact on the 1031 exchange industry over the past year in terms of increased volume. We at Accruit, along with the FEA and the rest of the 1031 Coalition, rallied to protect 1031 exchanges from the proposed changes and, due to the positive impact 1031 exchanges have on the economy as a whole, we were successful!

If you received a big tax refund check right now, what would you do with it? I would buy gold, a good horse, and a decent saddle.

You can learn more about Hansen on LinkedIn.

You can find out more about Hansen’s company, Accruit, on its website.

If you’d like to recommend a tax pro to be featured, send your suggestion to with the subject: Spotlight. Please include the following information: tax professional’s name, title, email address, and geographic area (city/state/country).

To contact the reporter on this story: Rebecca Baker in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Melanie Cohen at

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