The IRS is Strict on Timing Deadlines
The saying says, “Time waits for no one,” and the IRS takes it seriously when approving a 1031 exchange. Strict timing requirements are explicit in the tax code for Section 1031 like-kind exchanges. Three events are primary considerations for your 1031 success:
- A 1031 exchange must be initiated with the Qualified Intermediary (QI) before the first property closes. 1031 CORP. serves as the QI.
- Exchangers must identify replacement properties by midnight of the 45th day.
- An exchange must be completed by the 180-day deadline, closed on all replacement properties.
All three of these timing requirements must be met or an exchange will fail.
Most importantly, and as many potential first-time exchangers lament, the exchange must be initiated before closing on either the relinquished property, or in the case of reverse exchanges, the first replacement property. While the 1031 CORP. Exchange Team recommends an exchanger is at an advantage with plenty of lead time, a call to 1031 CORP. from the closing table is an acceptable start. Without this action, an exchange cannot proceed.
On the 45th day after closing on the relinquished property, the exchanger must identify potential replacement properties to the QI. The law allows an exchanger to purchase only these identified properties—closing on one or any of those properties identified. While not required, 1031 CORP. Exchange Team members recommend you get the replacement property under contract during the 45-Day Identification Period, especially if the market is tight.
The replacement property must close, transferring legal ownership of all replacement property to the exchanger, by the 180-Day Exchange Period deadline. This concludes the exchange. If an exchanger has identified more than three replacement properties, the total value of those properties cannot exceed 200 percent of the value of the relinquished property.
On rare occasions, exceptions can apply. The IRS dictates extended time periods in federally declared disaster areas, historically 120 days, although extensions can vary. The disaster extensions apply to affected disaster areas—counties where the property is located or the county in which the exchanger, or affected taxpayer, is located. These extensions can apply to both the 45-Day Identification Period and the 180-Day Exchange Period.
Why is closing on “the first property” rather than “the relinquished property” an important distinction? Reverse exchanges, where the replacement property is purchased by the QI before the relinquished property is sold, must follow the same timing requirements—only in a different order. Exchangers should start the exchange before closing on the purchase of the first replacement property. The deadline to identify replacement property still applies, although meeting it is easier. If the exchanger is purchasing more than one replacement property, those properties must also be identified within the window. The relinquished property must be sold, and all replacement properties purchased—with completed closing documents—by the 180th day from the purchase of the first replacement property.
Reporting your exchange also has timing considerations. With exchanges that fall over two tax years, exchangers must file tax extensions in the first year. Tax professionals can help with these requirements.
As always, consult your tax advisor to discuss your individual circumstances, and then mark up your calendar!