If your 1031 exchange began in late 2019, you may need to file for an extension of your tax deadline. This is because the normal exchange period of 180 days will be shortened to your tax filing day (April 15th with out an extension) if your surrendered property closed between October 19th and December 31st, 2019. Therefore, it is important to remember to file for an extension in order to protect your complete 180-day 1031 exchange period.
Why does this happen? The regulations outlined in Section 1031 state, “The exchange period begins on the date the taxpayer transfers the relinquished property and ends at midnight on the earlier of the 180th day thereafter or the due date (including extensions) for the taxpayer’s return of tax imposed by chapter 1 of subtitle A of the Code for the taxable year in which the transfer of the relinquished property occurs.”
To explain this a little better, your normal 180-day exchange period can be reduced if you began your 1031 exchange after October 19th, 2019. If you are unable to purchase a like-kind replacement property before the deadline of April 15th, you should consider filing a tax extension in order to allow yourself the full 180 days.
How this Works
For example, Mr. Jones sells Vista Apartment Complex as part of a 1031 Exchange on November 26, 2019. Although the 180th day after this sale of his relinquished property is May 24, 2020 – his tax filing deadline occurs before this and automatically becomes his 1031 Exchange deadline as well. By filing an extension to his tax return, Mr. Jones can extend both his tax filing deadline and revert his 1031 Exchange deadline to the full 180-day exchange period.
Therefore, if your relinquished property closed between October 19th and December 31st, 2019, it’s important to file for an extension on or by April 15th, 2020. This will ensure you don’t lose out on your full 180-day 1031 exchange period.
To determine if the exchange you initiated in 2019 has a 180 day deadline after April 15th, use my 1031 exchange deadline calculator at The 1031 Investor.
To get more information about how to file for an extension, check out the IRS website for complete instructions.
If you have several different investment properties, it may be beneficial for you to sell them and invest in a larger property with a consolidation 1031 exchange. If you have been focusing on single family rentals, for example, you may own quite a few smaller properties. But, this can leave you spread over a large area trying to maintain multiple locations. What if you could exchange all of those properties for one large unit such as an office building? The good news is, with consolidation 1031 exchanges, you can!
What is a Consolidation 1031 Exchange?
To put it simply, a consolidation 1031 exchange starts with the sale of investment real estate and ends with the purchase of investment real estate. As long as the property valuations work out, consolidation 1031 exchanges allow you to sell multiple units and combine their value into a larger purchase.
For example, if you have four single-family homes selling for $250,000 each, they could be sold and combined to purchase a property worth $1 million. This does require additional planning as the timing of your sales and replacement purchase must fall within the IRS mandated time frames. Coordinating extended and/or rapid closings with your purchasers and entering into a contract on your replacement property may require extra effort and negotiation.
Why do I need a Consolidation Exchange?
One of the main benefits of using a consolidation 1031 exchange is the deferment of taxes. Typically, when you sell your investment property, any gain is subject to taxation. Also, whether or not you took advantage of the available depreciation deductions while you owned the property, you will still be subject to “depreciation recapture” taxes. However, this is not the case when using a 1031 exchange.
Consolidation 1031 Exchange Example
Some clients of mine recently completed a consolidation 1031 exchange. They sold three properties in the Midwest and replaced them with one higher value vacation rental property in California. First, they identified both their replacement property. Then, they found a purchaser for all three of their original rentals. Then they sold the three original rentals over the course of three weeks. They purchased their replacement property just three weeks later. Not all transactions will happen as neatly or swiftly as theirs, but it is an indication of what advance planning can accomplish.
Consolidation Can Add Up
When you use a consolidation 1031 exchange, you can sell your investment real estate and purchase replacement investment real estate while indefinitely deferring payment of the tax that would normally be due on the sale. This can significantly increase your buying power as well as your opportunities for compound growth and reinvestment.
Many people know about the primary residence exclusion that allows them to take the first $250,000 in profit ($500,000 if you’re married) tax free after just two years of occupancy. And more and more people are learning about the opportunity to do that repeatedly. But, did you know that you can convert an investment property into your primary residence and take advantage of that tax break? Even if you used a 1031 Exchange into your investment property, it’s still an option.
Converting from Investment to Primary Residence
Here’s the deal on converting investment property into your primary residence:
- If you purchased the investment without a 1031 Exchange, you may change its use at any time. Simply use the property as your primary residence for two of the five years immediately preceding its sale.
- If you purchased the property with a 1031 Exchange, there are some special rules for the conversion and the exclusion is prorated.
Converting after a 1031 Exchange
As you may recall, you cannot use a 1031 Exchange to purchase a property you intend to use for your primary residence. You must use the 1031 to purchase property you intend to use for investment purposes.
However, you can convert a 1031 property into your primary residence after holding it for productive use in business or trade for a period of time. The key is:
- your initial intent to hold it for investment purposes and
- how you demonstrate that intent.
For example, if you 1031 into a property and then move right in, what was your demonstrated intent? To use it as your primary residence. Both your initial stated intent and your actions subsequent to purchase are key.
Special Rules after a 1031 Exchange
If you 1031 into a property and then use it as a rental for the next 24 months and do not use it for personal use more than 2 weeks or 10% of the number of days it is actually rented, then the IRS gives you a safe harbor and will never challenge your initial intent. In between day one and two years, there is a wide range of time for you to decide if you’ve owned it long enough and treated it as investment enough that you can change your intent and move in. An awful lot of folks feel good at anything more than a year. But, individual circumstances could allow a shorter (or longer) investment use period.
When you do convert the property into your primary residence, you will then get the benefit of the primary residence exclusion with some 1031 Exchange specific requirements.To qualify for any of the primary residence exclusion, you must have owned the converted property for no less than five years. In addition, you must have lived in it for two out of the five years prior to sale. And then you get to prorate the amount of gain between the period of “qualified use” (as a primary and tax-free) and “non-qualified use” (as an investment and you would pay tax on this portion). You also have to recapture all depreciation.
The Bottom Line
The conversion of an investment property into a your primary residence is an underutilized option that can be very beneficial. Over time, it can make the capital gains tax on your former investment property dwindle. This give you the opportunity to take all or a portion of your home sale proceeds tax-free.
As always, consult with your accountant to determine the best course of action for your financial situation.
Does it matter if you use a local or national 1031 Exchange Qualified Intermediary (QI)? Wouldn’t it be better to select someone you can meet in person? While some investors derive a sense of comfort from proximity, the closest QI may not be the right QI.
To carry out a 1031 Exchange, your QI must be in place before you sell your investment property. The geographic location of your QI is not a critical factor for either documentation preparation or real estate closings.
But what of your peace of mind? These are your hard-earned investment dollars we’re talking about.
No matter their physical location, your QI should be experienced, accessible and dependable. They should be able to guide you through the exchange process and help your exchange glide smoothly along. They should be responsive to inquiries and timely in their communication.
If you are buying and selling within your home city, a local QI should be familiar with that market. However, a well-versed national 1031 Exchange Qualified Intermediary may be better suited to help you carry out an exchange both locally and from state to state. Regardless, a QI with a significant history of successful exchanges may serve you better than one with the ability to drop by for a cup of coffee.
No matter what your preference, to qualify for a 1031 Exchange you must have your local or national QI in place prior to the sale of your investment property.
For more information visit the www.1031investor.com.
Using a 1031 Exchange to grow your real estate portfolio faster using Uncle Sam’s money is a strategy that has helped millions of investors.
But of all the things you need to know about a 1031 Exchange, the most important thing is that it must be in place BEFORE you sell your investment real estate. The moment you receive your sale proceeds, it’s TOO LATE and you will have to pay the tax. Many investors new to this tax deferral method have discovered this after their sale and paid for it – literally.
The great news is that even if you are closing tomorrow or don’t know when you will close, it is quick and easy to start your exchange. Once you know what title company will be handling the transaction, the exchange can be initiated on your behalf by your Qualified Intermediary (QI).
Initiating your exchange with a QI prior to your sale is a rule that is a critical thing to keep in mind as you continue to learn about 1031 exchanges. I hope you will use the free online resources here at www.the1031investor.com as you explore this option.
Dave Foster was recently featured on The Note Closers Show with Scott Carson. Dave and Scott talked about the great benefits IRC Section 1031 has to offer. It allows investors to sell a property and reinvest proceeds in a new property while deferring capital gain taxes. They discussed some of the ways you can use this process to help you invest in real estate and notes, how it can be used even if you have owner financing and what kinds of investment properties qualify. Anyone can do a 1031 Exchange so long as the process and principles are followed.
They also talked about how to minimize the top five risks in note investing, return on investment vs. return on time, and the role of the borrower filing bankruptcy and how it creates an additional opportunity for a note investor, among other things.