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.