1031 Exchange Timeline

A 1031 exchange is a useful tool that can provide more flexibility and options to property managers’ clients or help investors increase their earnings potential. But before you can take advantage of 1031 exchanges, you need to understand how they work. The most crucial factor is the 1031 exchange process which outlines the timeline that must be followed by anyone wishing to participate in a 1031 exchange. Let’s explore the timeline of the 1031 exchange process, highlighting important steps and key information to help you navigate the process with ease.

The origin of 1031 exchanges can be traced back to the Revenue Act of 1921. This act allowed investors to defer taxes on non-like-kind property and security exchanges. Some changes were made in 1924 and 1928. In 1935, tax deferral was approved for like-kind exchanges, which means that exchanging similar assets would not result in capital gains tax liability. The 1935 amendment also introduced qualified intermediary language and maintained the “cash in lieu of” clause.

Key Takeaways

  • To defer capital gains taxes and make the most of your real estate investments, it is important to meet the 45-day identification period and the 180-day exchange period when completing a 1031 exchange.
  • Partnering with a qualified intermediary, a tax advisor, and a real estate agent who has expertise in 1031 exchanges ensures a smooth transaction and compliance with all applicable regulations.
  • Planning ahead, clear communication and a good understanding of options and requirements are important for maximizing real estate investments and successfully navigating the 1031 exchange process.
1031 Exchange Timeline

Identification Period

Definition and purpose

In a property exchange, the taxpayer needs to identify the replacement property that they intend to acquire within 45 days from the date that the relinquished property closes. If there are multiple relinquished properties, the 45-day period is measured from the date the first property closes.

It’s not necessary for the taxpayer to already have a contract for the property they want to identify, and they don’t have to end up acquiring everything they identify. However, it’s crucial to understand that they’re only allowed to acquire the identified property and nothing else. Failing to follow the identification rules could jeopardize the entire exchange.

45-day timeline

It is important to note that any property that is acquired within the 45-day identification period is considered properly identified. However, if the additional property is acquired after the initial 45 days using a different identification rule, the property acquired during the first 45 days should still count as one identified property.

If you buy one property within the first 45 days and intend to follow the 3-property rule by purchasing additional properties after 45 days, you can only identify two more properties as you have already used one identification.

Identifying replacement properties

If you buy the Replacement Property during the 45-day Identification Period, you don’t need to provide written identification because the 1031 regulations assume that the bought property has been properly identified. However, if you plan to buy more properties, you still need to provide written identification.

Rules for identification

A taxpayer can choose multiple Replacement Properties, but they have to follow one of the three identification rules, and they cannot use more than one rule at a time because the rules are mutually exclusive.

ID Rule – 3-Property Rule

To defer taxes, select one, two, or three properties for purchase that are equal to or greater in value than the Relinquished Property sold. If more than three properties are selected, the 200% Rule must be followed.

ID Rule – 200% Rule

If a taxpayer has more than three potential replacement properties, they need to follow a different rule from the 3-Property Rule. In this case, they need to add up the fair market values of all the properties on their list. However, the total amount should not exceed 200% of the sales price of the Relinquished Property.

To qualify for tax deferral under Section 1031 of the Tax Code, a taxpayer must comply with the 200% Rule and own three or fewer properties on their list. If they own more than three properties and do not meet the 200% Rule, they can still qualify for a tax deferral if they satisfy the 95% Exception.

ID Rule – 95% Exception:

This rule only affects taxpayers who list more than three properties and do not meet the 200% compliance rule. However, if a taxpayer manages to purchase at least 95% of the properties they listed, they will have valid identification, regardless of how many properties were listed initially.

ID Method

You must use one of the following methods to identify the Replacement Property within the Identification Period:

ID Method – Written:

Before the end of the Identification Period (which is 45 days), the exchanger must sign a written document (usually supplied by a Qualified Intermediary) called the Identification Notice. This document should be delivered to the Qualified Intermediary or any other legal party involved in the exchange, except for a “disqualified person” or an agent of the Exchanger.

To ensure timely delivery and receipt, it is recommended to send the Identification Notice to the Qualified Intermediary by the end of the last business day before the end of the Identification Period.

ID Method – Complete Replacement Property Purchase

If you complete the purchase of the Replacement Property during the 45-day Identification Period, you don’t need to provide written identification. This is because the regulations for 1031 consider the acquired property to be correctly identified.

To clarify, even if you plan on getting more properties, you must still provide written identification. The properties that you bought before the 45th day will still count towards the rules and exceptions mentioned earlier (3-Property, 200% Rules, and 95% Exception), so it’s important that you include them on your Identification Form.

Exchange Period

To perform a 1031 exchange, you must go through the IRS and adhere to specific timelines. There are two deadlines: you must identify a replacement property in writing within 45 days and acquire a new property within 180 days. If you cannot complete the exchange within your tax deadline, you may be able to request an extension to align with the 180-day period.

Completing the exchange process

  1. Hire a Qualified Intermediary (QI): A Qualified Intermediary is an essential component of a 1031 exchange. They facilitate the exchange by holding the proceeds from the sale of the relinquished property and managing the transfer of funds to the seller of the replacement property.
  2. Sell the relinquished property: Once you’ve found a buyer, work with your QI to execute the necessary paperwork and transfer the proceeds from the sale to the QI.
  3. Begin the Identification Period: Within 45 days of selling the relinquished property, you must identify potential replacement properties in writing. You can identify up to three properties without regard to their fair market value, or more properties if their combined value doesn’t exceed 200% of the relinquished property’s value.
  4. Submit the written identification: Provide your QI with the written identification of potential replacement properties, making sure it includes specific details such as property addresses or legal descriptions.
  5. Complete the Exchange Period: You must acquire the replacement property either within 180 days of selling the relinquished property or by the deadline for filing your tax return (whichever comes first). You should coordinate with your QI to make the purchase and ensure that the funds from the sale of the relinquished property are used for the acquisition.
  6. Close on the replacement property: To complete the purchase, work together with your QI, as well as real estate agents and legal representatives. The QI will send the funds to the seller and transfer the title of the replacement property to you.
  7. Complete the required paperwork: Collaborate with your QI to complete all essential paperwork regarding the 1031 exchange. This involves finalizing the Exchange Agreement, Assignment Agreement, and Notice of Assignment. Language Code: EN-US
  8. Report the 1031 exchange on your tax return: To report the 1031 exchange while filing your taxes, you need to use IRS Form 8824. This form will provide the details of the properties that have been involved in the exchange, their respective values, and any gain or loss recognized.

To successfully complete a tax-deferred exchange and make the most of your real estate investments, make sure to follow these steps and stick to the timeline for a 1031 exchange.

Receiving the replacement property

The final step in a 1031 exchange process is receiving the replacement property, which entails various important aspects.

  1. Coordinate with the Qualified Intermediary (QI): It’s important to keep in touch with your QI as the closing date for your replacement property approaches. This will help ensure a smooth transfer of funds and ownership of the property.
  2. Review the closing documents: Before the transaction is finalized, carefully go through all the documents pertaining to the replacement property’s purchase, including the purchase agreement, settlement statement, and financing documents if any. Make sure that everything matches your expectations and that all the terms and conditions are accurate.
  3. Transfer of funds: Before the closing, make sure to confirm with your QI that they have initiated the transfer of funds from the sale of your relinquished property to the seller of your replacement property. This will help prevent any delays or issues during the process.
  4. Transfer of title: After the closing process is complete, you, the buyer, will acquire the title of the replacement property. Ensure that there are no liens or encumbrances on the title and that all required title insurance policies are available.
  5. Record the deed: The ownership of the replacement property will be formalized by recording the deed with the relevant local or county office.
  6. Obtain possession: After finishing the closing process and recording the deed, you will be able to obtain the replacement property. To do so, you will usually receive the keys, access codes, or any other means of entry necessary to access the property.
  7. Complete post-closing tasks: After you receive the replacement property, make sure to complete any necessary post-closing tasks such as transferring utilities, notifying tenants (if necessary), and obtaining any required permits or licenses for property use.

Completing the necessary steps to receive the replacement property will successfully conclude your 1031 exchange. Through this process, you can defer capital gains taxes and make the most of your real estate investment

Key Deadlines

Tax return deadline

To qualify for a 1031 exchange, the taxpayer needs to obtain all replacement property within 180 days from the date of closing the relinquished property or the due date (including extensions) of the tax return for the year in which the relinquished property was closed, whichever is earlier.

Extensions and exceptions

The 45-day Identification Period and the 180-day Exchange Period have strict time limits that cannot be extended, even if they end on a weekend or holiday. However, those periods can be extended up to 120 days if the Exchanger is eligible for a disaster extension under Rev. Proc. 2007-56.

Consequences of missing deadlines

If you fail to meet the deadline when doing a 1031 exchange, what are the consequences? A 1031 exchange is a helpful strategy for real estate investors to defer capital gains taxes on the sale of a property by investing the profits into a new property.

To complete a 1031 exchange, there are three important deadlines that must be met.

  • The 45-Day Identification Period
  • The 180-Day Exchange Period
  • The Replacement Property Received the Deadline

It is crucial to understand and meet all of the deadlines associated with your 1031 exchange to avoid invalidating it and being required to pay capital gains taxes on your property sale. Be sure to plan accordingly.

Tips for a Successful 1031 Exchange

Work with experienced professionals

To have a successful 1031 exchange, it is important to collaborate with experienced professionals. Since the 1031 exchange process involves intricate tax laws and rigorous deadlines, working with knowledgeable experts can guarantee a transaction that is seamless and compliant.

To begin the exchange process, it’s important to reach out to a Qualified Intermediary (QI). A reliable QI will hold the sale proceeds from your relinquished property and provide guidance on selecting and acquiring a replacement property. They’ll also help with necessary legal documents and manage the transfer of funds during the closing process.

It’s recommended that you seek the assistance of a tax advisor or attorney, particularly one with experience in 1031 exchanges. They can offer valuable guidance regarding how to structure the exchange and help you understand the tax-related implications and consequences of your specific transaction. By utilizing their expertise, you can make the most of potential tax savings and ensure that your exchange is fully compliant with all the necessary regulations.

It is recommended to collaborate with a skilled real estate agent or broker who is familiar with the complexities of 1031 exchanges. They can assist you in finding appropriate replacement properties within the necessary timeframe and can negotiate advantageous conditions on your behalf. Their expertise in the regional real estate market and familiarity with investment properties can be extremely beneficial in achieving a successful exchange.

Plan ahead and stay organized

To have a successful 1031 exchange, it’s crucial to plan ahead and stay organized. By taking a proactive and structured approach, you’ll be able to manage the exchange process effectively and meet all the necessary deadlines.

  1. Start early: It is recommended to start planning your 1031 exchange in advance of selling your relinquished property. This way, you will have enough time to explore potential replacement properties, gather a team of experts, and become familiar with the exchange process and its timeframes.
  2. Create a timeline: Please create a detailed timeline that includes all the important deadlines for the exchange process, such as the 45-day identification period and the 180-day exchange period. This timeline will help you keep track of critical milestones and ensure that you meet all necessary deadlines.
  3. Maintain clear communication: Regularly communicate with your team members, such as your QI, tax advisor, and real estate agent, to stay informed about the exchange and deal with any problems that come up.

If you’re still uncertain about why a 1031 exchange is essential, I recommend reading an article I wrote that here that offers a comprehensive discussion of the benefits you could derive from considering this option.

Understand your options and requirements

To have a successful 1031 exchange, it’s important to understand your options and requirements. You should get familiar with the different types of exchanges, such as simultaneous, delayed, reverse, or construction exchanges, so you can decide which one is best for your situation. Additionally, it’s crucial to research the specific rules and regulations governing 1031 exchanges. You should be aware of the identification and exchange deadlines, as well as the requirements for qualifying properties.

Time Frame for a 1031 Exchange

The 1031 exchange, deriving its name from Section 1031 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, provides investors a golden ticket. It lets them swap one investment property for another and, in the process, defer capital gains tax, given certain conditions are met. Imagine being an artist and trading one of your beloved paintings for another masterpiece, without immediately settling the entire tax bill. This exchange permits a similar fiscal elegance in the world of real estate.

Decoding the Time Frames:
In this dance with the tax code, timing is paramount. There are two pivotal time frames to etch in your memory:

  1. 45-Day Identification Period: After waving goodbye to your old property, you have precisely 45 days to scout the real estate horizon and identify potential replacement properties. Picture it as a sophisticated game of real estate chess, where you have 45 days to strategize your next move.
  2. 180-Day Exchange Period: This period is the grand stage where the finale happens. From the day you bid adieu to your relinquished property, you have a total of 180 days to close the curtain, i.e., to finalize the acquisition of your replacement property.

An Example:
Consider Mr. Thompson, a seasoned real estate investor. After selling a lucrative commercial property in the bustling downtown, he’s keen on leveraging the 1031 exchange to optimize his investment.

Day 1: Mr. Thompson formalizes the sale of his downtown jewel. The time clock is set in motion.

Day 45: Amid multiple property visits, consultations, and evaluations, Mr. Thompson must have penned down his potential replacements. Perhaps a serene lakeside property or an up-and-coming commercial hub has caught his attention. By this day, these choices need to be documented with a qualified intermediary or a reliable title company.

Day 180: The climax of our tale! By this day, Mr. Thompson should be proudly holding the keys to his new property, having successfully maneuvered through the 1031 exchange maze. If, for some reason, he hasn’t, the opportunity dissipates like mist in the morning sun, and he’s back to square one with his tax obligations.

The Gravity of this Time Frame
Much like a train, the 1031 exchange doesn’t wait. If Mr. Thompson overlooks these deadlines, the entire framework crumbles and the tax deferral dream fades. The analogy would be missing a once-in-a-lifetime train journey only to find oneself with a hefty ticket fee.

Let’s Picture This with another Example:
Imagine Sally. She just sold her vintage apartment in the heart of the city. The sale was great, and she made a profit. Instead of paying taxes on that gain right away, she’s considering a 1031 exchange.

Day 1: Sally sells her apartment. The clock starts ticking!

Day 45: Sally has explored numerous properties. She must have identified the potential replacements by now. Maybe she has her eyes on a cute cottage by the beach or a modern condo downtown. Regardless of her choice, she should list them down formally with either a title company or a qualified intermediary.

Day 180: The final countdown! Sally must have closed on her newly chosen property. If she’s sipping tea in her new cottage by now, she’s successfully completed her 1031 exchange. If not, well, the chance has slipped through her fingers for this round.

Why is this Time Frame Crucial?
If Sally misses either of these deadlines, the entire 1031 exchange collapses, and she would need to pay tax on the gain from her original sale. It’s like missing the bus and having to pay for a cab instead; it can get costly!

1031 Exchange Timeline FAQs

What is a 1031 exchange?

A 1031 exchange is a tax strategy. It means that if you sell a property that you’ve held for business or investment purposes and buy a new one for the same purpose, you can postpone paying capital gains tax on the sale.

Why is understanding the 1031 exchange timeline important?

To avoid paying capital gains tax on your rental property, it’s important to fully understand the 1031 exchange timeline required by the IRS. Failure to meet these rules could result in you having to pay the tax.

What are the key deadlines for a 1031 exchange?

In a 1031 exchange, there are two important deadlines: you must identify a replacement property in writing within 45 days and acquire the new property within 180 days.

Can I get an extension for my 1031 exchange deadlines?

Eligible persons who started an IRC §1031 exchange between July 12, 2022, and January 8, 2023, can prolong the 180-day exchange period. The new deadline will be later either May 15, 2023, or 120 days after the original 180-day deadline date.

What are the benefits of a successful 1031 exchange?

By participating in a 1031 tax-deferred exchange, investors can delay paying federal capital gains tax, depreciation recapture tax, investment income tax imposed by the Affordable Health Care Act, and state tax. This allows investors to purchase a property that provides better cash flow. If the property is encumbered, investors can also receive an interest deduction.


To sum up, it’s important to remember two important deadlines when participating in a 1031 exchange: the 45-day period for identifying replacement properties and the 180-day window for completing the exchange. Following the rules and timeline will help you defer capital gains taxes, maximize your real estate investments, and potentially increase your returns.

Working with experienced professionals, planning ahead, staying organized, and understanding your options and requirements are essential for a smooth and efficient 1031 exchange process. This type of exchange offers benefits such as tax deferral, portfolio diversification, and an opportunity to leverage investments for greater growth.

If you need expert guidance or have questions about the 1031 exchange process, don’t hesitate to call or schedule a free consultation with me. Together, we can explore your investment goals and navigate the complexities of the 1031 exchange to maximize your investment potential.

Blog Articles Disclaimer

The information presented in articles on our website or affiliated platforms is exclusively intended for informational purposes. It’s crucial to grasp that this content does not constitute professional advice or services. We strongly recommend our readers to seek guidance from appropriately qualified experts, including, but not limited to, real estate and other attorneys, accountants, financial planners, bankers, mortgage professionals, architects, government officials, engineers, and related professionals. These experts can offer personalized counsel tailored to the specific nuances of your individual circumstances. Relying on the content without consulting the relevant experts may hinder informed decision-making. Consequently, neither Tolj Commercial Real Estate nor its agents assume any responsibility for potential consequences that may arise from such action.

Similar Posts