IRC Section 1031 provides an exception and allows you to postpone paying tax on the gain if you reinvest the proceeds in similar property as part of a qualifying like-kind exchange. Gain deferred in a like-kind exchange under IRC Section 1031 is tax-deferred, but it is not tax-free.

A 1031 Exchange (Tax-Deferred Exchange) Is One Of The Most Powerful Tax Deferral Strategies Remaining Available For Taxpayers. Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code is the basis for tax-deferred exchanges. Taxpayers should never have to pay income taxes on the sale of property if they intend to reinvest the proceeds in similar or like-kind property. Professionals involved with advising or counseling real estate investors need to know about tax-deferred exchanges, including Realtors, lawyers, accountants, financial planners, tax advisers, escrow and closing agents and lenders.

The Advantage of a 1031 Exchange is the ability of a taxpayer to sell income, investment or business property and replace with like-kind Replacement Property without having to pay federal or state income taxes on the transaction. A sale of property and subsequent purchase of a Replacement Property doesn’t work; there must be an Exchange.

The 45-Day Rule for Identification. The first timing restriction for a delayed Section 1031 exchange is for the taxpayer to either close on the purchase of the Replacement Property or to identify the potential Replacement Property within 45 days from the date of transfer of the Relinquished Property. The 45-Day Rule is satisfied if Replacement Property is received before 45 days have expired. Otherwise, the identification must be by written document (the identification notice) signed by the taxpayer and hand delivered, mailed, faxed, or otherwise sent to the Intermediary. The identification notice must contain an unambiguous description of the Replacement Property. This includes, in the case of real property, the legal description, street address or a distinguishable name.

The 180-Day Rule for Receipt of Replacement Property. The Replacement Property must be received and the exchange completed no later than the earlier of

  • 180 days after the transfer of the exchanged property or
  • The due date of the income tax return, including extensions, for the tax year in which the Relinquished Property was transferred.

The Replacement Property received must be substantially the same as the property that was identified under the 45-day rule described above. There is no provision for extension of the 180 days for any circumstance or hardship. There are provisions for extensions for presidentially declared disaster areas.

As noted above, the 180-Day Rule is shortened to the due date of a tax return if the tax return is not put on extension. For instance, if an Exchange commences late in the tax year, the 180 days can be later than the April 15 filing date of the return. If the Exchange is not completed by the time for filing the return, the return must be put on extension. Failure to put the return on extension can cause the replacement period for the Exchange to end on the due date of the return. This can be a trap for the unwary.

For more info please feel free to contact us anytime, also consult with your CPA, Attorney and/or 1031 Exchange Company Specialist. 


You can also visit Ca.gov for additional info.