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  • Writer's pictureDr. Mark Lee Levine, Professor

Tax Codes 1031, 1400z, and Timing

There is great news for some taxpayers who have been hammered by Covid-19 and timing issues with regard to tax deferred exchanges under Code Section 1031 and/or reinvestment timing rules under Code Section 1400Z, as to Opportunity Funds.

As most real estate practitioners, CPAs, tax attorneys and others dealing with Federal income tax know, there are some special rules in the Internal Revenue Code (Code) that allow taxpayers to postpone or avoid some Federal income tax. Two of these more important laws are those dealing with exchanges and those dealing with investing in Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZ).

In Summary:

Code Section 1031: This Code Section allows the deferral of income taxes when a taxpayer reinvests, via a proper exchange, in qualified like-kind real estate. However, when the exchange takes place over a given time period, there are restrictions that require the taxpayer to act timely, to have the benefit of deferral of the gain. There are at least two such time frames: One requires the taxpayer to identify the exchange replacement property within 45 days of the taxpayer transferring the taxpayer’s relinquished property; the other time frame requires the taxpayer to complete the exchange within 180 days of the taxpayer transferring the taxpayer’s property in the exchange.

Code Section 1400Z deals with Funds regarding Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZ). Under this Code provision, if a taxpayer desires to dispose of property that is qualified under this Code Section to allow the gain to be reinvested, without current taxation, in a QOZ Fund, the taxpayer must act within 180 days of the date the taxpayer disposed of the taxpayers’ property.

Recent Release: Under Notice 2020-23, through broad language that covers many areas in the Federal tax law, the Secretary of the Treasury now allows taxpayers to postpone various timing concerns, including the above timing restrictions. Under this Notice, taxpayers that have, under the exchange rule, noted above, a deadline for the 45 or 180

day rule falling on or after 4/1/2020 and before 7/15/2020, will now be allowed to

meet the deadline up to 7/15/2020.

Similarly, those taxpayers that are attempting to meet the 180 rules under the above noted QOZ Fund rule, where the 180 days will fall on or after 4/1/2020, and before or on 7/15/2020 will now have until 7/15/2020 to meet this timing deadline.

These extensions on the timing rules are allowed by the Treasury because of the adverse impact on such timing requirements that have been generated by the Coronavirus and the pandemic from the same.

Note that there is no change on these deadlines for the time frames, noted above, that ran prior to 4/1/2020.


Dr. Mark Lee Levine,

Professor, University of Denver

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