When is a 645 Election Made?

In the world of partnerships and trusts, making a 645 Election can have a significant impact on tax obligations and financial planning. This article delves into the importance and process of this election, covering key considerations like eligibility criteria, tax implications, and time constraints. Avoid common mistakes, understand the deadline, and learn about the benefits and consequences of this decision. Remember, a 645 Election is typically irrevocable, but exceptions exist under certain circumstances.

In this section, we will explore the 645 election process, which refers to the selection of a tax year by a partnership. Understanding how this process works is crucial for partnerships as it can impact their tax obligations and financial planning.

Importance of the 645 Election

Partnerships have the option to choose a tax year other than the standard calendar year. By making a 645 election, a partnership can align its tax year with the needs of its partners or business operations. This flexibility can be advantageous in managing cash flow and reporting income. It is essential for partnerships to evaluate the benefits and implications of making a 645 election.

Making a 645 Election

To make a 645 election, the partnership must file Form 8716 with the IRS. This form allows partnerships to specify the tax year they wish to adopt and provide reasoning for the election. Partnerships should carefully consider their financial situation and consult with tax professionals before making a 645 election. Once the election is made, it generally cannot be changed without IRS approval. Making informed decisions and planning ahead are key aspects of the 645 election process.

Key Factors to Consider Before Making a 645 Election

Before making a 645 election, there are several key factors that individuals should carefully consider to make an informed decision. Understanding these factors can help taxpayers navigate the complexities of this tax provision and ensure they are making the most advantageous choice for their specific situation.

Eligibility Criteria

One of the primary factors to consider before making a 645 election is eligibility. Only certain types of trusts are eligible for this provision, such as qualifying revocable trusts. It is essential to review the specific requirements outlined by the IRS to determine if your trust qualifies for a 645 election.

Tax Implications

Another critical factor to consider is the potential tax implications of making a 645 election. While this provision can provide certain tax benefits, it may also have drawbacks depending on your individual circumstances. Consulting with a tax professional can help you assess the impact of a 645 election on your overall tax liability.

Time Constraints

Additionally, it is crucial to be aware of the time constraints associated with making a 645 election. The election must be made within a specified timeframe after the grantor’s death, and failing to meet this deadline can result in the loss of this tax planning opportunity. Being proactive and understanding the timeline for making a 645 election is essential for maximizing its benefits.

When is the Deadline for Filing a 645 Election?

If you are considering making a 645 Election for your estate or trust, it is crucial to be aware of the deadline by which you must file the election. Filing a 645 Election allows estates and trusts to be treated as part of the decedent’s estate for income tax purposes, potentially resulting in tax savings. Understanding the timeline for filing this election is essential to ensure compliance with IRS regulations.

Filing Deadline

The deadline for filing a 645 Election is nine months from the decedent’s date of death. This deadline can be extended by six months if the estate requests an extension of time to file its income tax return. It is important to note that the election must be made on a timely filed Form 1041, U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts. Failure to file the election on time may result in the estate or trust being ineligible for certain tax benefits.

Importance of Timely Filing

Filing a 645 Election can have significant implications for the taxation of an estate or trust. By electing to treat the estate or trust as part of the decedent’s estate, certain tax advantages may be available, such as using the decedent’s tax attributes to offset income generated by the estate or trust. Missing the deadline for filing this election can result in missed opportunities for tax savings, making it crucial to adhere to the specified timeline for submission. Therefore, it is recommended to work with a tax professional to ensure timely and accurate filing of a 645 Election.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Making a 645 Election

When making a Section 645 Election for a trust, there are several common mistakes that individuals often make without realizing the implications. It is crucial to understand these errors and avoid them to ensure that the election process goes smoothly and according to the IRS regulations.

Not Meeting the Eligibility Criteria

One common mistake is not meeting the eligibility criteria for making a Section 645 Election. It is essential to ensure that the trust meets all the requirements set by the IRS, such as having a valid Qualified Revocable Trust (QRT) election in place. Failing to meet this criteria can result in the IRS rejecting the election, leading to potential tax consequences for the trust and its beneficiaries.

Missing Deadlines

Another common mistake is missing the deadlines for making a Section 645 Election. The IRS has specific time frames within which the election must be made, depending on the circumstances of the trust. Failing to file the election within the prescribed time limits can result in the IRS rejecting the election and potentially exposing the trust to unnecessary tax liabilities. It is essential to be diligent in meeting all deadlines to avoid such complications. By understanding and avoiding these common mistakes when making a Section 645 Election, individuals can ensure that the trust remains compliant with IRS regulations and avoids any unnecessary tax consequences. It is crucial to stay informed and seek professional advice if needed to navigate the complexities of trust taxation effectively.

How to Properly Make a 645 Election

Making a 645 election is essential for certain taxpayers who want to depreciate property under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) over a shorter period for tax purposes. Here are steps to ensure you properly make a 645 election.

Determine Eligibility

Before making a 645 election, ensure you meet the criteria set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Confirm that you are eligible for making the election and that it will benefit you financially. Consulting with a tax professional can help clarify any doubts regarding eligibility.

Complete the Form

To make a 645 election, you must complete and file Form 3115Application for Change in Accounting Method, with the IRS. Provide all necessary information accurately to avoid any delays or potential issues. Make sure to follow the instructions on the form carefully.

Keep Records

After making a 645 election, maintain detailed records of all transactions related to the election. Keep track of all documentation, including receipts and relevant paperwork, to support your decision. Proper record-keeping is crucial for future reference and audits.

Benefits and Consequences of Making a 645 Election

When making a 645 Election, there are several benefits and consequences to consider. Understanding these can help you make an informed decision regarding your tax status and financial situation.


  • Pass-through Taxation: By making a 645 Election, the trust or estate can elect to be treated as a complex trust for tax purposes. This allows income to be passed through to beneficiaries, potentially resulting in lower tax rates.
  • Flexibility: Making a 645 Election provides flexibility in tax planning, as it allows the trust or estate to choose the most advantageous tax treatment for a particular year. This can help optimize tax savings and financial outcomes.
  • Simplicity: Opting for pass-through taxation under a 645 Election can simplify tax reporting requirements for beneficiaries. This can streamline the tax process and reduce administrative burdens for all parties involved.


  • Loss of Control: Making a 645 Election means giving up some control over the tax treatment of the trust or estate. Once the election is made, it cannot be revoked without IRS permission, limiting flexibility in tax planning.
  • Potential Complexity: While pass-through taxation can offer benefits, it may also introduce complexity into tax reporting. Beneficiaries may need to navigate additional rules and regulations when reporting income from the trust or estate.
  • Impact on Beneficiaries: The tax consequences of a 645 Election can affect beneficiaries, potentially altering their tax liabilities. It’s essential to consider how the election may impact beneficiaries’ financial situations before making a decision.

Can a 645 Election be Changed or Revoked?

Individuals who have made a 645 election may wonder if they can change or revoke this decision. Understanding the rules surrounding 645 elections is crucial for proper tax planning and compliance. This section aims to clarify whether a 645 election can be altered once it has been made.

Changing a 645 Election

Once a taxpayer has made a 645 election, it is generally irrevocable for that tax year. This means that once the election has been made, it cannot be changed or revoked unless there are exceptional circumstances. It is essential to carefully consider all implications before making a 645 election because reversing it may not be possible.

Exceptions to the Rule

In certain situations, the IRS may allow a taxpayer to change or revoke a 645 election. For example, if there was a mistake in making the election or if unforeseen circumstances arise that warrant a change, the IRS may grant permission to alter the election. However, these exceptions are rare, and taxpayers should consult with a tax professional before attempting to change a 645 election.


In conclusion, making a 645 Election for partnerships and trusts is a crucial decision that can significantly impact tax obligations and financial planning. Before making the election, it is important to carefully consider factors such as eligibility, tax implications, and time constraints. Avoiding common mistakes, understanding deadlines, and weighing the benefits and consequences are essential for a successful election. Remember that a 645 Election is generally irrevocable, but the IRS may grant exceptions in certain circumstances. Making an informed decision is key to maximizing the advantages of a 645 Election.


What are some key factors to consider before making a 645 Election?

Before making a 645 Election, it is important to consider factors such as eligibility criteria, tax implications, and time constraints. Take the time to thoroughly understand these aspects to make an informed decision.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when making a 645 Election?

Some common mistakes to avoid when making a 645 Election include missing the deadline for filing the election, not understanding the benefits and consequences of making the election, and failing to carefully consider all relevant factors before making a decision.

Is a 645 Election irrevocable once made?

In general, a 645 Election is irrevocable once it is made. However, there are exceptions in certain circumstances where the IRS may allow changes to be made. It is important to be aware of these exceptions and consult with a tax professional if needed.


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