What is the Opportunity Zone Program?

On December 22, 2017 an exciting new tax incentive program was enacted to unlock $6 trillion in unrealized capital gains and promote investments in certain economically distressed communities known as Opportunity Zones.

 

If you have invested in stocks, real estate or other assets that have appreciated in value, historically you cannot sell those assets without paying huge taxes. Now, by investing in a Qualified Opportunity Fund you can sell your appreciated asset and temporarily defer your original capital gain until 2026. You’ll also be able to reduce your capital gains expense and have the ability to permanently exclude capital gains from the appreciation yielded from your investment into the Qualified Opportunity Fund.


What are Opportunity Zones?

Opportunity Zones are specific census tracts (roughly 20% of each state) nominated by the Governor of each state that qualify for investment in business or property through Qualified Opportunity Funds.

Where are the Opportunity Zones?

There are more than 8,700 Qualified Opportunity Zones in the United States. In addition, nearly all of Puerto Rico is an Opportunity Zone. Browse our map below to see designated Opportunity Zones across the country.


What are Qualified Opportunity Funds?

Qualified Opportunity Funds are unique investment vehicles that enable investors to take advantage of new tax incentives incorporated invest in businesses and property located in Opportunity Zones.

Qualified Opportunity Fund Requirements

  • Must be certified by the U.S. Treasury Department.
  • Must be organized as a corporation or partnership for the purpose of investing in Qualified Opportunity Zone Property.
  • Must hold at least 90% of their assets in Qualified Opportunity Zone Property.
  • Qualified Opportunity Zone property includes newly issued stock, partnership interests, or business property in a Qualified Opportunity Zone business.

 

What are the Opportunity Zone Investor Incentives?

Specific tax incentives are offered to tax payers that invest their capital gains into Qualified Opportunity Funds based on the length of time their investment is held. These tax incentives include:

  1. Capital Gains Deferral
    • The tax payer has 180 days in which to reinvest capital gains into a qualified opportunity fund.
    • Reinvesting capital gains allows tax payers to defer capital gains tax until the “recognition date,” which is the earlier of disposition, or December 31, 2026.
    • At the recognition date, the tax payer must pay capital gains tax on the initial investment at the short- or long-term capital gains rate depending on the types of gains originally invested.
  2. Step-Up in Basis of the Original Investment

    • At the time of investment in the fund, the deferred gain basis begins at zero.
    • After five years, the basis increases to 10% of the basis assigned to the invested capital gains, and
    • After seven years, the basis increases to 15% of the original basis assigned to the invested capital gains.
    • Thereby reducing the tax liability by 10% to 15% when payable if the initial investment holding period is five- to seven-years.
  3. Capital Gains Exclusion
    If a taxpayer holds the investment in the qualified opportunity fund for at least 10 years and meets the original use or substantial improvement qualification, then the taxpayer will not pay capital gains tax on the appreciation of the investment. Long-term investment holding periods through 2047 will result in a step-up of cost basis to fair market value at the taxpayer’s election.

Learn More About Opportunity Zones

Want to learn more about Opportunity Zones? Check out our Free Opportunity Zone Overview

Learn More About Opportunity Zones

Want to learn more about Opportunity Zones? Check out our Free Opportunity Zone Overview