Opportunity zones are designed to incentivize investment and economic development in underserved communities. Established as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, developers may use a Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF) to help fund projects located within an opportunity zone. This new source of investment dollars could prove to be a powerful economic tool if properly administered.
Under the statute, investors can create a QOF that would allow them to realize significant tax savings, as long as 90% of the fund’s assets are invested in qualified property and businesses within an opportunity zone.
The law allows investors to defer federal taxes on any capital gains income invested in a QOF. Additional tax benefits are provided for long-term investors.
However, these tax benefits are time-constrained. The deferral expires Dec. 31, 2026, requiring investors at that point to pay taxes on any deferred gains still invested in a QOF.
More information on opportunity zones can be found in these resources and NAHB blog posts:
- FAQs on Proposed Opportunity Zone Regulations
- How Do Opportunity Zones Work?
- Proposed Regulations on Opportunity Zones Released
- White House Opportunity Zone website
- NAHB Resources Available to Help Navigate Opportunity Zones
National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA): Opportunity Zone Fund Directory
You can also learn more at these government links:
- Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Opportunity Zones website
- IRS Frequently Asked Questions about Opportunity Zones
- IRS Draft Form 8996 (Updated Oct. 30, 2019)
- Opportunity zone resources, including maps of all designated QOZs
- December 2018 Comments: NAHB submitted comments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Dec. 18, 2018, on the proposed regulations regarding investing in qualified opportunity zones. NAHB believes the majority of the regulations are logical, fair and thoughtful, however, it recommends the Treasury Department and the IRS further clarify issues related to "working capital safe harbor." NAHB also commented on the "original use" requirement as it pertains to vacant or abandoned property. Read the comments.
- June 2019 Comments: The IRS released a second set of proposed regulations in April 2019, and NAHB submitted additional comments to the IRS on June 27. NAHB encourages Treasury and the IRS to provide additional flexibility for vacant property and reduce the vacancy period from five years to three years. The comments also recommend that the agencies adopt an aggregate standard for purposes of meeting the substantial improvement test. Read the comments.
IBS Education Session
At the 2019 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, NAHB hosted the education session How Builders & Developers Can Use the ’New Opportunity Zone’ Tax Incentive Program. You can download the handout or purchase a recording of the session to see the full presentation.
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