In December 2017, a U.S. congressional bipartisan effort known as the Opportunity Zone Program was added into the tax reform legislation (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017). The intent of the program is to encourage individual investors and companies to invest in specific census tracts around the US in an effort to promote economic development in low income communities.
Potential to Build Wealth, While Doing Good
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law in December 2017 amid some heated controversy. However, what quietly slipped under the radar within the Act is a new tax incentive called Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZs).
Investing in a Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ) program is fairly straightforward. An investor takes their realized gain from an asset sale and invests it in a Qualified Opportunity Fund (“QOF”) to defer taxes on that gain. At the same time, the investor will potentially avoid capital gains on the appreciation of the Qualified Opportunity Zone Property. Another bonus is the QOF will put their funds to work in a low-income community that might be in dire need of resources. In business parlance, this represents a “win-win-win.”
Qualified Opportunity Zone Stock, or QOZ, is one of the three designated asset types collectively called Qualified Opportunity Zone Property, in which a Qualified Opportunity Fund (“QOF”) can invest.
For investors who reported significant capital gains on their 2018 K-1s or had capital gains from business and investment partnerships, there’s a way to potentially receive favorable tax advantages — both short- and long-term — on those profits. However, the deadline to defer payment of certain 2018 gains until 2026 — as well as the potential to reduce total tax liability on said gains by 15 percent if held for 7 years — is June 28.
People and businesses invest money in different property types for all sorts of reasons. From a legal standpoint, property is defined as something you own. Qualified Opportunity Funds (“QOF”) are uniquely positioned to invest in Qualified Opportunity Zone (“QOZ”) Business Property in a way that may change strategies for investors across the U.S.
Excitement about, and interest in, the new Qualified Opportunity Zone Program (OZP) is growing among investors, developers and sponsors. This program promises some exciting benefits, such as:
The term partner or partnership is one of the most overused terms in the business world today. It takes on a variety of definitions depending upon context. However, the concept of partnerships, or rather, partnership interests, are more well defined when it comes to the Qualified Opportunity Zones (“QOZ”) Program.
The key for real estate developers, fund sponsors and investors is to familiarize themselves with the Qualified Opportunity Zone Program (“OZP”) early so they can take advantage of its benefits when planning new projects. From a sponsor perspective, it is essential to ensure that their QOF is structured properly to allow investors making an investment to receive the full potential tax benefits of the QOZ program. Based upon the statute, various published articles1, and our participation in the Novogradac Opportunity Zone Working Group (a network of real estate professionals, lawyers and investors that work together to lobby solutions for incentive issues within the opportunity zone space), here are some high-level basics:
The Qualified Opportunity Zone program offers a slew of potential benefits for investors facing capital gains taxes. Investing your gains in a Qualified Opportunity Fund can help defer taxes on those gains, while supporting economic growth in a low-income area.