FAAR was able to secure a grant through the National Association of Realtors® to host a meeting on Qualified Opportunity Zones and how our region might best be able to utilize this new tool for redevelopment. Anyone who works with investors or has an interest in economic development is encouraged to attend and be part of the discussion.
So what is an “Opportunity Zone”?
The Qualified Opportunity Zone (“QOZ”) program was created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to encourage economic growth in underserved communities through tax incentives for investors who utilize “Opportunity Funds” to invest in the Zones. Along with tax benefits, it presents opportunities for real estate investment and development in those communities. U.S states and territories, including Washington, D.C., nominated areas to be designated as QOZs in 2018, and the IRS and Treasury finalized the designations that year.
What are the benefits for my clients?
There are multiple tax benefits available to investors who invest in a QOZ, if all the requirements are met. First, capital gains reinvested within 180 days into a QOZ are tax-free for up to nine years, through 2026. If that initial investment is held for five years, the tax ultimately paid on it is reduced by 10%; if held for seven years, it is reduced by 15%. In addition, gains accrued on deferred-gains funds while invested in a QOZ are tax-free if they are held for at least ten years. These investments must be processed through an “Opportunity Fund,” which is a partnership or a corporation organized for the purpose of investing in QOZ property; these funds self-certified, and must hold at least 90% of their assets in QOZ property (which includes stock, partnership interests, and/or tangible property used in a trade or business in a QOZ, such as real estate).