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Opportunity Zone Programs: Overview and FAQs

A new Opportunity Zone program was included in the 2017 tax act to encourage investment in low-income community businesses. The new codes allow individual and corporate taxpayers to defer capital gains on the sale of stock, business assets, or any other property (whether or not the asset sold was located in or related to a low-income community) by investing the proceeds in an Opportunity Fund, which in turn must invest at least 90% of its assets, directly or indirectly, in businesses located in certain low-income communities designated as Opportunity Zones. Partial forgiveness of deferred capital gains and gains from future appreciation is possible for Opportunity Fund investments held for five, seven, and ten years.

This special report explores several practical questions that have been raised by potential investors and project owners that must be resolved for taxpayers to take full advantage of the program and speculates on guidance that may be forthcoming.

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