After input from hundreds of key players in the industry, the U.S. Departmentof the Treasury has today released a second set of proposed regulations for the Opportunity Zone tax incentive program.
The agency’s proposals provide new guidance on what capital tax gains qualify for deferral, which taxpayers and investments are eligible, the criteriafor establishing Qualified Opportunity Funds and how funds can ensure compliance. The updated regulations aim to help investors and fund sponsors more confidently do business and take advantage of Opportunity Zones, according to the Treasury Department.
“We are pleased to issue guidance that provides greater flexibility for communities and investors as we continue to encourage investment and development in Opportunity Zones,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.“This incentive will foster economic revitalization, create jobs and spur economic growth that will move these communities forward and create a brighter future.”
Opportunity Zone professionals, like Phil Jelsma of CGS3 law firm in San Diego, also welcomed the new proposed guidelines.“I think the proposed regulations address many of the issues that have hindered OZ investments,” he said. “Treasury should be congratulated for addressing many of the important issues.”
On April 17 at the White House, President Trump participated in an Opportunity Zone press conference following the release of the new regulations. Trump noted how Opportunity Zones are leading to higher wages, higher property sales and could amount to $100 billion in investment.“We want all Americans to share in our great economic renewal,” Trump said.“We want every family to have the opportunity to live their great American Dream.”
Key parts of the newly released guidance explain the “substantially all” requirements for the holding period and use of the tangible business property, including that at least 70 percent of the property must be used in aQualified Opportunity Zone and that tangible property must be in the Qualified Opportunity Zone business for at least 90 percent of the holding period.
The public can comment on the proposed regulations at an upcoming hearing at 10 a.m. on July 9 at the New Carrollton Federal Building in Maryland. Comments can also be submitted electronically at www.regulations.gov, while indicating IRS and REG-120186-18.The Treasury Department plans on issuing additional guidance before the end of the year.
See new proposed regulations: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/reg-115420-18.pdf