The U.S. Department of Treasury and the IRS have announced a second round of Opportunity Zone designations in five states and one territory. The first round of approvals, which designated Opportunity Zones in 15 states and 3 territories, was announced earlier this month. Altogether, nearly half of all nominations have been approved, and the remaining designations are expected in the coming weeks now that the final April 20 deadline for states to submit their nominations has passed.
Last week the IRS also published frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Opportunity Zones tax incentive and clarified that a taxpayer can self-certify to become a qualified opportunity fund. The FAQs note that no approval or action by the IRS is required to certify a taxpayer and that the IRS will release a self-certification form in summer 2018 that taxpayers can attach to their federal income tax returns. Enterprise submitted comments to Treasury in March with recommendations for implementing the Opportunity Zones tax incentive, including the recommendation that potential Opportunity Funds be required to provide an explanation of intent to be certified as a Qualified Opportunity Fund. Understanding an Opportunity Fund’s intention for investing – that is, in which geographic areas and in what investment types and asset classes – is critical for ensuring that these new investment funds are structured with an eye towards equitable economic development that results in direct and sustained community benefits.
Interested in Opportunity Zones? Join us at our 2018 Affordable Housing Conference: Plan.Build.House. in Oklahoma City on August 21-22 for a special session on Opportunity Zones!