The Opportunity Zone (OZ) program is a tax incentive created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The program is designed to encourage investment in low-income communities by providing investors with significant tax benefits.
In 2023, the latest tax benefits for OZ investors include:
In addition to these tax benefits, OZ investments can also provide other benefits, such as the potential for economic growth and job creation in low-income communities.
The OZ tax benefits are triggered when an investor invests capital gains into a Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF). A QOF is a private investment fund that invests in OZ businesses or real estate.
When an investor invests capital gains into a QOF, they can defer paying capital gains taxes on the invested amount until December 31, 2026. If the investor holds their investment for at least five years, they can permanently reduce their capital gains taxes by 10%. If they hold their investment for at least seven years, they can permanently reduce their capital gains taxes by 15%.
If the investor holds their investment for at least 10 years, they can exclude all of the capital gains from their taxable income. This means that they will not have to pay any capital gains taxes on the sale of their investment.
There are a few risks associated with investing in OZs. First, the OZ incentive is complex and there are a number of rules and regulations that investors must follow. Investors should consult with a tax advisor to determine if an OZ investment is right for them.
Second, OZ investments are illiquid, meaning that they can be difficult to sell. This is because OZ investments are typically in early-stage businesses or real estate projects.
Third, OZ investments are risky. The underlying businesses or real estate projects may not be successful, which could result in a loss of investment.
The OZ tax benefits can be a significant incentive for investors who are looking to defer or reduce their capital gains taxes. However, investors should carefully consider the risks before investing in OZs.
IRS.gov: Invest in a Qualified Opportunity Fund
Kiplinger: How to Invest in Qualified Opportunity Zones
Claconnect: Decisions: Strategies for Early Exits from Opportunity Zone Projects
Haynesboone: Using 2023 Opportunity Zone Investments to Reduce 2022 Taxes
Wipfli: A fresh look at opportunity zone benefits