Opportunity Zones Update: Zone Certification Complete, IRS/Treasury to Issue Next Steps

By Aaron Clapper, GOPC Project Manager

Opportunity Zones were established out of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December 2017. With a focus on attracting private investment, the program offers tax benefits to investors who invest their money in the designated Opportunity Zones. For a background on the program and details on the Opportunity Zones nominating process, please review GOPC’s first two blogs here.

Treasury has now certified all nominated census tracts in Ohio and throughout the United States. These certified census tracts are known as the “Opportunity Zones,” which will effectively remain for 10 years. Investing in the Opportunity Zones will occur through Opportunity Funds, which are investment vehicles established, certified, and maintained through IRS. Treasury’s CDFI Fund page has confirmed that the CDFI Fund's role in the Opportunity Zones program is the nomination and designation of Opportunity Zones. With that process complete, Treasury/IRS is responsible for the program’s operation going forward.  

We are awaiting program details to be released regarding the investment in the Opportunity Zones and guidelines for the Opportunity Funds. IRS has provided guidance that a taxpayer who wishes to become certified as a Qualified Opportunity Fund will self-certify through the completion of a tax form with their federal taxes. Other program details will be released, and GOPC will share once those are announced. IRS has provided a FAQ resource that has been updated with current information, and we encourage you to monitor this for updated information.

For questions or concerns regarding Opportunity Zones, please feel free to reach out to Aaron Clapper, GOPC Project Manager, through email.