5 Things Investors Should Know About Opportunity Zones

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It is important to know what an opportunity zone is and what makes it qualified before even thinking about investing. When investing in a qualified opportunity zone, not only are taxpayers helping those in need, they are also setting themselves up to enjoy a profit through appreciation funding. This can benefit both taxpayers and those in distressed areas all around the country. It is important to be aware of the ins and outs of the tax information before investing. 

What is an Opportunity Zone?

Opportunity zones are economic tools that allow people to invest in distressed areas in the United States. These zones are very important to those that struggle financially and do not have many job opportunities. In these opportunity zones, certain communities are offered preferential tax treatment. The funding that goes to each of these qualified zones is distributed, under certain circumstances, to the community in a variety of ways, including business and real estate development. If you are wondering where you can find qualified opportunity zone funds near me, you have come to the right place.

What You Should Know If You Are Thinking About Investing

If you are thinking about investing in an opportunity zone, it is important to note that any taxable gain invested will not be recognized until December 31st, 2026, or until the interest in the fund is sold or exchanged. Taxes cannot be deferred indefinitely, so it is important to understand exactly how tax deferrals work. After five years, taxpayers will receive a 10% step-up in tax basis if they invested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund. However, an additional 5% step-up will be added after seven years have passed. Although tax deferral is not indefinite, there may still be significant tax savings. 

Additionally, the application of the five-year and seven-year increases only affects taxpayers who invested in opportunity zones before the end of 2019. If you have yet to invest or did so after 2019, the five-year basis increase of 10% is still available through December 31st, 2021. 

Unfortunately, if there is a loss in the value of the Qualified Opportunity Fund, the recognized gain of the taxpayer in 2026 will be less than the original deferred gain or the fair market value. This is adjusted based on the value of each opportunity zone, so it is important to understand that investing is not a quick fix and includes some risks.

There is potential for no taxes to be taken on the appreciation. This means that if a taxpayer invests $5 million in a Qualified Opportunity Fund, they can expect to sell their investment in roughly one decade for $10 million. The $5 million earned from this appreciation is not taxable income. 

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Where to Find Opportunity Zones

Numerous resources can lead investors and taxpayers to qualified opportunity zones. These areas are scattered across the country, and they need the funding. The IRS utilizes its resources and census figures to locate the harshest of low-income communities and distressed neighborhoods based on population. They find the areas that need financial assistance and label them as qualified opportunity zones for investors to place their funds.

The profit from this buying and selling process is known as appreciation, and it is considered as an incentive.  While it is of utmost importance that investors know where their funds are going, it is equally important for those living in distressed areas and communities to know where they can locate these allotted funds. After all, these funds are set aside for those that need them.

Time to Invest or Get the Help You Deserve

Whether you are an investor or a community member in need of financial assistance, this knowledge will lead you in the right direction. Take into consideration the IRS rules about tax deferrals before beginning your search for funding near you or other ways to invest. Those investments can make a difference. 

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