Policy Issues

Real Estate Roundtable and Other Stakeholders Urge Congress to Extend Expiring Opportunity Zone Tax Incentive Deadlines

December 21, 2021

Congress should extend expiring tax incentives that promote investment and jobs in Opportunity Zones (OZs) as soon as possible, according to a letter to Congressional leaders from a diverse coalition of 22 organizations that includes The Real Estate Roundtable. (Download the Dec. 21, 2021 coalition letter) 

OZ Tax Incentives Expiration 

  • Established in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, OZs mobilize capital for new businesses and economic activities in targeted, low-income areas. A significant share of OZ investment has gone towards productive real estate projects that create new, sustainable sources of local tax revenue and increase the supply of affordable and senior housing.

  • Taxpayers that invest existing capital gains in a qualified opportunity fund are potentially eligible for tax benefits on both the prior gain and any gains that relate to the opportunity fund’s investments. However, the deadline for OZ investments to qualify for a partial capital gains exclusion with respect to gains that are deferred and rolled into an opportunity fund expired on December 31, 2021. 

  • Specifically, in order for an investor to qualify for a 10 percent step-up in the basis of a prior investment, the gain must be held in an opportunity fund for five years before it is recognized and tax. Under the OZ law, gains rolled into an opportunity fund are recognized at the end of 2026. Therefore, unless the gain was invested in an opportunity fund by then end of 2021, it will be taxed prior to meeting the five-year requirement.

  • The coalition letter urges Congressional leaders to extend the 10 percent step-up deadline through the end of 2023 and the deferred gain recognition date until the end of 2028. 

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