The Internal Revenue Service has rescheduled its public hearing on investing in qualified opportunity zone funds after the previous meeting to be held on January 10th was canceled due to the federal government shutdown.
The new hearing is scheduled for February 14, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. and will focus on proposed regulations concerning capital gains invested in qualified opportunity funds, which offers potentially significant tax benefits to investors that make long-term investments in certain low-income communities. The public comment period for these regulations expired on December 28, 2018.
The hearing will be held in the Auditorium of the Internal Revenue Service building located at 1111 Constitution Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. A notice of the public hearing will be published in the Federal Register this Friday.
In October, the Treasury Department released its proposed regulations to clarify what gains qualify for deferral, which taxpayers and investments are eligible, the parameters for opportunity funds, and other guidance.
According to the proposal, investors can defer taxes until 2026 for capital gains from prior investments, if those gains are redeployed into opportunity zone funds. For opportunity zone investments held for five years, taxpayers can eliminate 10 percent of the deferred gain. For investments held for seven years or longer, 15 percent of the deferred gain can be eliminated.
Opportunity zones retain their designation for 10 years, but under the proposed regulations, investors can hold onto their investments in qualified opportunity funds through 2047 without losing tax benefits.
The opportunity zone program was established as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and based on a bipartisan bill sponsored by Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin has suggested that as much as $100 billion could flow into opportunity zones.