The Hidden Gem in the

2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA)

The Opportunity Zones Initiative was established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in December 2017 as an innovative approach to spurring long-term private sector investments in low-income rural and urban communities nationwide. Suddenly, our nation has a brand-new path to bolstering and revitalizing distressed businesses and communities in approximately 8,800 approved areas known as Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZs).

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Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZs) are census tracts composed of economically distressed communities in the US that qualify for the Opportunity Zones Initiative, according to criteria outlined in 2017’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

On June 14, 2018, the U.S. Treasury and IRS finalized certification of the opportunity zones.

In total, 8,762 census tracts were certified as qualified opportunity zones. These zones are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and all five inhabited overseas territories.

In December 2018, Puerto Rico was granted two additional opportunity zones, bringing the total to 8,764. View Opportunity Zone Map here.

Nearly 35 million Americans live in these zones, per 2015 American Community Survey data.

The average poverty rate in the opportunity zones is 32 percent, compared to 17 percent for the average census tract.

The designation of the QOZs will remain through December 31, 2028.

QOZ Property includes the following:

QOZ Business Property
Any tangible property—such as real estate and equipment—that must meet four criteria:
1. It must be used in the trade or business of a QOF.
2. It must be acquired by purchase after December 31, 2017.
3. It must either be originally used by the QOF in the QOZ or substantially improved by the QOF.
4. During substantially all of the time it is held by the QOF or the QOZB.
QOZ Stock
QOZ Stock – any stock in a domestic corporation, as long as it was acquired after December 31, 2017 at its original issue—directly or through an underwriter—from the corporation solely in exchange for cash. The corporation must specifically be an existing or new QOZ Business (QOZB) used solely for purposes directly associated with the approved area.
QOZ Partnership Interest
QOZ Partnership Interest –
any capital or profits interest in a domestic exchange if such interest was acquired after December 31, 2017 solely in exchange for cash. At the time such interest was acquired, the QOZPI had to be a QOZ Business (QOZB) used specifically for purposes directly associated with the approved area.

Opportunity Zones

Qualified Census Tract:

QCT Definition

A Qualified Census Tract (QCT) is any census tract (or equivalent geographic area defined by the Census Bureau) in which at least 50% of households have an income less than 60% of the Area Median Gross Income (AMGI).


A Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF) is a new investment vehicle created as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 to incentivize investment in targeted communities called Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZs) to spur economic development and job creation in these distressed urban and rural communities.

How are QOZ communities impacted by your investment in QOFs?

As an investor of a QOF, your investment goes directly into the QOZ communities, improving businesses, infrastructure, and impacting lives. If businesses in QOZs thrive, the communities will have more jobs and better salaries to offer. More people will want to relocate to these areas, which will increase real estate values and breathe new life into local shops and stores. When residents and business owners are doing well, they spend more money on beautifying their homes, storefronts, public buildings, streets, parks, and monuments. Their infrastructure will improve, crime will decrease, and better health care will be available for residents. Spread out over many communities, QOFs can help our nation flourish as a whole.

Why invest in Opportunity Funds?

Investors can receive the following FOUR MAJOR BENEFITS by rolling their Capital Gains into a QOF within 180 days.




Investors can defer recognition of the capital gain invested until up to December 31, 2026 and postpone paying the federal tax obligation until the tax return due date in 2027.

Deferring their tax liability allows investors to put a greater amount of capital to work for a longer period of time. The ability to defer capital gains tax gives Opportunity Fund investors a major advantage in extending the earning power of their dollars.




If an investor holds their QOF interest for 5 years, their federal deferred capital gain amount will be reduced by 10%. You MUST invest capital gains no later than December 31, 2021 to take the 10% Capital Gain Reduction.

after 10 years



If the investor holds the QOF investment for 10 years, any additional gain (in excess of the deferred gain recognized in 2026) on the sale of such QOF investment is not subject to federal income tax if sold prior to 2048.




 Investors might also receive income distributions from the QOF’s earnings.



tax benefits

Any investor that recognizes an eligible capital gain for US federal income tax purposes may take advantage of the tax benefits of investing in a QOF, including individuals, corporations (which includes real estate investment trusts [REITs] and regulated investment companies), and partnerships.

investment time frame

Investors must invest in a QOF within 180 days of recognizing the eligible capital gain. The alternative option is to pay federal taxes.

QOF process

QOFs have up to 31 months to invest in a QOZ from the date funds are received from investors.

Defer capital gain

All or any portion of a capital gain may be deferred through an investment in a QOF.

QOF assets

A QOF must hold at least 90 percent of its assets in qualified opportunity zone property.

QOZ property

70 percent of the tangible property “owned or leased” by a business must be qualified opportunity zone property for a business to be considered a QOZ Business.

5 year hold

If an investor holds their QOF interest for 5 years, their federal deferred capital gain amount will be reduced by 10%. You MUST invest capital gains no later than December 31, 2021 to take the 10% Capital Gain Reduction.

10 year hold

If an investor holds the QOF interest for at least 10 years, all federal capital gains in excess of the amount recognized on December 31, 2026 will be 100% tax free.

deferring capital gain time frame

For federal income tax purposes, investors can defer recognition of the invested capital gain in the QOF until December 31, 2026, or until the sale of their QOF interest, whichever occurs first.

QOF investment benefits

An investor can both reduce capital gain amount (by up to 10%) and defer (e.g., until April 15, 2027) an obligation to pay federal taxes on a capital gain invested and held in a QOF.

liquidation time frame

The QOF, including all assets in the QOF, must be liquidated by December 31, 2047.

Here is an example of a timeline that shows the benefits of an investor holding the QOF investment for 10 years.

Final Thoughts on Qualified Opportunity Funds


Through Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOFs) applied in QOZs, we all have a chance to work together to:

1. benefit from the capital gains tax breaks
2. make money and
3. positively impact low-income urban and rural QOZ communities and the lives of millions of people.


Now that you have a full understanding of the Opportunity Zones Initiative, take a look at what PHT Opportunity Fund has to offer!