Opportunity Zone Glossary

Opportunity Zone Glossary

Opportunity Zone Definitions & Terms


90-Percent Test

The 90-Percent Test is applied by taking the average of the percentage of qualified opportunity zone property held by the QOF (1) on the last day of the first six-month period of the taxable year of the QOF and (2) on the last day of the taxable year of the QOF.

Census Tracts

Small, relatively permanent statistical subdivisions of a county or equivalent entity that are updated by local participants prior to each decennial census as part of the Census Bureau’s Participant Statistical Areas Program. The primary purpose of census tracts is to provide a stable set of geographic units for the presentation of statistical data.

Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund)

Promotes economic revitalization in distressed communities throughout the United States by providing financial assistance and information to community development financial institutions (CDFI).

Consideration Period

The term “consideration period” means the 30-day period beginning on the date on which the Secretary receives notice under subsection (b)(1)(A).

Determination Period 

The term “determination period” means the 90-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as extended under subsection (b)(2).

Distressed Areas

Low-income community census tracts are the basis for determining eligibility in Qualified Opportunity Zones.

Economically Distressed Community

Low-income community census tracts are the basis for determining eligibility in Qualified Opportunity Zones.

Economic Dynamism

Refers to the rate and direction of change in an economy.

Eligible Tax payer

An eligible taxpayer is a person that may recognize gains for purposes of Federal income tax accounting. Thus, eligible taxpayers include individuals; C corporations, including regulated investment companies (RICs) and real estate investment trusts (REITs); partnerships; S corporations; trusts and estates. An eligible taxpayer may elect to defer recognition of one or more eligible gains in accordance with the requirements of section 1400Z-2.

Empowerment Zones

Economically distressed communities designated by government for aid—but this aid is intended primarily to lift communities out of poverty by stimulating business enterprise and creating jobs.

Fair Market Value (FMV) Basis Election

If an investor holds its interest in the QOF for 10 years or more, for purposes of determining the gain or loss the investor recognizes from the sale or exchange of such QOF interest, the investor may elect for the basis of such QOF interest to be equal to its fair market value on the date such QOF interest is sold or exchanged.

Intangible Property

Intangible personal property is something of individual value that cannot be touched or held.

Low Income Housing Tax Credits

Created in 1986 and made permanent in 1993, is an indirect federal subsidy used to finance the construction and rehabilitation of low-income affordable rental housing.

Low-Income Community Census Tracts

A low-income community census tract has an individual poverty rate of at least 20% and median family income up to 80% percent of the area median [Section 45D(e)].

New Market Tax Credits

Designed to increase the flow of capital to businesses and low-income communities by providing a modest tax incentive to private investors.

Non-qualified Financial Property

Non-qualified financial property’’ is defined in §1397C(e) as: debt, stock, partnership interests, options, futures contracts, forward contracts, warrants, notional principal contracts, annuities and other similar properties.

Opportunity Funds

Are new private sector investment vehicles that invest at least 90 percent of their capital in qualifying assets in Opportunity Zones. U.S. investors currently hold trillions of dollars in unrealized capital gains  in stocks and mutual funds alone— a significant untapped resource for economic development. Funds will enable a broad array of investors to pool their resources in Opportunity Zones, increasing the scale of investments going to undeserved areas.

Opportunity Zone

A census tract which has been designated as eligible. to receive private investments through Opportunity Funds. Opportunity Fund: Private investment vehicle, certified by the Treasury, to aggregate and deploy capital in Opportunity Zones for eligible uses defined as Opportunity Zone Property.

Opportunity Zone vs. New Market Tax Credits

Although there are similarities between the Opportunity Zone Program and the New Markets Tax Credit program, a crucial difference will be in underwriting the potential financial success of the low-income community businesses in which an Opportunity Fund invests.

Phantom Gain

For purposes of Qualified Opportunity Zone Program, if the taxpayer has not sold the qualified investment by December 31, 2026, the inclusion of the deferred gain may result in phantom gain at that time.

Phantom Gain Date

12/31/26. At this date, the deferred capital gain must be recognized. All or part of the deferred gain is includible in taxable income when the taxpayer sells the investment in the Qualified Opportunity Fund or on December 31, 2026, whichever occurs first.

Qualified Opportunity Fund Certification

To become a Qualified Opportunity Fund, an eligible taxpayer self-certifies. As of now, no approval or action by the IRS is required.

Qualified Opportunity Zone

An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community (see also “low-income communities”) where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment.

Qualified Opportunity Zone Business

A trade or business (i) in which substantially all of the tangible property owned or leased by the entity is Opportunity Zone Business Property, and (ii) which (a) derives at least 50% of its gross income from the active conduct of a trade or business, (b) uses a substantial portion of any intangible property in such trade or business, and (c) has less than 5% of its assets invested in non-qualified financial property. Notwithstanding the preceding, a trade or business will not qualify as an Opportunity Zone Business if it is engaged in owning or operating any private or commercial golf course, country club, massage parlor, hot tub facility, suntan facility, racetrack or other facility used for gambling, or any store the principal business of which is the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption off premises.

Qualified Opportunity Zone Business Property

Tangible property used in a trade or business of a Qualified Opportunity Fund if such property (i) was acquired by purchase after December 31, 2017, (ii) the original use of such property in the Qualified Opportunity Zone commences with the Qualified Opportunity Fund or the Qualified Opportunity Fund substantially improves the property, and (iii) substantially all of the use of such property was in a Qualified Opportunity Zone during substantially all of the Qualified Opportunity Fund holding period for the property.

Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund or Qualified Opportunity Fund (“QOF”)

An investment vehicle that is set up as either a partnership or corporation for investing at least 90% of its assets in eligible property (see “Opportunity Zone Property”) that is located in an Opportunity Zone and that utilizes the investor’s gains from a prior investment (an unlimited amount) from the sale or exchange of any property (whether or not the asset sold was located in or related to a low-income community).

Qualified Opportunity Zone Partnership Interest

Qualified Opportunity Zone Property also includes certain interests in a partnership, with requirements substantially identical to those applicable to Opportunity Zone Stock but which would apply when the business is organized as a partnership rather than a corporation.

Qualified Opportunity Zone Program

The 2017 tax reform reconciliation act (the Act), enacted December 22, 2017, includes a new tax incentive program, Internal Revenue Code Subchapter Z – Opportunity Zones, aiming to promote investments in certain economically distressed communities.

Qualified Opportunity Zone Property (“QOZP”)

Is property that is (i) qualified opportunity zone stock, (ii) qualified opportunity zone partnership interest, or (iii) qualified opportunity zone business property.

Qualified Opportunity Zone Stock

Stock of any domestic corporation (i) acquired by the Opportunity Fund after December 31, 2017, at original issuance solely in exchange for cash, and (ii) which, at the time such stock is issued and during substantially all of the Opportunity Fund’s holding period, is a Qualified Opportunity Zone Business (“QOZB”).

Related Party

Generally speaking, related party issues are technical and we recommend consulting with your CPA or tax attorney to understand how the “related party” rules may impact your specific situation.

Substantial Improvement

Qualified Opportunity Zone Business Property (“QOZBP”) is substantially improved for this purpose if during any 30-month period following acquisition of such property there are additions to basis that equal the adjusted basis as of the beginning of such 30-month period.

Tangible Property

Tangible personal property is everything other than real estate that is used in a business or rental property.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

A congressional revenue act originally introduced in Congress as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Public law no. 115-97 (“the Act”) amended the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 based on tax reform advocated by congressional Republicans and the Trump administration.