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Treasury issues new guidances on opportunity zones

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April 17 (UPI) — The Treasury Department released new guidelines for the so-called opportunity zones provision of the 2017 tax law.

The guidances provided Wednesday sought to provide flexibility, certainty and clarity for investors and fund managers seeking to take advantage of the program that rewards capital gains and tax breaks for investing in specified low-income areas.

“We are pleased to issue guidance that provides greater flexibility for communities and investors as we continue to encourage investment and development in opportunity zones,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. “This incentive will foster economic revitalization, create jobs and spur economic growth that will move these communities forward and create a brighter future.”

The new guidelines stated that a business can qualify for the benefits if half of its employees’ hours or wages are in one of the designated zones, if property and managers needed to produce 50 percent of the revenue are in the zone or if 50 percent of the revenue is generated in the zone.

The rules also allow funds 12 months to reinvest proceeds of selling investments from opportunity zones into new investments and give them additional time to hold investors’ money before measuring if they are in compliance with tests to determine whether 90 percent of the investments are in the zone.

President Donald Trump touted opportunity zones at an event at the White House on Wednesday.

“This vital provision gives businesses a massive incentive to invest and create jobs in our nation’s most underserved communities,” Trump said.

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