Rolando Garcia
By Rolando Garcia, JD, CPA, International Tax Director

Created to encourage economic growth and investment in low-income communities, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created a new tax incentive for investors to consider –  Opportunity Zones. With several areas of Houston identified as part of this program, investors may want to consider this opportunity to invest in the local market to obtain significant federal tax benefits.

Opportunity Zone Tax Benefits

There are three types of tax benefits that investors can attain from investing in a Qualified Opportunity Fund (OZ Fund) – an investment vehicle organized either as a corporation or a partnership mainly for investing in a Qualified Opportunity Zone Property. To qualify, 90 percent of the assets held by the Oz Fund must be of this type. In general, investments in qualified opportunity zones may permit investors to:

1.  Defer the tax on any capital gain from the sale or exchange of property with an unrelated person if that gain is invested by the taxpayer in an OZ Fund within 180 days of the date the gain was recognized.

2.  Reduce up to 15 percent of gains reinvested in an OZ Fund depending on the investor’s holding period in the fund.

3.  Increase the tax basis of their interest in an OZ Fund to fair market value on the date of sale if they hold their interest in the fund for at least 10 years.

What Qualifies

Qualified Opportunity Zone Property that may qualify as such includes new real estate development, manufacturing facilities, restaurants, car dealerships and more. Those investments that do not qualify include recreational businesses such as private or commercial golf courses, country clubs, massage parlors, gambling facilities and any establishment at which the primary business is the sale of alcohol.

Where to Find Opportunity Zones in Texas

Following an extensive analysis process, Texas designated 628 census tracts in 145 counties Opportunity Zones, including areas in:

  • Brazoria County
  • Fort Bend County
  • Galveston County
  • Harris County
  • Liberty County
  • Montgomery County

You can find a complete list of Texas’ Opportunity Zone designations here.

For more information about Opportunity Zones and how to leverage your investments in these tax-incentivized areas, contact Doeren Mayhew’s tax advisors today.