26 CFR § 1.1400Z2(f)-1 - Administrative rules- penalties, anti-abuse, etc.

prev next
§ 1.1400Z2(f)-1 Administrative rules- penalties, anti-abuse, etc.

(a) In general. Except as provided by § 1.1400Z2(d)-1(a)(2)(iv)(B) with respect to a taxpayer's first taxable year as a QOF, if a QOF fails to satisfy the 90-percent investment standard in section 1400Z-2(d)(1), then the QOF must pay the statutory penalty set forth in section 1400Z-2(f) for each month it fails to meet the 90-percent investment standard.

(b) Time period for a QOF to reinvest certain proceeds -

(1) In general. If a QOF receives proceeds from the return of capital or the sale or disposition of some or all of its qualified opportunity zone property within the meaning of section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(A), and if the QOF reinvests some or all of the proceeds in qualified opportunity zone property by the last day of the 12-month period beginning on the date of the distribution, sale, or disposition, then the proceeds, to the extent that they are so reinvested, are treated as qualified opportunity zone property for purposes of the 90-percent investment standard in section 1400Z-2(d)(1), but only to the extent that prior to the reinvestment in qualified opportunity zone property the proceeds are continuously held in cash, cash equivalents, or debt instruments with a term of 18 months or less. If reinvestment of the proceeds is delayed by waiting for governmental action the application for which is complete, that delay does not cause a failure of the 12-month requirement in this paragraph (b).

(2) Federally declared disasters. If the QOF's plan to reinvest some or all of the proceeds described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section in qualified opportunity zone property is delayed due to a federally declared disaster (as defined in section 165(i)(5)(A)), the QOF may receive not more than an additional 12 months to reinvest such proceeds, provided that the QOF invests such proceeds in the manner originally intended before the disaster.

(c) Anti-abuse rules -

(1) General anti-abuse rule. Pursuant to section 1400Z-2(e)(4)(C), the rules of section 1400Z-2 and §§ 1.1400Z2(a)-1 through 1.1400Z2(d)-(2), 1.1400Z2(f)-1, 1.1502-14Z, and 1.1504-3 must be applied in a manner consistent with the purposes of section 1400Z-2 and the section 1400Z-2 regulations (as defined in § 1.1400Z2(a)-1(b)(41)). The purposes of section 1400Z-2 and the section 1400Z-2 regulations are to provide specified Federal income tax benefits to owners of QOFs to encourage the making of longer-term investments, through QOFs and qualified opportunity zone businesses, of new capital in one or more qualified opportunity zones and to increase the economic growth of such qualified opportunity zones. Accordingly, if a significant purpose of a transaction is to achieve a Federal income tax result that is inconsistent with the purposes of section 1400Z-2 and the section 1400Z-2 regulations, a transaction (or series of transactions) will be recast or recharacterized for Federal tax purposes as appropriate to achieve tax results that are consistent with the purposes of section 1400Z-2 and the section 1400Z-2 regulations. This recasting and recharacterization may include, as appropriate, treating an investment as other than a qualifying investment. A determination of whether a Federal income tax result is inconsistent with the purposes of section 1400Z-2 and the section 1400Z-2 regulations must be based on all facts and circumstances.

(2) Special anti-abuse rule for partnerships -

(i) In general. In addition to being subject to the general anti-abuse rule of paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the application of the rules of section 1400Z-2 and §§ 1.1400Z2(a)-1 through 1.1400Z2(d)-2, 1.1400Z2(f)-1, 1.1502-14Z, and 1.1504-3 to partnerships is also subject to the special anti-abuse rule set forth in paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section.

(ii) Special partnership anti-abuse rule. If a partnership is formed or availed of with a significant purpose of avoiding the requirements of § 1.1400Z2(a)-1(b)(11)(i)(B) that a gain be subject to Federal income tax in order to be an eligible gain, the partnership will be disregarded in whole or in part for purposes of § 1.1400Z2(a)-1(b)(11)(i)(B) and (b)(11)(ix)(B) to prevent the creation of a qualifying investment by the partnership with respect to any partner or partners that would not otherwise satisfy such requirements.

(3) Examples. The following examples illustrate the anti-abuse rule of paragraph (c) of this section.

(i) Example 1 -

(A) Facts. Two nonresident alien individuals (collectively, the individuals) plan to sell stock at a gain of $50, to invest the amount of the resulting capital gain in a QOF, and to make a deferral election under section 1400Z-2(a). They make this election with the intent of holding the QOF investment for 10 years and then making an election to increase the qualifying basis to fair market value under section 1400Z-2(c). A gain on a sale of the stock by the individuals, however, would not be subject to Federal income tax, and so the gain would not support their making a deferral election as a result of the requirement in § 1.1400Z2(a)-1(b)(11)(i)(B). Instead of selling the stock themselves, the individuals form a domestic partnership with a significant purpose of using that partnership to make a deferral election with respect to the stock under the exception in § 1.1400Z2(a)-1(b)(11)(ix)(B). The individuals contribute their stock to the partnership in exchange for partnership interests, after which the partnership sells the stock and invests the $50 gain in a QOF. Had the partnership not made a deferral election, the individuals would not be subject to tax on their allocated portion of the partnership's recognized gain on the sale of the stock.

(B) Analysis. Based on these facts, the partnership is formed and availed of with a significant purpose to avoid the requirements of § 1.1400Z2(a)-1(b)(11)(i)(B). Thus, under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the partnership is disregarded for purposes of applying § 1.1400Z2(a)-1(b)(11)(ix)(B) to the $50 gain, and therefore the partnership's investment in the QOF is not a qualifying investment.

(ii) Example 2 -

(A) Facts. The facts are the same as in paragraph (c)(3)(i)(A) of this section (Example 1), except the individuals contribute their stock to an existing partnership, the sole partners of which are U.S. citizens, with a significant purpose of the individuals' use of the partnership being to make an investment in a QOF and a deferral election under the § 1.1400Z2(a)-1(b)(11)(ix)(B) exception for partnerships. During the year, the partnership sells property it owned before the individuals' contribution, resulting in capital gain of $100, all of which is eligible to be invested in a QOF. It also sells the stock contributed by the individuals, resulting in $50 of capital gain. The partnership invests $150 in a QOF and makes the requisite gain deferral election.

(B) Analysis. Based on these facts, the partnership is availed of by the individuals with a significant purpose to avoid the requirements of § 1.1400Z2(a)-1(b)(11)(i)(B). Thus, under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the partnership is disregarded for purposes of applying § 1.1400Z2(a)-1(b)(11)(i)(B) and (b)(11)(ix)(B) with respect to the $50 capital gain from the sale of the individuals' contributed stock and that gain fails to be eligible gain. Under § 1.1400Z2(a)-1(b), no section 1400Z-2(a) election is available for that gain and the partnership will have a mixed-funds investment, $100 of which is a qualifying investment and $50 of which is a non-qualifying investment.

(iii) Example 3 -

(A) Facts. Entity C is a QOF that meets the requirements of section 1400Z-2(d)(1). Entity C owns qualified opportunity zone stock in a domestic corporation described in section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(B) (Corporation C), which operates a qualified opportunity zone business. Entity C also owns Corporation D stock, which is not qualified opportunity zone stock, which stock is less than 10% of the assets of Entity C. Under section 1400Z-2(e)(2), these stock holdings cause Entity C to be related to both Corporation C and Corporation D. On date 1, under section 1400Z-2(e)(2), Individual S is not a related person with respect to Entity C, Corporation C, or Corporation D. On that date, Individual S sells tangible property to Corporation C (Asset 1) for use in Corporation C's qualified opportunity zone business and sells a second asset to Corporation D (Asset 2). Both items sold were capital assets (as defined in section 1221), and had an adjusted basis of $0. As a result, Individual S realizes gain of $100 from the sale to Corporation C and $75 from the sale to Corporation D. At the time of the sale Individual S has a plan or intent to invest $175 in Entity C and to make deferral elections under section 1400Z-2(a)(1) with respect to the gain from the two sales. On date 2, for $175 Individual S acquired an eligible interest in Entity C, an acquisition that causes Individual S to become a related person with respect to Entity C within the meaning of section 1400Z-2(e)(2). Analysis. Under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, Individual S's $175 gain is not an eligible gain and cannot be the subject a deferral election under section 1400Z-2(a)(1). The gain fails to satisfy § 1.1400Z2a-1(b)(11)(i)(C) because of Individual S's plan to acquire sufficient equity in Entity C to become related to Corporations C and D. Moreover, for the same reason, the tangible property that Corporation C purchased from Individual S fails to satisfy the requirement that a purchase of qualified opportunity zone business property must be from an unrelated person. See sections 1400Z-2(d)(2)(D)(i)(I) and 179(d)(2)(A).

(B) Circular movement of consideration. The facts are the same as in paragraph (c)(3)(iii)(A) of this section (this Example 3), except that Entity C contributes the $100 and $75 (received from Individual S) to Corporations C and D, respectively, as part of a plan that includes each transaction described in paragraph (c)(3)(iii)(A) (collectively, the transaction series). Under the step transaction doctrine and circular cash flow principles, this circular movement of consideration is disregarded for Federal income tax purposes, including for purposes of section 1400Z-2 and the section 1400Z-2 regulations. Therefore, the transaction series is treated for Federal income tax purposes as a contribution by Individual S of Assets 1 and 2 to Entity C in exchange for an eligible interest in Entity C, followed by a contribution by Entity C of Assets 1 and 2 to Corporations C and D, respectively. This result also would obtain if Individual S were not related to Entity C immediately following Individual S's acquisition of its eligible interest from Entity C. See Rev. Rul. 83-142, 1983-2 C.B. 68; Rev. Rul. 78-397, 1978-2 C.B. 150.

(iv) Example 4 -

(A) Facts. Entity D is a QOF that meets the requirements of section 1400Z-2(d)(1). Entity D owns a majority qualified opportunity zone partnership interest in a domestic partnership, Partnership D described in section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(C). Entity D organized Partnership D for the purpose of being a qualified opportunity zone business. Partnership D acquires a tract of land located in a qualified opportunity zone. At the time of the acquisition of that land, there was no plan or intent to develop or otherwise utilize the land in a trade or business that would increase substantially the economic productivity of the land. Instead, there was a plan to pave the land for use as a parking lot. Partnership D planned to install a gate to the paved parking area, a small structure that would serve as an office for a parking attendant, and two self-pay stations for use by customers. The parking lot was not reasonably expected to expand significantly, and the initial small number of employees was not reasonably expected significantly to increase. A significant purpose for the acquisition of the land was to sell the land at a profit and to exclude any gain from appreciation by making an election under section 1400Z-2(c).

(B) Analysis. Under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the acquisition of the land is a transaction carried out to achieve a tax result that is inconsistent with the purposes of section 1400Z-2 and the section 1400Z-2 regulations. Consequently, the land is not qualified opportunity zone business property and gain from the sale of the land will not be eligible to be excluded from gross income under section 1400Z-2(c). This recharacterization of the qualification of the land for Federal tax purposes is appropriate to ensure that the tax results of the transaction, including the status of Partnership D as a qualified opportunity zone business, are consistent with the purposes of section 1400Z-2 and the section 1400Z-2 regulations. Partnership D fails to be a qualified opportunity zone business unless other assets that it owns or leases are qualified opportunity zone business property that satisfy section 1400Z-2(d)(3)(A)(i), and the other requirements of section 1400Z-2 and the section 1400Z-2 regulations.

(v) Example 5 -

(A) Facts. The facts are the same as in paragraph (c)(3)(iv) of this section, except that Partnership D, in year 1, acquired a tract of land located in a qualified opportunity zone that was previously used for hog and pig farming. On its Form 1065T the previous owner, also a partnership, properly described those activities with the principal business activity code 112210. During the several-year period ending on the date of the acquisition of the land, the value of the land had significantly increased and D projected the land to continue to increase in value by ten-fold during the following 10-year period. At the time of the acquisition, Partnership D intended to conduct sheep and goat farming activities on the land and, accordingly, planned to use principal business activity code 112400 on its Form 1065. According to its plan, Partnership D conducted sheep and goat farming activities on the land during the 10-year period beginning on the date of acquisition of the land. During the 10-year period, Partnership D made significant capital improvements to the land, including improvements to existing farm structures, construction of new farm structures, and installation of a new irrigation system. As expected, the value of the land substantially increased during the following decade. The owners' entire interest in Partnership D was a qualifying investment, and, after having held it for at least 10 years the owners sold the entire interest at a large gain. As planned the owners made an election under section 1400Z-2(c) in order to avoid tax on the gain from the sale.

(B) Analysis. The modification of the land to suit sheep and goat farming activity from its previous use of hog and pig farming, and the significant capital improvements made to land, comprise a significant investment in the business activities on the land. Thus, Partnership D did not hold the land solely for speculative investment. As a result, under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the acquisition of the land, the activities conducted on the land, the capital improvements made to the land, and the later disposition of the land for a significant profit are not inconsistent with the purposes of section 1400Z-2 and the section 1400Z-2 regulations.

(vi) Example 6 -

(A) Facts. Individuals intend to sell stock at a capital gain and invest the resulting gain in a QOF pursuant to a deferral election under section 1400Z-2(a). The individuals form Entity F and file Form 8996 certifying that Entity F is a QOF organized for the purpose of investing in qualified opportunity zone property. Individuals have no intention of investing in qualified opportunity zone property. Instead individuals intend to invest in property other than qualified opportunity zone property hoping that the property will appreciate substantially in value and the individuals will be able to exclude any appreciation on their investment from gross income by making an election under section 1400Z-2(c). Each year Entity F files Form 8996 and pays the applicable penalty under section 1400Z-2(f). After holding their interests in Entity F for 10 years, individuals sell their interest in Entity F to an unrelated third party for a substantial gain and make an election to exclude the appreciation on their investment under section 1400Z-2(c).

(B) Analysis. A significant purpose of the transaction is to achieve a tax result that is inconsistent with the purposes of section 1400Z-2 and the section 1400Z-2 regulations, and the transaction will be recast and recharacterized for Federal tax purposes so that Entity F is not a QOF and the individuals are not eligible for the elections under sections 1400Z-2(a) and (c).

(vii) Example 7 -

(A) Facts. Entity E treats itself as a QOF that meets the requirements of section 1400Z-2(d)(1). Entity E owns all of the stock in a domestic corporation, Corporation E, and Entity E treats this stock as qualified opportunity zone stock. Corporation E uses the majority of the cash invested by Entity E to purchase gold bars from unrelated parties within the meaning of section 1400Z-2(e)(2). The aggregate value of the gold bars is $1000. Corporation E rents a safe deposit box in a qualified opportunity zone and hires one employee to manage the purchase and sale of the gold bars. Each year Corporation E purchases a small number of additional gold bars and sells to customers a portion of the gold bars on hand. The aggregate value of both the purchases and sales approximates half the value of the bars held at the beginning of the year. Corporation E seeks to treat the gold bars as qualified opportunity zone business property within the meaning of section 1400Z-2(d)(3). At the time that Corporation E began the gold bar business, it did not reasonably expect the business to expand significantly, nor was the number of employees reasonably expected to increase. Gold, however, was reasonably expected to appreciate. Ten years after the formation of Entity E, the investors in Entity E sell all of their interests in the entity and seek to make an election under section 1400Z-2(c) to exclude any gain from appreciation.

(B) Analysis. Under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, a significant purpose of Corporation E's activities is to achieve a tax result that is inconsistent with the purposes of section 1400Z-2 and the section 1400Z-2 regulations. The gold bar business carried out by Corporation E was merely speculative in nature and was not expected to increase economic activity in the subject qualified opportunity zone in a manner consistent with the purposes of section 1400Z-2 and the section 1400Z-2 regulations. As a result, Corporation E's activities are carried on to achieve tax results that are inconsistent with the purposes of section 1400Z-2 and the section 1400Z-2 regulations. Consequently, the gold bars are not qualified opportunity zone property. Corporation E fails to be a qualified opportunity zone business unless other assets that it owns or leases are qualified opportunity zone business property that satisfy section 1400Z-2(d)(3)(A)(i) (along with other requirements). If Corporation E fails to be a qualified opportunity zone business, Corporation E's stock fails to be qualified opportunity zone property in the hands of Entity E.

(d) Applicability date -

(1) In general. The provisions of this section are applicable for taxable years beginning after March 13, 2020.

(2) Prior periods. With respect to the portion of a taxpayer's first taxable year ending after December 21, 2017, that began on March 13, 2020, a taxpayer may choose either -

(i) To apply the section 1400Z-2 regulations, if applied in a consistent manner for all such taxable years (reliance by a taxpayer on paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section, § 1.1400Z2(a)-1(g)(2)(ii), § 1.1400Z2(b)-1(j)(2)(ii), § 1.1400Z2(d)-1(e)(2)(ii), or § 1.1400Z2(d)-2(e)(2)(ii), is disregarded for purposes of the consistency requirement under this paragraph (d)(2)(i)); or

(ii) To rely on the rules in proposed § 1.1400Z2(f)-1 contained in the notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-115420-18) published on October 29, 2018, as amplified by the notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-120186-18) published on May 1, 2019, but only if applied in a consistent manner for all such taxable years.

[T.D. 9889, 85 FR 1991, Jan. 13, 2020, as amended at 85 FR 19085, Apr. 6, 2020]

The following state regulations pages link to this page.