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Jeffrey B. Steiner and Dino Fazlibegu

For many years, the government has implemented tax deferral provisions in the U.S. tax code in order to encourage taxpayer behavior. For the ordinary taxpayer, tax deferral opportunities include contributions made to employer-sponsored 401(k) and other qualified retirement plans; for real estate investors, tax deferral possibilities are available via IRC §1031 exchanges of certain types of appreciated property. However, rarely does the government offer tax elimination as an additional inducement. On Dec. 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 did just that, introducing IRC §1400Z (the opportunity zone provisions) which serves as an incentive for taxpayer investment in low-income neighborhoods by combining the benefits of both tax deferral and tax elimination.

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