The Internal Revenue Service sought feedback in creating the regulations at a five-hour hearing on Thursday, February 14. More than two dozen stakeholders highlighted concerns they have with the rules of the program and offered suggestions for how they can be improved. More than 200 people attended the hearing at the IRS headquarters in D.C., and agency officials had to turn away some who were not testifying after the hearing room reached capacity. The meeting was postponed due to the federal government shutdown from its original date of January 10, 2019.

Steve Glickman, who helped design the program while leading the Economic Innovation Group, indicated that interest in the opportunity zone program from the investment community has only continued to grow. Glickman told the IRS regulators that the lack of clarity around the rules is hampering investment. “Without more regulatory clarity the marketplace is somewhat frozen,” Glickman said. “I have talked to wealth managers around the country that control trillions of dollars of capital, much of which is interested in this program, but they have essentially not been willing to put it into the market yet because they’re confused about the rules.”

We continue to monitor the rules.