While additional regulations are still not available, on December 20, 2018, the Joint Committee on Taxation released its “General Explanation of Public Law 115-97.” This publication includes the statement, “The provision intends that the certification process for a qualified opportunity fund will be carried out in a manner similar to the process for allocating the new markets tax credit. The Secretary is granted the authority to administer this process.” The reference to the NMTC process to carry out the QOZ fund certification process is surprising. To the extent that consideration is being given to a governmental pre-approval process to accomplish certification, or to reporting beyond submitting some general reporting information, such approach would be completely contrary to previous information indicating that the funds would be “self-certified” using an IRS form.
In addition, a New York Times article titled “Trump to Steer More Money to ‘Opportunity Zones’” included the following reference in the very last paragraph, indicating that more paperwork may be required to participate in the QOZ fund program:
“An administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said Tuesday that the coming regulations would include a provision that analysts at the Brookings Institution, the Center for American Progress and elsewhere have pushed for: reporting requirements for investments in the zones, which would allow economists to evaluate whether the program was having an impact.”