TaxConnections Reaches Out To Leading Tax Expert Blake Christian On Opportunity Zones During This Time

Opportunity Zones During Pandemic

We asked TaxConnections Member and leading tax expert Blake Christian, Tax Partner, HCVT, Long Beach, CA/Park City, Utah about the impact on Opportunity Zones during this time. The goal of my questions to Blake was gathering how the pandemic affects Opportunity Zones and advice on strategies moving forward. TaxConnections genuinely appreciates Blake’s input as he offers very valuable insight as a known expert retained by many firm partners nationally to set up Opportunity Zone structures properly for their clients.

Q. Can you tell me how a company or investor will be impacted in terms of Opportunity Zones?

A. Companies and individual investors who are considering, or have already invested into, Opportunity Zone projects will not be un-nerved as much as short-term investors since they are essentially locked into an investment period of ten years or more.
Investors who bailed out of the stock market early and generated large tax gains should look to Opportunity Zone investment opportunities as an alternative investment.

Q. What can organizations do without people having touch points or coming in contact with each other on Opportunity Zones?

A. Aside from site visits related to real estate projects, virtually all of our 40+ Opportunity Zone projects have not required face-to-face interaction and the various clients and advisors are invariably in different cities – so conference calls and video conferencing has worked very well.

The cancellation of various OZ conferences where we can network and share best practices is a clear loss for the short-term – but I foresee this only being an issue for the next 6 to 8 weeks if Americans use common sense.

Q. Any ideas what we could present to the President’s Council on Opportunity Zones regarding current crisis?

A. I would suggest expanding the program to allow investors to invest after-tax monies into a Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF) – rather than only capital gain amounts, and these after-tax amounts would obtain a 50% tax exclusion when sold after 10-years (vs. 100% exclusion for capital gains investments).

I would also suggest adding new zones that would involve areas that have significant economic downturns as a result of the COVID-19 impact.

I would also encourage Congress to liberalize corporate and individual loss carryback/refund rules. Allow 3-year carryback and also allow taxpayers to certify what their PROJECTED 2020 tax loss will be and allow that PROJECTED LOSS to be carried back immediately to secure refund of income taxes paid over the prior three years. If a taxpayer over-estimates their loss, then a 10% interest/ penalty can be assessed for the excess refunds.

Q. Can you come up with a game plan for the tax community on Opportunity Zones?

A. The AICPA and state CPA organizations should establish task forces to advise small businesses and individuals how to navigate these complex issues. A hotline/ email system manned by CPA’s can respond to calls and emails to assist those needing advice.

The IRS and state tax authorities should also set up similar hotlines.

Q. Can you provide any other insight for investors of Opportunity Zones?

A. Investors may have temporarily invested proceeds from a qualified sale into the market (before setting up a QOF) and due to market decrease have insufficient funds to make their full deferred gain rollover into a QOF. If a taxpayer can prove such situation, maybe an additional 90 day extension to fund the QOF to avoid forcing investors to liquidate in the down market.

Hearing that the credit market has dramatically slowed so financing for OZ and other deals are being delayed, so we may need a technical correction bill to add some relief to various reinvestment deadlines.

If you would like a copy of the series of articles Blake Christian has written on Opportunity Zones, please click here.

Kat Jennings, TaxConnections, CEO and Founder and Advisory Team provides three areas of services: 1) Internationally recognized, retained executive search services for multinational corporations, public accounting firms, and law firms; 2) Introductions of sellers to buyers of small and medium size accounting firms; and 3) Provide brand building and education services that support and prepare accounting firm owners to buy/sell an accounting practice. We focus on educating the journey to sell a practice and how to increase firm revenue prior to any sale. Our program ensures you start years prior to a sale by learning what is expected of you during the selling process, and introducing firm Partners to cross selling opportunities that are easy to implement and reduce your workload at the same time. We introduce you to value added connections to smartly grow revenue in your accounting practice.

Kat Jennings has been retained by organizations worldwide to locate tax professionals with highly specialized tax knowledge and expertise. She has a thorough understanding of the tax business community, with a proven record of stellar performances matching professionals with organizations. Bringing two parties together to work successfully is the art of understanding personalities, cultural fit, expectations by both parties, flexible or inflexible work environments, understanding what drives and motivates each party, and revolves around the personality and ethics of each executive team.

Kat is a widely recognized expert in high level, tax executive search, as well as connecting buyers and sellers of accounting firms. TaxConnections provides and educates small to medium size accounting firms owners and Partners how to prepare and sell their firms so they can build a succession plan for their retirement. With larger firms seeking to acquire smaller accounting practices, there is a real need to help firm owners prepare to be acquired. Most firm owners are unaware they are not ready to sell when they decide to retire. TaxConnections educates firm owners’ what they need to do years in advance of selling an accounting firm practice.
Senior tax executives expect the utmost privacy when being introduced to multinational organizations about a new tax opportunity under consideration. Having said that, companies searching for a new head of tax expecting tax executive candidates to submit their resume through a resume portal, will never see a full slate of outstanding tax executives available due to a candidates’ desire for greater privacy. This is why privacy focused Uber Tax Recruiters consistently outperform in-house recruiters on tax executive searches.

We offer our clients a Performance Retainer Agreement arrangement so their HR department can still recruit and compete with the tax candidates we present on Head of Tax searches. The client pays us a partial fee upfront, and if they find a candidate they deem better than we introduce to them, we forfeit the final fee. Most of the time, they love and prefer our private introductions to tax executive candidates better than what they source through their own resume portals.

When we represent selling/buying small to medium-sized firms, firm owners/partners also demand greater privacy when considering the sale of their practice. TaxConnections provides a safe place to discuss their business needs, elevate their practices’ online reputation, and increase revenue through new streams of business development by outsourcing work and partnering with other firms. Over three decades, we have worked tirelessly to build relationships between firm owners most organizations rarely have access to in the world of tax. There are numerous possibilities you may never have considered previously to bolster the value of your practice and service offerings.

As a globally recognized consultant to multinational organizations, accounting firms, and law firms searching for tax expertise, Kat has been retained by public accounting firms, law firms, and corporations worldwide including Apple Computer, AC Neilson, Accenture, Agilent Technologies, Allergan, Alza, American Express, American Media, Aon, Baker & McKenzie, Barclays Bank, Bechtel, Cargill, Carl Zieuss Vision, Century Aluminum, Chevron, Clorox, Citigroup, Commercials Metals, Constellation Energy, Countrywide, Del Monte, Deloitte Touche, DFS, DLA Piper, E&J Gallo Winery, Electronic Arts, Ernst &Young, Fox Entertainment, Fremont Investments, General Electric,General Motors, Herbalife, Hewlett Packard, Hyatt, Intel, Jones Lang LaSalle, Kimco Realty, KLA Tencor, Koch Industries, KPMG, Levi Strauss, Liberty Mutual, LKQ, Loews, Logitech, Lucas Film, Maersk, McKesson, Nalco, Newell Rubbermaid, Nissan, Oracle, Orbitax, Pacific Gas & Electric, PwC, QAD, SAIC, SanDisk, Sanmina, Sempra Energy, SONY, Synopsys, Ticketmaster, Trimble Navigation, Toyota, Univar, Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo, Vertex, Yahoo, Xilinx, and many more not listed here.
Contact Kat at 858,999.0053 Office/858.232.4415 Cell or kat@taxconnections.com to request a private consultation regarding the sale of your practice, adding top talent to your organization, or merging your practice with another firm owner with a book of business. The possibilities are endless; if you have a dream of a new vision for your professional life; we will scout opportunities throughout the market to make it happen.

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