Note: This article was updated on August 18, 2021 to make some clarifications and correct some factual errors.
A research study completed last month estimates that $24.9 billion of total investments have been made by Qualified Opportunity Funds through the end of 2019.
Last week, the Joint Committee on Taxation issued a report that shows that electronic tax filings account for more than $15.7 billion in total investments via Qualified Opportunity Funds as of the end of 2019. The JCT estimates that electronic filings account for approximately 75 percent of all QOF returns. Extrapolating from that data would indicate that QOFs invested nearly $21 billion through the end of 2019.
The report shows that over 92 percent of these investments went into low-income Opportunity Zone communities, and about six percent went to Opportunity Zones contiguous to low-income communities. To put this into perspective, about $3.5 billion annually has been awarded to qualifying organizations in New Market Tax Credits program.
An earlier research study undertaken for the JCT last month (conducted by UC Berkley PhD candidates Patrick Kennedy and Harrison Wheeler) showed $18.9 billion of aggregate investment in QOFs through 2019. The study estimates that approximately $6 billion of OZ investments filed via paper tax returns are not included in the $18.9 billion figure. That would bring the estimated total to $24.9 billion.
The study also observes 2,756 Qualified Opportunity Funds investing in 2,490 Qualified Opportunity Zone Businesses across 1,362 Opportunity Zone census tracts.