Zone designations benefit businesses for 2014 tax returns

Stock image, St. George News

PHOENIX — The Internal Revenue Service announced Monday that all empowerment zone designations remained in effect through the end of 2014. These zones are designated urban and rural areas where employers and other taxpayers qualify for special tax incentives.

The announcement primarily affects businesses that would benefit from claiming the tax incentives for empowerment zones on their 2014 returns, either original or amended.

The IRS issued notice 2015-26 in March to address the relevant provision of the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014.  The notice provided that any nomination for an empowerment zone in effect on Dec. 31, 2013 will have a new termination date of Dec. 31, 2014, unless the governing state or municipality declined the extension in a notification to the IRS.

The deadline for notification was May 11, and no state or municipality contacted the IRS to decline the extension. All empowerment zone designations in effect on Dec. 31, 2013, remain in effect through Dec. 31, 2014.

Congress created empowerment zones in 1993. Most zones had an expiration date of Dec. 31, 2009. This is the third extension of the expiration date.

The designation for the District of Columbia enterprise zone ended on Dec. 31, 2011.


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  • BIG GUY June 21, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    I’ve always been leery of flat tax proposals (a la Rand Paul, most recently) but this IRS article reminds me how complex our tax code is and how our elected officials create more complexity every year trying to reduce taxes for favored constituencies.

    • Bender June 23, 2015 at 10:44 am

      Like most you assume the sole reason for the tax code is revenue generation. It’s also used as a powerful tool to effect change in tax payer behavior . Whether or not this is a good idea depends on if your pet concern is being helped or hindered by the tax code. Any discussion of a flat tax is dishonest if it doesn’t address this issue. The use of monetary incentives is very powerful and is not likely to ever be abandoned by a government.
      That said, I’m all for a simplified tax code.

  • Brian June 22, 2015 at 10:37 am

    The 80,000+ page tax code is designed to be a political weapon. It would only take 1 page to have a tax code that was reasonable, fair, and effective at raising revenue. But raising revenue isn’t the point of the tax code or the IRS. Control is.

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