The Colorado Enterprise Zone (EZ) Program is designed to promote a business-friendly environment in economically distressed areas by offering state income tax credits that incentivize businesses to locate and develop in, and non-profit organizations to assist with the needs of these communities.
Private-sector business activity encouraged by these income tax incentives brings job opportunities and capital investment to economically distressed areas. The private investment results in tax revenue for school districts, cities, counties and the state, outweighing the costs of the tax credits granted.
The areas in color on the map below represent EZ territory.
The cross-hatch pattern highlights Enhanced Rural EZ status (valid for calendar years 2019 and 2020) for the portions of the county designated enterprise zone.
Go to Colorado Information Marketplace for Enterprise Zone map resources.
Speak with your local Enterprise Zone Administrator to learn more about the EZ Program, local conditions, and other local incentives. Contacts can be found here.
Pre-Certification: Businesses wanting to claim any of the Colorado Enterprise Zone (EZ) income tax credits (excluding the Contribution Project credit for which pre-certification is not required), must annually pre-certify with their local EZ Administrator to be eligible to claim EZ tax credits. Pre-certification can be completed up to three months in advance of the business’ tax year start date. Pre-certification is approved by the Local EZ Administrator. Pre-certify each business location as credits are only available for business activity in an Enterprise Zone.
Certification: A business having pre-certified, and then conducted activities that are eligible for EZ credits, must then complete a certification application and receive approval from the local EZ Administrator. Certification documents must be submitted with your Colorado income tax filing. The Certification document from our on-line application system takes the place of DOR forms DR0074, DR0076 and DR0077.
Special Notes about Applying:
Enterprise Zone Contribution Projects are managed by local Zone Administrators to encourage public private partnerships to improve the economy for the benefit of the broader Enterprise Zone. Contribution Projects aim to focus community engagement on an economic issue or opportunity to elicit a shift and accomplish a targeted economic development goal within a defined time period.
Enterprise Zone Administrators are focused on managing this program with a strong ethic and focus on job creation/retention and business expansion in the Enterprise Zone.
Please contact a local Enterprise Zone Administrator to learn more about their objectives and to discuss Project opportunities.
The Colorado Economic Development Commission sets policies and review/approves all Contribution Projects within their authority under Colorado statutes. View program policies here.
Colorado taxpayers may earn Colorado income tax credits by contributing to targeted efforts – certification of the contribution is required.
Find a list of active Projects here.
EZ Contributions follow Federal Charitable Contribution rules, to learn more see IRS Publication 526. See the “Recent Developments” section for information on the treatment of state tax credits for charitable contributions. IRS Publication 561 provides guidance on valuing in-kind donations.
A taxpayer (individual or business) must make a donation to an approved Enterprise Zone Contribution Project. Provide the charitable organization with your Colorado Account Number (learn how) or the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number.
The project will provide the taxpayer with a Certificate documenting their contribution. Contact the Project Organization or the Local Zone Administrator with questions.
The taxpayer may claim the tax credit when filing state income taxes for the year in which the donation was made – review the Colorado Department of Revenue Form DR1366.
Other State Incentives for Charitable Contributions