Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program
The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program encourages private sector rehabilitation of historic buildings and is one of the nation's most successful and cost-effective community revitalization programs. It generates jobs and creates moderate and low-income housing in historic buildings.
The program is administered by National Park Service and the Internal Revenue Service in partnership with State Historic Preservation Offices. OHP's Architectural Review and Incentives Unit administers the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program and provides consultation and architectural review based on conformance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties (Standards).
Planning Successful Rehabilitation Projects provides guidance on interpreting and applying the Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for the Treatment of Historic Properties, windows, interior treatments, new additions and related new construction, modern requirements and new technologies and materials, and functionally-related complexes.
Download and review this useful NPS brochure, Historic Preservation Tax Incentives, which provides necessary information when planning a tax credit rehabilitation project. The brochure includes a note that it has not yet been edited to reflect recent tax code changes.
What have the Federal Historic Tax Incentives achieved for California?
For a synopsis of the economic impact and leverage of the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentive Program in California, visit What have the Federal Historic Tax Incentives done for California? page.
Attention Tax Consultants: Revised "Rev. 2019" forms now available from the NPS
Beginning Monday, March 1, 2021, all certification applications received in SHPO offices must use the forms labeled “Rev. 2019” in the upper left hand corner. The cover sheet of each part must be the NPS-provided 2019 form and must bear the applicant’s original signature. As in the past, applicants and consultants who have developed their own versions of the narrative pages that follow the cover sheets may continue to use their versions.
The forms are online at www.nps.gov/tps/tax-incentives/application.htm. To successfully download the forms, follow the instructions below and on the website:
- DO NOT open the forms in a browser tab or window
- DOWNLOAD the forms and SAVE them to your computer. Choose "Save Link As..."
- Open Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Open the forms in Reader
2020 Federal Tax Incentives Report Released
The National Park Service (NPS) approved 3 California projects in 2020 as certified rehabilitations. These completed projects were determined to meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. California ranked 25th in the nation in terms of certified expenses that totaled $38,946,787.
In the Federal Fiscal Year 2020, NPS approved 989 projects (Part 3s) nationwide which represented an estimated investment of $6.54 billion. The program continues to be an effective stimulus for economic recovery in older communities.
See the 2020 NPS Annual Report for national statistics available now.
TPS Introduces "Real-Time" Project Status
Technical Preservation Services has now sync'd their federal tax credit reviewer database with the on-line "Check Project Status" look-up feature and displays the real-time project status information. The link to the Status page can be found in the right column of the Architectural Review page.
Subscribe to Federal Tax Credit News and Guidance Updates
Applicants, consultants, and other program users are encouraged to subscribe for Update notifications. so that TPS can contact users easily to be notified of news and updates concerning the program, as well as TPS general information and guidance. The link is on the TPS home page, but here's the direct link.
Internal Revenue Code Changes in the 20% Historic Tax Credit
On December 22, 2017, Public Law No: 115-97 (Pub. L. 115-97) was signed and enacted, amending the Internal Revenue Code subsection 47 to reduce tax rates and modify policies, credits, and deductions for individuals and businesses. Pub. L. 115-97 (Sec. 13402) modifies the 20% Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit as well as provides certain transition rules. These and other changes to the Internal Revenue Code may affect a taxpayer's ability to use the 20% Historic Tax Credit. Pub. L. 115-97 also repeals the 10% Rehabilitation Tax Credit for non-historic buildings. The text of Pub. L. 115-97 is available at www.congress.gov.
Applicants requesting historic preservation certifications by the National Park Service as well as others interested in the use of these tax credits are strongly advised to consult an accountant, tax attorney, or other professional tax adviser, legal counsel, or the Internal Revenue Service regarding the changes to the Internal Revenue Code related to Pub. L. 115-97.
Tax Credit Application Submittal Guidance
Don't let this happen to you or your client: the return of a tax credit application due to a technical mistake or incomplete form. The information, hyperlinks and checklist provided in Completing a Successful Tax Credit Project Application will practically guarantee that your tax credit application will not be returned due to common yet preventable errors. Download this guidance today!
Don't let this happen either: The return of an application because the photos and other documentation don't meet the National Park Service criteria. Download Guidance for NPS Documentation submittals.
Due to the uneven quality of photo submittals, OHP can only accept individual, unbound, 4" x 6" or larger color photos on glossy photo stock, properly labeled on the back or photo margin ONLY. Any other format will be returned. Refer to Park Service criteria above for the approved format.
OHP has recently been experiencing lack of Standards compliance due to the use of Design-Build mechanical installations which were not coordinated with tax credit review.
Use of the Design-Build process risks the loss of tax credits due to lack of proper review. Make the design team aware of character-defining features of the project and the need for review of any impact to those features.
Use the Revised Tax Credit Application Forms
The NPS has revised the Historic Preservation Certification Application forms and instructions. Applicants should begin using the Rev. 2019 applications immediately. Current forms all display "Rev. 2019" in the upper left hand corner of the forms.
Applications submitted on forms other than "Rev. 2019" will be returned to the Applicant for resubmission.
NPS Review Fees Paid Online Through Pay Portal
All Part 2 and Part 3 applications will be billed by TPS and payment will be made through Pay.gov, the US Department of the Treasury’s electronic payment system, by credit card or ACH bank payment. Upon receipt of a Part 2 or Part 3 application, TPS will generate an invoice delivered by email. Invoices for applications without email addresses will be mailed via the United States Postal Service. Please note that the email addresses will be used only for billing; all certification decisions will still be delivered in hard copy via USPS.
Note: New NPS Mailing Address
Please note that NPS Technical Preservation Services, which reviews the federal historic preservation tax incentive program applications, has just completed their office relocation.
Phone numbers and email addresses have remained the same. A new fax number will be assigned shortly.
The NPS Technical Preservation Service's new mailing address is:
National Park Service
Technical Preservation Services
1849 C Street NW, Mail Stop 7243
Washington, DC 20240