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).

Tax Credit Brochure


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.



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.


2019 FederalTax Incentives Report Released

2019 Federal Annual Tax Report coverThe 2019 Federal Tax Incentives for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings listing all Tax Incentive projects by state, was released by the National Park Service.  California ranked twelfth in the nation in terms of certified expenses, with $206,099,108 of qualified rehabilitation expenditures. Pennsylvania was first in qualified rehabilitation expenditures with $584,278,642.
A complete printed report for 2019 is available now for download.

For 2019 California Tax Credit projects and annual reports, visit the Certified California Tax Incentive Projects page.


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  Guidance for NPS Documentation submittals 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.

Photo 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.

Design-Build Issues

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 2016 v2 applications immediately. Current forms all display "rev. 06/2016 v2" at the top right hand corner of the form.

Applications submitted on forms other than "rev. 06/2016 v2" 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

Revised Program Information from the NPS

RE: Digital Photos for Certification Applications

RE: Easements to Protect Historic Properties