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.
Submit Using OHP Document Portal
As of August 11, 2023, all historic preservation certification applications must be submitted electronically, both new applications submitted to State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs) and materials submitted in response to requests for additional information.
OHP's Tax Credit application Portal is now available for secure upload of Tax Credit applications. To upload applications:
1. Prepare all application and supporting documentation files as directed in the NPS "Electronic Submission of Certification Applications".
2. Email email@example.com to request a link to a secure project folder. Provide the name and project part or amendment number of the application.
3. OHP staff creates the folder and returns the folder email link to the applicant as time allows, with a prompt to "open".
4. First-time users will be prompted by Microsoft to "SEND CODE" as verification of the email address. Click on the SEND CODE button.
5. An email is returned with the code. Enter the code in the field provided from the first email.
6. The folder opens. Use the menu at the top to upload documents.
OHP staff receive notification when documents are uploaded. Staff will time/date stamp each document and assign the application to a reviewer. All uploaded documents are processed in the order in which they are received.
The received time/date on the stamp reflects the time and date that staff process the application, not the delivery time and date of the upload.
Questions may be emailed to OHP-FedHistTaxProg@calparks.onmicrosoft.com.
Electronic Tax Incentive Application Submissions Required After August 15th
As of August 15, 2023, all historic preservation certification applications must be submitted electronically, both new applications submitted to State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs) and materials submitted to the NPS in response to requests for additional information.
TPS has issued new application forms and instructions. The forms continue to be downloadable, fillable PDFs. The only change to the forms is the removal of the requirement for the applicant and NPS staff to “sign in ink.” Applicants will now sign the application cover sheet electronically. NPS staff will also sign the forms electronically, and NPS decisions will be issued only electronically. Applicants should start using the new forms now. Beginning August 15, only the new forms will be accepted; all previous versions of the forms will be rejected.
TPS has developed file- and photo-naming conventions and guidance on organizing files for submission, all of which have been issued with the new application form. All electronically submitted applications must follow these conventions and guidance.
Please see the FAQs below for guidance on the transition from hard copy to electronic application submission.
Transition period FAQs
How will the transition period work?
All applications submitted to a SHPO or to the NPS on or after August 15, 2023, MUST be on the newly revised 2023 application forms. For the NPS and any SHPOs accepting applications electronically ahead of that deadline, the applications must also be on the new form. Older forms will NOT be accepted electronically by SHPOs nor by the NPS. Any applications submitted on or after August 15 must be submitted electronically.
What happens to applications submitted in hard copy that are still under review by the SHPO or the NPS at the time of the August 15 deadline?
Applicants will NOT be required to resubmit applications electronically after the August 15 deadline if the application was submitted to the SHPO or the NPS prior to the deadline and review of the application is still in process. For example, if an application was submitted prior to the deadline and later put on hold for more information, and the applicant submits the additional information after the deadline, the additional information must be in the electronic format. The original application and submittals would remain hard copy but any subsequently submitted information after the deadline must be in electronic format.
How will applications be submitted electronically to the NPS?
SHPOs will forward reviewed applications to the NPS via a Sharepoint portal developed by NPS. When NPS puts an application on hold and requests additional information, the applicant and project contact will be notified by email to submit that information through the portal, with a copy sent to the SHPO concurrently using the SHPO's electronic-submission process.
Instructions for submitting information will be included in the NPS email. The applicant and project contact will be emailed a link to a project-specific electronic folder in the Sharepoint portal for one-time use. Once the information has been uploaded by the applicant and the intake completed by the NPS, the files will be moved out of the folder and the folder will be deleted.
Other amendments will continue to be submitted directly to the SHPO as usual, and the SHPO will forward the applications to the NPS after their review has been completed.
What types of e-signatures will be accepted?
Three types of electronic signatures (e-signatures) will be accepted: 1) a scanned PDF of an actual, original wet-signed application, 2) a scanned or digitized version of an actual, original handwritten signature, and 3) a digital signature using a digital ID (e.g., using Adobe software). A name typed in a different font and other types of generated signature images will not be accepted.
Attention Tax Consultants: Revised "Rev. 6/2023" forms now available from the NPS
Beginning Monday, July 17, 2023, all certification applications received in SHPO offices must use the forms labeled “Rev. 6/2023” in the upper left hand corner. The cover sheet of each part must be the NPS-provided 6/2023 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 the NPS Historic Preservation Certification Application web page. 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