Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentive

To review rehabilitations of investment property for the 20% investment tax credit and to certify that historic properties contribute to the significance of historic district for the purpose of donating a conservation easement.

Related Programs15.904 Historic Preservation Fund Grants-In-Aid; 15.914 National Register of Historic Places; 15.915 Technical Preservation ServicesExamples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2016: This program is administered in partnership with the IRS and the State Historic Preservation Offices.


The SHPOs serve as points of contact for property owners and provide forms and technical assistance.

The SHPOs also make certification recommendations to the NPS.

The IRS publishes regulations governing qualifying rehabilitation expenses, the periods for incurring expenses, the tax consequences of certification decisions by the NPS, and all other procedural and legal matters concerning the rehabilitation tax credits.

Fiscal Year 2017: No information available.

Fiscal Year 2018: No information available.

Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: 1,038 completed rehabilitation projects certified and 1,299 proposed projects approved. Fiscal Year 2017: No information available. Fiscal Year 2018: No information available.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The 20% rehabilitation tax credit applies only to income-producing buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places or contributing to registered historic districts; and only for rehabilitations determined by the National Park Service (NPS) to meet the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation.

The income tax deduction for the donation of conservation easements applies to income-producing and non-income producing buildings.

The NPS does not award tax credits or deductions, but only certifies to the Internal Revenue Service whether buildings qualify as ?certified historic structures? and whether rehabilitations undertaken qualify as ?certified rehabilitations? (and therefore may be eligible to claim the 20% rehabilitation tax credit).

Other Internal Revenue Code requirements apply.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

For the rehabilitation tax credit: private owners of commercial and other income-producing historic buildings held for investment purposes.

For the conservation easement deduction; private owners of historic buildings proposed as the subject of charitable easement donations.

Beneficiary Eligibility

For the rehabilitation tax credit: private owners of historic buildings held for investment purposes. For the income tax deduction for the donation of conservation easements: private owners of buildings.


No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Pre-application coordination is encouraged.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. By Historic Preservation Certification Application (OMB No. 1024-0009) through the State Historic Preservation Office to the Technical Preservations Services of the NPS.

Award Procedures

NPS reviews rehabilitation projects seeking the investment tax credit. NPS certifies that the subject building is a ?certified historic structure,? and thus eligible for the tax credits or tax deduction [Part 1 review] and reviews the work to the building [Part 2 review]. If the rehabilitation project meets the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation, NPS designates the project a ?certified rehabilitation? eligible for the tax credit to the Internal Revenue Service [Part 3 review]. However, the NPS does not award tax credits or deductions or make any other financial awards under this program.


Not Applicable.


Federal Property and Administration Services Act, Executive Order Executive Order 11593, Public Law 81-152, 471 U.S.C., Internal Revenue Code Sections 47 and 170.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Applications for rehabilitation tax incentives are reviewed by State Historic Preservation Offices normally within 30 days of receipt, and then forwarded to NPS. Decisions on tax incentives applications normally are made by NPS within 30 days of receipt of review fee, but the time can vary according to the thoroughness of the complete application or the nature of problems encountered and the range of alternatives.


Investment tax credit applications that are initially denied may be appealed to NPS Chief Appeals Officer. A decision by the Chief Appeals Officer is the final administrative decision on behalf of the Department of the Interior. Where possible, denials also include instructions on how a rehabilitation project may be modified in order to meet the Standards and thus achieve approval.


Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program. Matching requirements are not applicable to this program. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

NA. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: NA.

Post Assistance Requirements


Completed rehabilitation work must be documented in photographs submitted with the Request for Certification Work (NPS Form 10-168c).

Cash reports are not applicable.

Progress reports are not applicable.

Expenditure reports are not applicable.

Performance monitoring is not applicable.


Not Applicable.



Financial Information

Account Identification



(Advisory Services and Counseling) FY 16 $0; FY 17 est $0; and FY 18 est $0 - This program does not make monetary awards, but is limited to certifying eligibility for historic preservation tax incentives to the Internal Revenue Service.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance


Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

36 CFR Part 67 (for tax incentives program). Treasury Regulations Section 1.48-12. For complete program information, see website at https://www.nps.gov/tps/tax-incentives.htm.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Brian Goeken National Park Services 1849 C Street, N.W., ORG 2255, Washington, District of Columbia 20240 Phone: (202) 513-7270

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.

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