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Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits

Federal Tax Credit Program News!

As of August 15, 2023, the National Park Service (NPS) is requiring all applications be submitted in a digital format.  As of August, 15th, the Kansas State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) office is requiring that that all federal tax credit applications be submitted to us for review through the online portals found here: 

Federal Tax Credit Submission Portal

On December 22, 2017, Public Law No: 115-97 (Pub. L. 115-97) was signed and enacted, amending the Internal Revenue Code 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.

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Federal 20% Tax credit for Historic Buildings

The National Park Service (NPS), in partnership with the State Historic Preservation Office(SHPO) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), offers a federal income tax credit equal to 20 percent of a property owner's investment in the rehabilitation of a historic building. Additional information can be found on the NPS website.


  • The Federal Tax Credit is equal to 20 percent of qualifying expenses incurred during a qualified project on a qualified building
  • Buildings must be qualified historic structures. Qualified buildings are those that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, have been deemed contributors to a National Register Historic District, or have been certified as a historic structure by the National Park Service through Part 1 of the application process. Buildings that are not yet listed on the National Register, but have been certified as historic for purposes of the tax credit program, must be added to the National Register within 30 months of the project's completion.
  • Proposed work must follow a qualified rehabilitation plan. Qualified rehabilitation projects are those that meet the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and have been reviewed and approved by the National Park Service (NPS) through the application process.
  • Buildings must be income-producing. Uses include hotels, rental residences, bed & breakfasts, office space, retail space, industrial or agricultural use.
  • The Internal Revenue Service requires that rehabilitation projects be "substantial". This means that the cost of the rehabilitation must exceed the adjusted basis of the building. You must exceed that adjusted basis within a 24-month period (or you may phase a project out for 60 months if needed.) Please see the IRS Info page or contact your financial adviser or the SHPO for more information.
  • Work may begin before the rehabilitation plan is approved by the NPS, but it is not recommended. Please contact the SHPO as soon as possible to avoid risking denial of your project.
  • Credits must be claimed by the property owner in accordance with IRS regulations. See Public Law No: 115-97.


Application Process

To submit a Federal Tax Credit Application click HERE.

Before you begin:

  • Contact the SHPO as soon as possible to verify that your property and project will meet the Federal Tax Credit qualifications.  To help sort through the process, this flow chart can help. Which program is right for your project.
  • Contact your financial adviser to verify that you can take advantage of these tax incentives.
  • Read through the application instructions and begin gathering all required information, documentation and project information.
  • Applications may be submitted through the online portal at any time of year.  There is no time restrictions


When you are ready to submit:

  • All applications must be submitted to the SHPO through the online portal for the initial review.
  • The SHPO will review the application and work with the applicants to try to ensure the application has complete and detailed information to meet the NPS guidelines. 
  • Complete Application will be forwarded to the NPS by the SHPO staff along with the SHPO recommendations. State recommendations are generally followed, but by law, all certification decisions are made by the NPS on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior. The NPS decision may differ from the recommendation of the SHPO.
  • Applications may be submitted through the online portal at any time of year.  There is no time restrictions on submissions, however a Federal Tax Credit Project that requires a Part 1 must be submitted before the rehabilitation project is completed.


Part 1Evaluation of Significance

If your building is individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places, you will NOT need to file this portion of the application.

The Part 1 Application is used to certify that your building is a historic structure for purposes of the tax credit program. The Part 1 is required if the property is located within a historic district, part of a collection of buildings (example: farmstead), or if the building is NOT yet listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is seeking Preliminary Determination for Individual Listing.  

The Part 1 requires:

  • A complete photo documentation of the entire building before the rehabilitation starts.
  • a photo key showing where the photos were taken from.
  • a description of the building (if part of a district a description of any changes since listing is required)
  • a description of the history or significance of the building. 

If your building is not yet listed on the National Register, either individually or as part of a district, you will need to file this form and submit photographic documentation of the building. Information should be sufficient for the NPS to make a preliminary determination as to whether or not the building would be eligible for the National Register if it were nominated. Usually, this means submission of a draft National Register nomination. The SHPO can provide guidance and examples to aid applicants in preparing this information.


Part 2Description of the Scope of the Rehabilitation Work.

The Part 2 is required for ALL buildings seeking to participate in the Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program.  It provides a description of the work that will be undertaken as part of the rehab project. 

This portion of the application must be submitted by all applicants for the 20 percent Federal Tax Credit. The form is used to certify that the proposed project will meet the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. It is recommended that Part 2 be submitted prior to initiation of the rehabilitation project. Owners who undertake rehabilitation projects without prior approval do so at their own risk. Parts 1 and 2 may be submitted together, but Part 1 must be evaluated prior to review of Part 2

The applicant should outline the building's existing condition and all proposed work on this form. Photographs showing all areas of proposed changes are required. If you are proposing major changes or you are using an architect, additional materials, such as drawings, may be required. The SHPO staff will review the application and materials to aid the applicant in the application process. The SHPO will advise applicants and provide technical assistance when needed. Applications will then be forwarded to the NPS for final review and approval.

Amendment/Continuation Sheet
If your scope of work changes or you wish to add something to your project you are required to submit an amendment sheet for approval.

Part 3Certification of Completed Work
A project does not become a "certified rehabilitation" until it is completed and certified by the NPS. This form, with supporting photographs of the finished work, should be submitted when all work has been completed. Upon review and approval by the NPS, projects will be certified as complete and as qualifying for the 20 percent Federal Tax Credit.

Download application forms:


  1. DO NOT open the forms in a browser tab or window
  2. DOWNLOAD the forms and SAVE them to your computer. To download and save, right click on the link and choose "Save Link As..."
  3. Open Acrobat Reader
  4. Open the forms in Reader


Part 1—Evaluation of Significance

Part 2—Description of Rehabilitation

Amendment/Advisory Determination

Part 3—Request for Certification of Completed Work

Processing Fees—An application processing fee is required for the NPS to review applications for the 20 percent Federal Tax Credit. The fee for review of a Part 2 application for a project exceeding $20,000 is $250. The fee for review of a completed rehabilitation project is based on the dollar amount spent on the project. The NPS will subtract the $250 paid for review of the Part 2 if submitted previously. The following table shows the fee schedule charge by the NPS for review of completed projects. The fee is not due until requested by the NPS in writing.

Qualified Expenditures     Fee

$5,000 - $25,000              $200

$25,001 - $50,000            $350

$50,001 - $100,000          $500

$100,001 - $500,000        $900

$500,001 - $1,000,000     $1,500

over $1,000,000                $2,000

Claiming the 20 Percent Federal Tax Credit
When the approved work is complete and Part 3 of the Federal application has been approved, property owners may claim the 20 percent Federal Tax Credit on IRS Form 3468 (check the IRS website )The IRS may require an itemized list of your expenses, a copy of your Part 3—Certification of Completed Work, or other materials. If the amount of the tax credit exceeds your tax liability for the year in which the property is placed in service, the excess amount may be carried forward for up to twenty years. Please consult your financial adviser for more information.

Examples of Qualified Costs
Walls Doors
Partitions Windows
Floors Stairs
Ceilings Chimneys
Fire escapes Sprinkling systems
Escalators & Elevators Engineering Fees
Electrical wiring & lighting fixtures Architect fees
Plumbing & plumbing fixtures Reasonable developer fees
Construction management costs Roofing
Construction period interest & taxes Carpeting (if glued down)
Permanent coverings such as paneling or tiling
Components of central air condition or heating systems
Any fees paid that would normally be charged to a capital account
Other components related to the operation/maintenance of the building
Examples of Unqualified Costs
Acquisition costs Leasing expenses
Appliances Fencing
Cabinets Feasibility studies
Outdoor lighting remote from bldg Financing fees
Carpeting (if tacked in place) Parking lots
Decks (if not original to building) Paving
Enlargement costs (increase in total volume) Planters
Moving (bldg) costs Retaining walls
Porches & porticos (if not original to bldg) Furniture
Storm sewer construction costs Sidewalks
Window treatments (curtains, blinds,...) Signage
Demolition costs (removal of a building on property site) Landscaping