Housing Assistance: An Inventory of Fiscal Year 2010 Programs, Tax Expenditures, and Other Activities

U.S. Government Accountability Office

Historic preservation tax credit (20 percent)

Administering Agency/Entity Internal Revenue Service and National Park Service
Short Description Allows building owners and private investors to claim a 20 percent tax credit for costs to substantially rehabilitate buildings that are on the National Register of Historic Places or are otherwise certified as historic by the National Park Service. To be eligible for the credit, buildings must be used for offices; rental housing; or commercial, industrial, or agricultural enterprises. Building owners must hold the building for 5 years after completing the rehabilitation or pay back at least a portion of the credit. The structure may not serve exclusively as the owner’s private residence. Historic preservation tax credit is administered by both IRS, which oversees the tax credit, and the National Park Service, which certifies historically significant structures and oversees the technical standards for historic preservation.
Primary Purpose Supports housing and other activities
Type of Housing Supported Rental housing
Type of Assistance Tax credit
Estimated Revenue Loss1 Treasury estimated revenue losses of $390,000,000 for fiscal year 2010, but this estimate does not specify what portion of the revenue losses are for residential versus other commercial historic structures.

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