Federal Historic Tax Credits

A financial incentive for the rehabilitation of historic buildings and downtowns.

Established in 1976, the federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC) is available for the rehabilitation of historic, income-producing buildings that are determined by the Secretary of the Interior, through the National Park Service, to be “certified historic structures.” State Historic Preservation Offices and the National Park Service review the rehabilitation work to ensure that it complies with the Secretary’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

The federal historic tax credit program is also a significant financial incentive for the reuse of historic buildings and revitalization of historic downtowns. Current federal tax incentives for historic preservation were established by the Tax Reform Act of 1986 and include:

  • A 20 percent tax credit of Qualified Rehabilitation Expenditures (QREs) for the cost incurred during the rehabilitation of a certified historic structure for commercial, agricultural, industrial or residential rental purposes.
  • A 10 percent tax credit of QREs for the costs incurred during the rehabilitation of an older, non-residential building built before 1936 that is not yet listed as a certified historic structure.


In addition to the federal HTC program, many states offer additional incentives, including:

Alabama 25%
Arkansas 25%
Colorado 20%
Connecticut 25%
Delaware 20%
Georgia 25%
Illinois 25%
Iowa 25%
Kansas 25%
Kentucky 30%
Louisiana 25%
Maryland 20%
Massachusetts 20%
Minnesota 90%
Mississippi 25%
Missouri 25%
Montana 25%
Nebraska 20%
New Mexico 50%
New York 20%
North Carolina 10%
North Dakota 25%
Ohio 25%
Oklahoma 20%
Pennsylvania 25%
Rhode Island 20%
South Carolina 25%
Tennessee 25%
Texas 25%
Utah 20%
Vermont 10%
Virginia 25%
West Virginia 25%
Wisconsin 20%

Updated: 08/02/2018


The property must be a “certified historic structure,” including:

  • A listing in the National Register of Historic Places;
  • A building located in a registered historic district and certified by the National Park Service as contributing to the historic significance of that district;
  • An older, non-residential building built before 1936 that is not yet formally listed as a certified historic structure.