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Federal tax incentives are available for substantial rehabilitations of historic buildings. The incentive is a tax credit taken on the owner's income tax equal to 20% of rehabilitation costs. Application for the credit is made through the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission; final certifications are issued by the National Park Service.
Historic properties must be listed on the National Register of Historic Places as individual structures or as part of a historic district. To confirm if your property is eligible, email Jeffrey Emidy or call him at (401)222-4134. The proposed work is reviewed by RIHP&HC architects and must be consistent with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation.
To be eligible for the tax credits for rehabilitation, the building must be depreciable (i.e., used in trade or business or held for the production of income) and not an owner-occupied residence. The rehabilitation costs must exceed the adjusted basis of the building or $5,000, whichever is greater. The rehabilitation must be completed within a 24-month period.
Also, applications must be received by the RIHPHC before the work is complete. Applications must include photographs of the property before the work has started.
Property owners interested in obtaining these federal tax benefits should email Virginia Hesse or call her at (401)222-4135 to obtain application forms and information on requirements. Or visit the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives webpage on the National Park Service website.
The Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission also administers State Historic Tax Credits for owners of historic commercial buildings.