<Many of the commercial buildings along Westminster Street in Providence are listed on the National Register and are eligible for the Historic Preservation Investment Tax Credit.
The Historic Preservation Investment Tax Credit (HPITC) helps you restore your historic income-producing building by making preservation work more affordable. If your preservation project is approved, you will receive a credit on your state income tax return.
Download materials, and read the Q & A section to learn more about the HPITC.
DOWNLOADS and LINKS (.pdf unless otherwise noted)
What is the fee for tax credit certification?
The fee is 2.25% of Qualified Rehabilitation Expenditures. $500 is required for a Part 2 certifcation, and the balance is required for the Part 3 certification. more information
What are the results of the recent analysis of the tax credit?
The study found that the RI Historic Preservation Investment Tax Credit is stimulating economic development, creating jobs, rehabilitating housing, and helping to revitalize communities statewide. For more information, refer to the summary or download the report.
How big is the credit?
The credit equals 30% of the cost of approved rehabilitation work. If you spend $100,000, you get $30,000 back. In order to qualify, the project must cost at least as much as half the value of the building (50% of adjusted basis).
Can I get it all at once?
The entire credit may be claimed when the project is completed. Unused portions of the credit may be taken over a 10-year period. Also, the owner does not have to use the credit him/herself, but instead can sell the credit to another individual or to a corporation. Non-profit owners can qualify for the credit and assign or sell it to a tax-paying partner or investor.
Is my building historic?
Yes--if it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places or is located within a National Register Historic District and contributes to the district's significance, or if it is part of a local historic district. To confirm if your property is eligible, email Mercedes Monteiro or call her at (401) 222-4133.
What if my building seems historic but isn't listed on the National Register or State Register?
To qualify for the State historic rehabilitation tax credit, the property must be listed before the rehabilitation project is completed and the building is placed in service. Owners of properties that the Commission considers to be eligible for listing may apply for preliminary certification of their properties. Preliminary certifications will become final when the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Issuance of preliminary certification does not obligate the Commission to nominate the property. Applicants proceed with Rehabilitation projects at their own risk; if the historic property is not listed prior to completion of the project, the preliminary certification will not become final. To get your property listed on the National Register, email Mercedes Monteiro or call her at (401) 222-4133.
What kind of building qualifies?
Most historic buildings that are used to produce income will qualify, such as offices, stores, rental apartments, and factories; development of condominiums may qualify also. Private residences and tax-exempt properties like schools, hospitals, and churches do not qualify.
What size project qualifies?
Owners must "substantially" rehabilitate their historic building. For the Rhode Island HPITC this generally means the cost of the project must be greater than 50% of the value of the building (not including the value of the land the building occupies). See the definition of "Substantial Rehabilitation" in the State Regulations. For federal tax credits, the cost of the project must be greater than 100% of the value of the building.
What work qualifies?
Exterior and interior rehab qualify for the tax credit as long as the work meets the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitating Historic Properties. Eligible projects include work on the roof, exterior walls, windows, foundations, structure, heating, plumbing, electrical system, and interior improvements that are capitalized to the building.
What work doesn't qualify?
New additions to the building, site work, landscaping, and costs of fixtures and furnishings are not eligible. For more information, see Causes for denial.
How do I apply?
There is a 3-part application process. Part 1 requires information about the historical significance of the property and its current condition. Part 2 requires information about the proposed plans for the project. Part 3 requires information about the completed project. Applications must be filed before the project is completed.
How long does it take?
Submit a completed application at any time of year. Reviews take approximately four weeks.
Can I get restoration advice?
We encourage applicants to discuss their project with one of our staff architects before beginning work. This consultation will make sure that the project will qualify and ensure that good historic preservation practices are followed. Please email Roberta Randall or call her at (401) 222-4333, or email Virginia Hesse or call her at (401)222-4135.
What's the fine print?
Click HPITC Regulations and HPITC legislation to download copies. Many provisions of this tax incentive are described in "Using the Rhode Island Historic Preservation Investment Tax Credit: Clarifications from the Tax Division Provide Practical Guidance."
What was the recent IRS ruling on the credits?
In August 2003, the United States Internal Revenue Service issued a ruling on the federal tax treatment of State Historic Preservation Investment Tax Credits.