Tax Credit Application

Instructions for Completing Historic Preservation Certification Application


Click here to visit the National Park Service's webapge and download the Tax Credit application.

Click here to download a sample completed Tax Credit application.

You must submit two copies of all pieces of the application. IL SHPO retains one copy in Springfield, and we mail the other copy to the NPS in Washington, DC, for their review.

Parts 1, 2, and 3, and the Amendment form require that the applicant attest that he or she is the fee simple owner of the building by checking (or not checking) a box above his or her signature. If you are not the fee simple owner, you must obtain the owner's signature or attach a statement from the owner indicating that he or she has no objection to the application. The NPS won't review your application if the boxes are not appropriately checked (or left unchecked as in the case of the Part 3).

Part 1

If your building is listed individually on the National Register, you do not need to complete Part 1 of the application. Hooray!

If your building is not yet listed on the National Register but is in the process of being listed, you need to fill out a Part 1 and include a draft of the National Register nomination when you mail it to the IL SHPO. Ideally, you should already be working with the IL SHPO's National Register staff at this point.

If your building is in a Natonal Register historic district, you must fill out a Part 1 so that your building can be certified as historic and contributing to the historic character of the district. That will officially make the building eligible for the tax credits. In your Part 1, briefly describe the building's architectural style, materials, and current condition. You should also write a brief statement of significance—how it adds to the significance of the district. Include a map of the historic district (available from this office) with your building marked and some exterior photos. The Part 1 of the sample application describes a typical Main Street-type building found in many of Illinois' historic downtowns. If you need additional assistance, contact our office, and we will help.

Site Visit

Early in the development of your application, you should contact the IL SHPO so we can schedule a site visit, which will greatly assist us in our review. Generally, we will not forward an application to the NPS until after a site visit has been made.

Part 2

All projects must submit a Part 2, which is a narrative of your project's scope of work. It should be submitted before any construction begins. The Part 2 must be accompanied by two sets of labeled, high-resolution, color photographs of the interior and exterior, cross-referenced to the Part 2 descriptions. If you have plans and specifications, submit them along with the filled-out Part 2 form.

The Part 2 in the sample application breaks down a typical Main Street-type project into brief but specific components. Obviously, every structure is different, and the construction and techniques described may not apply to your project. While the sample describes treatments that meet the Secretary of the Interior's Standards, each project is evaluated on an individual basis.

We encourage you to discuss a draft of your Part 2 with us before you mail us two final hardcopies.

The Part 2 asks for an estimate of Qualified Rehabilitation Expenditures (QREs), which is the money spent to and within the building as it sits when construction begins, not including purchase price, site work, or furnishings, generally speaking. Click here to read about the precise definition of QREs and a whole lot more in this helpful IRS document. No, really. You should be relatively accurate on your estimate, but it's OK if it doesn't exactly match the actual QREs that you will be asked for on the Part 3 when construction is complete.

The NPS charges a review fee based on a project's QREs, and it will not review a Part 2 unless one half of the review fee is paid. Sorry about that. When the NPS receives the Part 2 from IL SHPO, it will e-mail you an invoice for half the fee to be paid via pay.gov.

  • For project with less than $80,000 in estimated QREs, there is no fee.
  • For projects between $80,000 and $3,849,999 in estimated QREs, the fee equals $845 + 0.15% of the estimated QREs over $80,000.
  • For projects with QREs of over $3,850,000, the fee is a flat $6,500.

So for a project with estimated QREs of $2,750,000, the total review fee would be:

$845 + (.0015 X ($2,750,000 - $80,000)) = $4,850

The NPS will charge one half of that, or $2,425, at the Part 2 stage.

Amendments

If a project changes during construction after a Part 2 is certified, you need to submit an Amendment form that describes those changes before they are constructed. Think of an Amendment like a miniature Part 2, where the change(s) is/are described and accompanied by photos or drawings, as needed. This same Amendment form is used to notify us of changes in ownership or, in the case of 60-month phased projects, to request approval of a completed phase. Submit two copies of the Amendment, and IL SHPO will review and send to the NPS for their review.

Part 3

You submit the Part 3 once construction is complete. Include two sets of labeled "after" photographs. The form asks for the total project cost (QREs plus non-QREs) and the final estimated QREs, which will be used to calculate the final part of your review fee.

For the above example that had $2,750,000 of QREs at the Part 2 stage, its final estimated QREs wound up being $2,900,000. To find the rest of the review fee, recalculate based on the new QRE amount and subtract what you paid at the Part 2 stage:

$845 + (.0015 X ($2,900,000 - $80,000)) = $5,075

$5,075 - $2,425 = $2,650 that must be paid before the NPS will review your Part 3

One Last Thing

An incomplete or incorrect form may cause the application to be returned, so contact our office if you have any questions.