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Nebraska Historic Tax Credit

(Nebraska Job Creation and Mainstreet Revitalization Act)

April 20, 2017

This guidance document is advisory in nature but is binding on the Nebraska Department of Revenue (Department) until amended. A guidance document does not include internal procedural documents that only affect the internal operations of the Department and does not impose additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties or include confidential information or rules and regulations made in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. If you believe that this guidance document imposes additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties, you may request a review of the document.

This guidance document may change with updated information or added examples. The Department recommends you do not print this document. Instead, sign up for the subscription service at revenue.nebraska.gov to get updates on your topics of interest.

Overview

The Nebraska Job Creation and Mainstreet Revitalization Act (Act) (Laws 2014, LB191 and Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 77‑2901 to 77‑2912) is jointly administered by the Nebraska State Historical Society (NSHS) and the Nebraska Department of Revenue (Department). The Act provides $15 million in Nebraska Historic Tax Credits (NHTCs) to be allocated annually, beginning January 1, 2015 and ending December 31, 2022. This credit is equal to 20% of eligible expenditures incurred for improvements to qualifying historically significant real property and is limited to a $1 million tax credit per project. The NHTC may be used against income tax, the premium tax imposed on insurance companies, or the franchise tax imposed on financial institutions. This credit is transferrable and subject to certain limitations.

The applicant must apply with the NSHS for certification of the historical status of the property, approval of the proposed improvements, and allocation of the NHTC. After completing the improvements and placing the property in service, the applicant must then apply with the NSHS for completed rehabilitation certification. Please refer to the NSHS for more information.

After the NSHS has certified the completed rehabilitation project, the applicant must submit information on the eligible expenditures to the Department for review and approval. The Department will notify the applicant of the approved eligible expenditures, the certified credit amount, and the amount of the required fee to be paid to the Department before any tax credit certificates are issued.

Terms

Eligible Expenditures. An eligible expenditure is any cost incurred for the improvement of historically significant real property located in Nebraska including, but not limited to, qualified rehabilitation expenditures as defined in IRC § 47(c)(2), and related regulations, as long as the improvement is in conformance with the standards as defined below.

Historically Significant Real Property (Property). Historically Significant Real Property means a building or structure used for any purpose, except for a single-family detached residence. A property can be determined to be historically significant in four ways under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77‑2902(3):

  • Individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places;
     
  • Located within a National Register district and contributing to the historical significance of the district;
     
  • Individually designated pursuant to a certified local preservation ordinance; or
     
  • Located within a district designated under a certified local historic preservation ordinance and contributing to the historical significance of the district or the district's economic viability.

Improvement. Improvement means a rehabilitation, preservation, or restoration project that contributes to the basis, functionality, or value of the property with a total cost meeting the minimum required levels of at least $25,000 in all cities; or the greater of $25,000 or 25% of the assessed value of the property if the project is in Lincoln or Omaha.

Placed in Service. Placed in service means that either a temporary or final certificate of occupancy has been issued for the improvement or the improvement is sufficiently complete to allow for its intended use.

Standards. Standards means the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties as promulgated by the U.S. Department of the Interior; or specific standards for the rehabilitation, preservation, and restoration of historically significant real property contained in a properly adopted local preservation ordinance or resolution that has been approved by the State Historic Preservation Officer.

Who Can Apply for the NHTC

Any natural person, political subdivision, limited liability company, partnership, private domestic or private foreign corporation, or domestic or foreign nonprofit corporation can apply for the NHTC.

Application, Tax Credit Allocation, and Tax Credit Certification Process

  • Prior to commencing the rehabilitation work, the applicant must first apply with the NSHS to receive a tax credit allocation under the Act. The NSHS is responsible for certifying the historical status of the property, assigning priority dates, allocating tax credits, and approving the proposed work. Once the project is complete and placed in service, the applicant must request a completed rehabilitation certification from the NSHS within 12 months.

Contact the NSHS for more information on the application process, application forms, application timeline, and how to request an allocation of NHTCs.

    Nebraska State Historical Society
    1500 R Street
    PO Box 82554
    Lincoln, NE  68501
    402-471-4787

  • After the NSHS has issued the completed rehabilitation certification, the applicant may request the Department examine the eligible expenditures, and calculate and certify tax credits. If more than 30 days have passed since the request for completed rehabilitation certification was filed with the NSHS, the applicant may petition the Department directly without a determination from the NSHS.
  • The applicant must submit a Part 4 — Request for Certification of Credits, electronically through the NHTC web application at nhtc.ne.gov, along with all documentation supporting the eligible expenditures.
     
  • The Department will approve or deny (in whole or in part) the submitted eligible expenditures and calculate the tax credits based on the approved eligible expenditures and the allocated credits. The decision to deny credits may be appealed (see "How to Protest a Notice of Deficiency Determination").
     
  • The Department will collect a fee equal to 0.25% of the amount of credits approved by the Department.
     
  • The Department will issue tax credit certificates once the appropriate fee has been paid.

Expenditures

Date to Begin Calculating Eligible Expenditures.  The Department will allow qualified eligible expenditures incurred on and after the first submission date of the Part 2 application to the NSHS.

Expenditures Incurred Prior to the Submission Date.  Expenditures incurred up to six months prior to the first submission date of the Part 2 application will be disallowed unless they are for architectural fees, accounting and legal fees, or costs related to the protection of the historically significant real property from deterioration.

Expenses Incurred for the Protection of Historically Significant Buildings.  Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-2905(5).  Expenses incurred for the protection of a historically significant building are only permitted for temporary or emergency repairs that are limited to the least degree of intervention and preparatory to other work.  The documentation necessary to substantiate such expenditures will vary based on the work involved.  For example, a picture of a hole in a roof will establish that the roof needed to be patched (not replaced), but expenses to repair a wall will need to be supported by a statement from a third party engineer, for example, indicating that collapse was imminent if the repair did not occur.

Expenditures Incurred by an Original Applicant When a Building is Sold.  Expenditures incurred by an applicant who transfers ownership of a building to a new owner before a project is placed-in-service may be included in the new owner’s calculation of eligible expenditures as long as the prior owner does not claim those expenditures in a separate NHTC application.

Important Dates

Important Dates
Description
January 2, 2015
First date that NHTC applications can be filed
December 31, 2022
Last date that NHTC applications can be filed

Types and Transferability of NHTCs

The Department will issue two types of tax credit certificates. Both types may be used to offset income tax, the premium tax imposed on insurance companies, or the franchise tax imposed on financial institutions. 

Type A – An NHTC that can be used by the taxpayer to offset a tax, or distributed through the ownership structure like a Type B credit (see below), but can also be transferred, sold, or assigned one or more times, either in whole or in part, by or to any person or legal entity before it is used to offset a tax.    

Type B – An NHTC that can be used by the applicant to offset a tax, or distributed through multiple ownership tiers of a partnership, limited liability company, or an S corporation to the owners in the same manner as the partners, members, or shareholders account for their proportionate shares of the entity's income or losses; or pursuant to an executed agreement among the partners, members, or shareholders documenting an alternate distribution method. These credits cannot be transferred, sold, assigned, or distributed outside the ownership structure.

Issuance of NHTCs

The type of NHTCs issued by the Department is based on the entity (applicant) who is requesting certification of eligible expenditures. The original issuance of the tax credit certificates will be to the applicant.

  • Political subdivisions and entities exempt from income tax under IRC § 501(c)(3) will be issued all Type A tax credit certificates.
     
  • All other entities will be issued tax credit certificates that have been divided equally (50%) between Type A and Type B.   

All transfers, sales, assignments or distributions of NHTCs must be reported to the Department within 15 days of the transfer on a form prescribed by the Department. See Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-2909(4). Once a transfer is confirmed by a transferee, or a distribution request is approved by the Department, it cannot be reversed.

Claiming Credits

Tax credits may be claimed starting with the taxable year that the improvement is placed in service. Exception: The members/partners/shareholders of a flow-through entity may not use Type B NHTCs (non-transferable credits) to offset a tax liability in any tax year prior to the year in which they obtained an ownership interest in the entity.

The tax credit is nonrefundable; however, any credit that is not used can be carried forward until fully utilized or until December 31, 2027, whichever is earlier.

Recapture of the NHTCs

If at any time during the five years after the improvement is placed in service, the NSHS determines that the property has been the subject of work not in substantial conformance with the approved application or the documents from which the tax credit was calculated, the tax credits will be subject to recapture. As a condition of the Department issuing tax credit certificates, the NHTCs are subject to recapture from the person owning the property on the date the NSHS determines the recapture event occurred. Refer to the NSHS for more information on the causes of recapture.

  • If a recapture event occurs, all or some of the tax credits will be recaptured from the property owner, based on the date the NSHS determines the recapture event occurred.
     
  • If the property owner is a partnership, a limited liability company, or an S corporation, the liability for the recaptured credits will be proportionate to the partners', members', or shareholders' ownership in the applicable entity.
     
  • A property owner will be given a written notice and allowed six months to correct any nonconformance before recapture is made.
If the event causing recapture
occurs during the:
Percentage of NHTCs subject to recapture
1st year after the property is placed into service
100%  
2nd year after the property is placed into service
80%  
3rd year after the property is placed into service
60%  
4th year after the property is placed into service
40%  
5th year after the property is placed into service
20%  

Questions regarding the Nebraska Historic Tax Credit may be directed to:

Lee Glaser
Revenue Tax Specialist, Policy Section
Nebraska Department of Revenue   
301 Centennial Mall South
PO Box 94818
Lincoln, NE 68509-4818
402-471-5669  Fax: 402-471-5946
lee.glaser@nebraska.gov


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