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How to Complete the Tax Certification Application Form

RESIDENTIAL

The information contained in this document applies only to applications for the West Virginia state income tax credit for the rehabilitation of private residences.

The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) will, at the request of an owner, review any application, no matter the state of disarray. It should be kept in mind, however, that the application package represents the building and the owner. A sloppy, incomplete or hard to read application will increase the difficulty of the review process. The application package is a presentation package for the project.

The Application Process

The owner or the owner's agent, often an architect, accountant or preservation consultant, completes the appropriate parts of the application form, assembles the required supporting documentation and submits the application to the State Historic Preservation Office. The application is reviewed by the State Historic Preservation Office staff and the owner is informed of the decision regarding the application.

The application must be submitted to the State Historic Preservation Office before work on the project begins. This will allow for discussion and negotiation regarding proposed work items that might violate the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation.

All proposed and completed work is evaluated using the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings. All work on a project must meet the Standards or the application is rejected. There is no partial credit for work completed as part of a project which does meets the Standards. The work must be complete and approved.

Applications submitted to the State Historic Preservation Office must be reviewed within 30 days.

The Application Form

The application form consists of three parts:

Historic Preservation Certification Application Part 1- Evaluation of Significance

Historic Preservation Certification Application Part 2- Description of Rehabilitation

Historic Preservation Certification Application - Request for Certification of Completed Work

The first page of each part (1, 2 and 3) must be completed on the original form and have an original signature. The remainder of each section can be completed on the form or on a computer generated facsimile or approximation.

The State Historic Preservation Office will review draft applications and provide useful and appropriate comments to improve the final submission. Draft applications need not be complete.

Historic Preservation Certification Application Part 1- Evaluation of Significance

The Part 1 application must be completed for all buildings that are not yet listed on the National Register of Historic Places or that are listed as contributing buildings in historic districts that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

An application for a building that is individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places does not need a completed Part 1 since its significance as a certified historic structure has been previously determined.

The information required to answer questions 5 & 6 in Part 1 is generally the same information required for a National Register nomination and can be taken from the district nomination or from the proposed individual nomination. The Part 1 must be accompanied by copies of historic photos of the building if these are available, contemporary interior and exterior photos showing all facades and significant and typical interior spaces and features. It is also necessary to provide an historic district map if appropriate or a city map showing the location of the building.

Part 1 applications may be submitted before any work is planned for a particular building. An approved Part 1 establishes the building as a certified historic structure.

Historic Preservation Certification Application Part 2- Description of Rehabilitation

Part 2 of the application describes the proposed work. Question 5 is the most complex part of the application to fill out. An architectural feature is any definable work item. It could be the roof, foundation, heating system, electrical system, plumbing, windows, door hinges or any other item that the owner wishes to describe. It is necessary to describe the feature as it exists when the project starts. In the companion box there should be a description of the proposed work. Each feature should be illustrated with appropriate before photos. Each photo should be labeled and numbered on the back. The application package should include floor plans for all affected floors of the building. These plans need not be done by an architect. They are included in order to provide as much information as possible about the project. Both the plans and the photographs should be keyed to the architectural features described in the application. The application should list all work items that are considered to be capital investment. If professionally produced plans and specifications are part of the project documentation, they should be submitted as part of the application.

Plans and photographs should not be mounted or packaged in any manner.

The Part 2 application should describe the proposed or completed work in the simplest, most straight forward terms. The complete package should provide sufficient information about the project so that a competent reviewer will know what the existing conditions are and what work has been completed or is being proposed without visiting the property in person.

Historic Preservation Certification Application - Request for Certification of Completed Work

The Request for Certification of Completed Work is the simplest of the three parts of the application form. This one page form is submitted to the State Historic Preservation Office when the project is complete. It should be accompanied by photos of the completed project. Often it is helpful to organize the information around the submitted and approved Part 2 application, making sure to have an image for the items originally described and now complete.

Substantial Rehabilitation

In order to qualify for the Credit an owner must undertake material rehabilitation, defined as the expenditure equal to 20% of the assessed value of the building (not including the assessed value of the land) when the project starts. An owner has 24 months to meet the material rehabilitation test with the test period ending on December 31 of the tax year for which the credit will be claimed.

The Fee

The State Historic Preservation Office charges a fee to review state residential tax credit certification applications. The State Historic Preservation Office will bill the owner at the appropriate point in the review process. Do not submit a check with your application.

The amount of the fee is based on a sliding scale determined by the dollar amount of the project.

$10,000 or less$50
$10,001 to $100,000 $100
$100,001+$500

No fee is charged to review the Historic Preservation Certification Application Part 1- Evaluation of Significance. When the Historic Preservation Certification Application Part 2- Description of Rehabilitation is submitted to the State Historic Preservation Office the project owner will be billed for the review fee.

Miscellany

Applications should be submitted as early in the design/construction process as possible. This will allow time for discussion between the owner and the State Historic Preservation Office to permit adjustments to be made in the project in order to achieve the goals of the owner and make sure that the work does conform to the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings.

The application may be submitted prior to the submission of a National Register nomination or simultaneously with such a nomination. The building must be listed on the National Register of Historic Places individually or as a contributing building in a National Register Historic District before the Request for Certification of Completed Work can be approved.

Allowable expenditures for calculating the credit include all expenditures properly chargeable to a capital account. This does include some soft costs.

An owner may take the credit on all allowable expenditures on a project that are incurred prior to December 31 of the tax year for which the credit will be claimed.

An owner may apply for the credit on the same residence more than once provided that the material rehabilitation test is met for each succeeding application.

An owner may complete an approved rehabilitation project and prior to taking the credit and prior to placing the building in service may sell the building to a new owner and the credit may be transferred to the new owner.

The credit may be carried forward for up to five years.

Questions should be directed to:

Tax Credit Coordinator
West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
Charleston, WV 25305-0300
304/558-0240

The program receives Federal funds from the National Park Service. Regulations of the U. S. Department of Interior strictly prohibit unlawful discrimination in departmental Federally Assisted Programs on the basis of race, color, national origin, age or handicap. Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against in any program, activity or facility operated by a recipient of federal Assistance should write to: Director, Equal Opportunity Program, U. S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, P. O. 37127, Washington, D. C. 20013-7127