Tax credits help

When we were deciding whether we could afford a major home renovation, learning about the tax credits available to us was a big factor.

Because we live in a designated historic district, we were eligible to apply for a 30 percent state tax credit available for qualified rehabilitations of non-income-producing properties. After consulting with several helpful neighbors who had successfully applied for and received the credit, I was convinced I would be able to manage the required paperwork. I got in touch with an official from the North Carolina Historic Preservation Office who gave me valuable and practical advice on how to proceed.

Part A of the application involves detailing your renovation plan in order for the state to determine whether the plan meets its standards for historic preservation. Homeowners need to show that the changes planned are respectful of the home’s history and will not damage the structure’s historic character and integrity. Several dozen “before” photos must be submitted for documentation, along with a $250 application fee. The state will consider your Part 1 application and send an acceptance letter if everything is in order.

After rehabilitation work is complete (it must all be done within a 24-month period) you need to submit the Part B application and include a set of “after” photos to document the work you’ve done. If the state accepts your Part B application (I’m still waiting to hear) then you are eligible to take the tax credit, which is spread out over five years.

While the application process does require some effort, it is not overwhelming, and officials in the preservation office are very supportive and accommodating.

Unless legislators take action to save it, this particular tax credit will be sundowned at the end of 2014. So if you live in a historic home and you’ve been considering a renovation project, now might be a great time. For more information, go to and go to the “Get Answers” drop-down menu and select “About Preservation Tax Credits.”

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