State Historic Preservation Income Tax Credits

Rehabilitation of residence for tax creditsColorado offers a state income tax credit to property owners for preservation and rehabilitation work on designated historic properties. The credit is 20% of the qualified rehabilitation costs up to a maximum $50,000 credit per qualified property.   

Denver Landmark preservation staff processes state income tax credit applications for historic properties within the City and County of Denver. Owners are advised to obtain appropriate tax advice to ensure that all requirements are met. 

How to Apply

In order to qualify for the state historic preservation income tax credit, there are eligibility requirements related to the historic property, the taxpayer, and the project type and costs. 

Eligible Properties

To participate in the program, a property must be historically designated by one of the following: 

  • National Register of Historic Places 
  • Colorado State Register
  • City and County of Denver  - designated as an individual landmark, or  a "contributing" property (historic property)  in a Denver historic district.  
    Use the Find Landmarks / Districts tool to the right to determine the landmark status of your property.  If you are unsure if your property is a "contributing" property in a historic district, contact Landmark Preservation staff.


Eligible Taxpayers:

  • Property owners or tenants with leases of five (5) or more years
  • Residential or commercial property owners


Eligible Project Types and Costs:

  • Projects must involve physical preservation, restoration or rehabilitation of historic buildings.   A project can include multiple work items.

    Eligible costs include but are not limited to carpentry, plaster, painting, ceilings, fixtures, door and window repairs, fire sprinklers, roofing, exterior repairs, attic insulation, and tuckpointing of brick.

    Ineligible costs include the following:
 
  • Soft costs, such as architectural and engineering fees, acquisition costs, building permit and inspection fees, insurance, temporary power, etc.
  • Routine or periodic maintenance, such as routine painting 
  • Repairs to outbuildings less than 50 years old
  • New construction, as well as repairs to additions that were built after a property received historic designation
  • Interior furnishings
  • Grading, paving, landscaping work
  • Other costs may be ineligible.  Coordinate with Landmark Preservation staff to determine if work items are eligible.
 

  • Projects must preserve the historic character of the property and  meet the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. Denver Landmark Preservation and the Denver Landmark Preservation Commission will review your application to ensure that these standards are met.
  • Rehabilitation costs must be over $5,000.  You can reach the $5,000 minimum through one work  item or multiple smaller work items.
  • If the project is either a Denver landmark or located in a locally-designated historic district, all exterior work items must receive a Certificate of Appropriateness.  See design review to learn how to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness.
  • Projects should not be underway at time of application.

    While the tax credit rules technically allow applicants to apply for the program if work has started within 24 months prior to project application, application submittal does not guarantee project approval.  Applicants who submit an application after beginning work run the risk of project disapproval if program requirements are not met.

Applicants should review the program requirements, complete the Part I application form (PDF) and receive Part I approval from Landmark Preservation prior to beginning work.  

One

Review program requirements.

Two

Complete Part I Application and submit the required fee.

Three

Landmark Preservation staff will review the application within ten (10) days.

 
  • Landmark Preservation staff will notify applicants if the application is incomplete or if additional information is needed to complete the review. 
  • In some cases, Landmark Preservation staff will need to perform a site visit to review the proposed scope of work.
  • Applications will not be considered complete until exterior work included in the project has obtained a Certificate of Appropriateness.  See design review to learn how to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness.

FourOnce a complete Part I application is received, Landmark Preservation staff will place the item on the next available agenda of the Landmark Preservation Commission for approval.   The applicant is notified of the approval status within 45 days of receipt of a complete application.   

Once approval is granted, work can proceed.

  • The applicant must complete the work within 24 months from the date of Part I application approval (“construction period").
  • If work cannot be completed within the 24 month "construction period", owner can request one (1) time extension:
     
    • The written request must be filed at least 60 days prior to the end of the 24 month “construction period” (typically within 22 months from Part I approval) 
    • The request must include "a showing of good cause" for the extension.
    • Landmark Preservation can only grant one (1) extension for up to 24 months.    Landmark Preservation will review request and notify applicants if extension is granted. 

  • Please note that the Part II application is required to be submitted to Landmark Preservation within 60 days of project completion.

OnePrior to completing a Part II application, owner should ensure that work in Part II application matches scope in Part I application.

TwoWithin 60 days of project completion, submit Part II application (PDF) to the Landmark Preservation staff.  Application must include:

 
  • Additional fees (No fee is required if project costs are $15,000 or less)
  • Photos - work-in-progress and completion photos
  • Itemization sheets showing all costs associated with project
  • Additional required documentation, including itemized receipts for all work items
  • Additional documentation - including information on why actual costs differ from estimates in Part I application, work-in-progress photos if work is not evident in completion photos, documentation of passed inspections (when required), etc. 

ThreeLandmark Preservation staff will review Part II application within ten (10) days.

 
  • Landmark Preservation staff will notify applicants if the application is incomplete or if additional information is needed to complete the review. 
  • In some cases, Landmark Preservation staff will need to perform a site visit to review the proposed scope of work.

FourOnce a complete Part II application is received, Landmark Preservation staff will place the item on the next available agenda of the Landmark Preservation Commission for approval.   

FiveLandmark Preservation staff issues final certificate of approval or disapproval.  The final certificate is sent to the applicant.

Since 2011, the availability of the Colorado Historic Preservation Tax Credit in any given year has been contingent upon whether the state anticipates a revenue surplus for that year. In years when the tax credit is unavailable, property owners can claim the tax credit in the first year that it becomes available again.  

2013 Update
The Colorado Department of Revenue reactivated the 20 percent historic preservation income tax credit for 2013.  Historic property owners who complete qualified rehabilitation work in 2013 are eligible to claim a 20 percent tax credit for project costs on 2013 state income tax returns (filed in 2014). Projects must be completed in 2013, as verified by Denver Landmark Preservation, once part I (preliminary) and part II (completion) tax credit applications are filed and approved.  

Property owners who completed tax credit rehabilitation projects in 2011 and 2012, but were ineligible to claim the credits for those tax years due to insufficient state revenue growth, can also claim the tax credit on their 2013 state income tax returns (filed in calendar year 2014).  

How to Apply
The property owner is responsible for requesting tax credits by submitting Form 104CR or Form 112CR to the Colorado Department of Revenue. An approval certificate provided by Denver Landmark Preservation must be attached to your Colorado income tax return.

Please note: if a property owner obtains tax credits and then sells the property within five years of project completion, the state will require that a portion of the credit be recaptured.

Applicants are advised to obtain the necessary tax and legal advice to ensure that they qualify for the state income tax credit.

For more information, please contact Landmark Preservation at landmark@denvergov.org or 720-865-2709.  Additional information on state income tax credits can be found at the History Colorado website.


Submit Your Application

Complete the required application and submit application and fee by mail or in person.  

Mail 

In Person 

Landmark Preservation
201 W. Colfax Ave. 
Dept. 205
Denver, CO 80202
Permit Counter
2nd floor Webb Municipal Building
201 W. Colfax Ave.
9 - 11 a.m., Monday - Friday
or by appointment

NOTE: All materials submitted with your application become the property the City and County of Denver. 
The materials are part of public record, can be used in a public hearing, and cannot be returned.

Contact Us

Landmark Preservation Office:
720-865-2709
landmark@denvergov.org

Office hours:
8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday - Friday
Staff hours vary (appointments recommended)

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