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New York Clarifies Census Tract Rules for Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit



Taxpayers in New York seeking to claim the New York state historic property rehabilitation credit must use a combination of data from the 2000 census and the most recent American Communities Survey (ACS), not the 2010 census, for project eligibility requirements.


A taxpayer who planned to renovate a building sought an advisory opinion from the New York Department of Taxation and Finance to determine whether the building would qualify for the state historic property rehabilitation credit. As part of the qualification process, the project would have to be located within a census tract that is identified as being at or below 100 percent of state median family income, as listed in the most recent federal census. In the 2010 census, the most recent census, the federal government did not collect median family income data for census tracts. Instead, the 2010 census relies on median family income data collected through the ACS.

In the advisory opinion, New York ruled that the ACS data is too limited to provide detailed economic information for a specific census tract. Because of this, New York determined that it will combine 2010 ACS data with the median family income data from the 2000 census. The state will then determine eligibility using both of these factors.

New York limits advisory opinions to apply solely to the taxpayer requesting the opinion. However, the opinions are based on the law, regulations and department policies in effect as of the date the opinion was issued. Thus, the opinion offers a reliable guideline for determining how the department will rule.

Suggested Action:

For assistance in determining whether your project could qualify for New York state historic property rehabilitation credits, please contact:

  • Beth Mullen, Partner and National Director - Affordable Housing Industry, at 916-930-5750
  • Joel Cohn, Partner, at 410-895-7820

For more information on CohnReznick’s tax credit advisory services, please visit our webpage.

Circular 230 Notice: In compliance with U.S. Treasury Regulations, the information included herein (or in any attachment) is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of i) avoiding penalties the IRS and others may impose on the taxpayer or ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any tax related matters.

This has been prepared for information purposes and general guidance only and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining specific professional advice.  No representation or warranty (express or implied) is made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this publication, and J.H. Cohn LLP, its members, employees and agents accept no liability, and disclaim all responsibility, for the consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this publication or for any decision based on it.


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