New Shelters in Old Properties: The Tax Reform Act of 1976

Winter 1978, Vol 3, No 2

Abstract: Section 2124 of the Tax Reform Act of 1976 enacted into law three new incentives for preservation of historically significant properties. This article analyzes two of those new incentives – the alernative use of a five-year amortization period for certified rehabilitation of historic structures, or accelerated depreciation of the structure’s combined basis and rehabilitation costs as it affects the actual after-tax return on a small apartment building in a National Register Historic District. The authors suggest that countervailing sections of the tax code and the TRA ’76 (recapture and the tough new provisions increasing the minimum tax) tarnish the allure of old buildings as new tax shelters and require additional tax incentives to foster historic preservation.