Twinning the New Markets Tax Credit

While the Federal New Markets Tax Credit Program and the Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program are mutually exclusive – the former available for non-residential property and the latter available for residential rental property – the New Markets Tax Credit may be combined with other federal tax credits such as the Historic tax credit and the Renewable Energy tax credit. In the twinning structure – which is distinct from each tax credit being generated by a separate investment – the equity which generates the Historic or Renewable Energy tax credit is contributed as a qualified equity investment by an investor in a community development entity with an allocation of Federal New Markets Tax Credit authority. The result of twinning is to generate a New Markets Tax Credit on the Historic or Renewable Energy tax credit equity. While the pricing of a twinned credit will be more than the Historic or Renewable Energy tax credit without the New Markets Tax credit enhancement, the benefit may not always be significant when you factor in: (a) added transactional costs as a result of the complexity of the transaction; (b) the payment of the customary fees to the community development entity based on the amount of the “qualified equity investment”; and (c) the limited market of investors for the twinned credit. In a nutshell, a financial analysis of the net benefit of twinning the credits should be performed before pursuing the twinning of two federal tax credits.

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