Historic Tax Credit Safe Harbor – Part II: Guarantees

Revenue Procedure 2014—12 (the “Rev Proc”) issued by the Internal Revenue Service creates a safe harbor for investors in the Federal Historic Tax Credit. Traditionally the tax credit investor has obtained a guaranty with respect to the benefit of the Federal Historic tax credit from the sponsor of the transaction. However, the Rev Proc prohibits funded guarantees and certain “impermissible guarantees. “Impermissible” guarantees are defined as guarantees: (1) to insure the Investor’s ability to claim the historic tax credit, or the repayment of any portion of the Investor’s contribution due to inability to claim historic tax credit in the event the Internal Revenue Service (the “Service”) Service challenges all or a portion of the transactional structure of the Partnership; (2) that the Investor will receive Partnership distributions or (3) to pay the Investor’s costs or indemnify the Investor for the Investor’s costs if the Service challenges the Investor’s claim of the historic tax credit. The Rev Proc defines permitted guarantees as guarantees: (1) for the performance of any acts necessary to claim the historic tax credit; (2) for the avoidance of any act (or omissions) that would cause the Partnership to fail to qualify for the historic tax credits or that would result in a recapture of historic tax credit; and, (3) that are not described as impermissible guarantees . The Rev Proc also provides the following as examples of unfunded guarantees permitted: completion guarantees, operating deficit guarantees, environmental indemnities, and financial covenants.