A Duane Morris team of lawyers including Art Momjian, Chris Winter, and Chris Bender represented South Jersey based Parke Bank in its investment in the Federal historic tax credits to be generated by the historic rehabilitation of 1831-1833 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia Pennsyvania. The property is formerly an office building being converted into residential rental apartments. The City of Philadelphia is replete with historic properties which are undergoing adaptive reuse and the Federal historic tax credit program is an important component of the capital stack to fund development costs.
On Tuesday April 8, 2014 Art Momjian Chair of the Duane Morris Affordable Housing, Community Development, and Syndication Practice Group will speak at a continuing legal education program titled “The Historic Tax Credit Program: Who is a Partner after the New IRS Safe Harbor Rules and the Historic Boardwalk Hall”. The Program is scheduled for 12:30 pm EST at the Philadelphia Office of Duane Morris LLP. The program will also be video cast in most of the Duane Morris national offices. For further information and to register please contact either Art Momjian at email@example.com or Richard Weinstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Revenue Procedure 2014-12 (the “Rev Proc”) which establishes a safe harbor for structure Federal Historic tax credit transactions provides guidance on the staging of capital contributions by the Historic Tax Credit investor. First, the Rev Proc requires that at least 20% of the tax credit investor’s aggregate capital contribution be contributed before the project is placed in service. In this vein at least 75% of the tax credit investor’s aggregate capital contribution must be fixed at the time of placement in service of the project. The effect of these two requirements of the Rev Proc is to limit the provision in the sponsor’s partnership agreement or master tenant agreement which would adjust the capital required to be contributed by the tax credit investor to 25% of the scheduled investor capital contribution of the tax credit investor. Finally the Rev Proc provides an example to illustrate that the tax credit investor’s expected fixed capital commitment may be conditioned upon the achievement of mutually agreed upon milestones (e.g., receiving National Park Service approvals, leasing the Building to tenants).
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.
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. It is anticipated that in the aftermath of the Rev Proc changes will be made in the underwriting and structuring of Federal Historic Tax Credit transactions. The Rev Proc requires that a tax credit investor receive reasonably anticipated value, exclusive of tax benefits, as a result of its investment in developer partnership or master tenant. The issue of value may be satisfied by the traditional preferential return although a preferential return cannot be guaranteed and must be dependent upon the success of the project. With respect to the back end, the Rev. Proc prohibits an option to the developer to purchase the Investor’s interest but does permit the traditional “put” right of the tax credit investor to sell its interest to the sponsor as long as the sale is for not more than the fair market of the value of the investor’s interest and the tax credit investor does not abandon its interest. Accordingly it appears that the traditional preferred return to the tax credit investor and the investor “put” right are preserved by the Rev. Proc provided that the preferred return is not guaranteed and the economic interest of the tax credit investor is not reduced by “unreasonable” fees and expenses which would distort the economic benefit to the tax credit investor.
In an effort to stabilize the Federal Historic Tax Credit industry in the aftermath of the Third Circuit Decision in Historic Boardwalk Hall LLC , the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) published Revenue Procedure 2014-12 (the “HTC Rev Proc”) which outlines a safe harbor for investors (an “Investor”) in Federal Historic Tax Credits (the “Tax Credit”). An Investor receives the Tax Credit through an ownership interest in a partnership which owns and develops a historic building or through the election of the partnership to pass the Tax Credit to a master tenant owned by the Investor. Continue reading “IRS Publishes Safe Harbor for Historic Tax Credit Investors”
In the aftermath of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversal of the lower Tax Court decision of the Historic Boardwalk case while industrial investments in the Federal historic tax credits continue the Historic Tax Credit industry has been waiting from promised guidance by the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) in the form of a Revenue Procedure. In this interim, transactions are being structured to address concerns of the IRS voiced in its appeal of Historic Boardwalk and some of the principles contained in Revenue Procedure 2007-65. On October 19th 2007 the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2007-65 (the “Wind Rev. Proc. establishing a “safe harbor” for the “flip” structures for partners and partnership that own and produce electricity from qualified wind energy facilities under Section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code. The energy tax credit and the federal rehabilitation tax credit are investment tax credits under the Code and the Revenue Procedure to be issued by the IRS may mirror may of the provisions contained in Wind Rev. Proc. It is hoped that the Historic Tax Credit Revenue Procedure will be issued by the IRS by the end of the year.
The Historic Boardwalk Hall Case in which the Internal Revenue Service challenged the traditional structure used by tax credit investors in the syndication of Federal Historic Tax Credits came to an uncerimonial end with the denial by the United State Supreme Cout of the taxpayer’s writ of certiorari to the high court. As reported in an earlier entry on this blog, the Service has announced its intention to provide guidance, most likely in the form of a Revenue Procedure, which will provide a safe harbor for investors in Federal Historic Tax Credits. It is anticipated that the safe harbor will reflect the position of the Service in the Historic Boardwalk Hall Case and an investor must demonstrate that it is a partner for Federal income tax purposes with downside risk and upside potential as a partner.
In the aftermath of the Third Circuit’s decision in Historic Boardwalk Hall LLC v. Commissioner, the IRS has announced its intention to provide guidance for tax structures where developers work with investors to use Federal Historic Tax Credits to further the development of historic structures. While the Service acknowledges that Congress supports the rehabilitation of historic buildings, the position of the Service is that partnerships with investors must conform to the Service’s historic requirements for tax partnerships. It is anticipated that the guidance from the IRS to come in a revenue procedure that provides a safe harbor similar to what Rev. Proc. 2007-65, 2007-45 offers for the section 45 wind energy production tax credit.. If this is the case, we can expect the Service to require that the investors have real upside and downside as a partner which was the Service’s position articulated in the Historic Boardwalk Hall LLC case.
On Thursday, January 17, 2013 Counsel for Historic Boardwalk Hall and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court seeking reversal of the Third Circuit Opinion in the Historic Boardwalk Hall Case. The Third Circuit in the Historic Boardwalk Hall case had reversed the Tax Court decision and ruled that the Pitney Bowes affiliate was not a true partner in Historic Boardwalk Hall, LLC. As a result, the Third Circuit affirmed the IRS Administrative Adjustment to reallocate all of the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits from Pitney Bowes to the tax-exempt New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, a political subdivision of the State of New Jersey. The taxpayer in the petition argues that “…this is the first litigated case in the country in which the IRS has made a sweeping challenge to the allocation of federal HRTCs from a partnership to a partner in the very type of rehabilitation project that formed the basis for Congressional enactment of the HRTC statute. In a true sense, this case represents a dramatic legal clash between the Legislative Branch’s clearly stated intent in enacting the HRTC statute to encourage private investment in the restoration of historic properties…”. While petitions for a writ of certiorari are rarely granted by the Supreme Court, the taxpayer advanced several arguments which may form the basis of granting the writ including the resolution of conflicting decisions in the Circuits and a reversing a decision which is inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s holding in Commissioner v. Culbertson.