A new Help to Buy (HTB) incentive has been introduced. It is designed to help first-time buyers of newly built homes to assemble the required deposit. It also applies to once-off self-build homes.
If you are a first-time buyer who either buys or self-builds a new residential property between 19 July 2016 and 31 December 2019, you may be entitled to claim a refund of income tax and DIRT paid over the previous 4 tax years.
If you signed a contract to buy a property (or drew down the first tranche of the mortgage for a self-build) before 19 July 2016, you will not qualify for this incentive.
If you are buying (or self-building) the property with someone else, they must also be a first-time buyer. You will not qualify if you have previously bought or built a property, either individually or jointly with anyone else, even if you are now separated or divorced from that person.
The incentive only applies to properties that are bought or built as the first-time buyer’s home. It does not cover investment properties. Cash buyers do not qualify.
You must take out a mortgage of at least 70% of the purchase price (or, for a self-build, 70% of the valuation approved by the mortgage provider).
If you signed a contract to buy a property (or drew down the first tranche of the mortgage for a self-build) between 19 July 2016 and 31 December 2016, you may qualify for the Help to Buy incentive on a property costing up to €600,000.
With effect from 1 January 2017, the Help to Buy scheme only applies to properties costing €500,000 or less.
You must occupy the property for 5 years from the date that it is habitable.
In all cases, you must be fully tax-compliant in respect of the 4 years immediately prior to your claim.
If you have not already done so, you will need to complete online Form 12 (PAYE) and Form 11 (self-assessed) in respect of each of those 4 years. You must also pay any outstanding taxes that are due.
|Purchase price or valuation||Amount of relief|
|Up to €400,000||Up to 5% of purchase price|
|Between €400,000 and €600,000, between 19 July 2016 and 31 December 2016||Maximum relief will be €20,000|
|Over €600,000, between 19 July 2016 and 31 December 2016||No relief|
|Between €400,000 and €500,000, from 1 January 2017||Maximum relief will be €20,000|
|Over €500,000, from 1 January 2017||No relief|
If you are a PAYE employee only, you can apply for the Help to Buy incentive through Revenue’s myAccount service.
If you are a self-assessed taxpayer, you can apply through Revenue’s Online Service (ROS).
You will also need access to MyEnquiries, a secure method of corresponding with Revenue.
Read more about the Help to Buy scheme on revenue.ie.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.