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Help to Buy Scheme and Tax Refunds

Help to buy scheme
Tax

Help to Buy Scheme and Tax Refunds

The Help to Buy (HTB) scheme is an incentive for first-time property purchasers. It can help you with the deposit you need to purchase or self-build a new house or apartment. You must purchase or self-build the property to live in as your home.

Where you meet the required conditions, you will receive a refund of income tax and DIRT already paid:

The refund will be from the four tax years prior to when you make your application. The refund will not include any refunds you have already claimed.

Who can claim HTB?

To claim HTB, you must:

  • be a first-time purchaser at the time of the claim
  • purchase, or self-build, a qualifying property between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2022
  • live in the property as your main home for five years after you purchase or self-build it
  • be tax compliant. If you are self-assessed, you must also have tax clearance
  • take out a mortgage on the property with a qualifying lender. The mortgage must be at least 70% of the:
    • purchase value of the property
    • or
    • approved valuation, in the case of a self-build.
    • you must not have previously purchased or built a house or apartment, either on your own or jointly with any other person. If you are purchasing or self-building the new property with other people, all of them must be first-time purchasers. If you have inherited, or have been gifted, a property, depending on the circumstances, it may not affect your eligibility.

Approved Developers and Contractors

The contractor you are purchasing your home from must be approved by Revenue. You can check on Revenue to ensure that your developer or contractor is approved.

If you are self-building, you do not need to use a Revenue approved contractor. However, you will require a solicitor (registered with Revenue as a ‘HTB approver’) to verify your HTB claim.

What is a qualifying property?

To qualify for HTB, the property that you purchase or self-build must be:

  • your home
  • newly built with the construction subject to VAT in Ireland.

The property must never have been used, or have been suitable for use, as a residential home. If the property was non-residential, but has been converted for residential use, it may qualify for HTB. If you purchase or self-build the property as an investment, it does not qualify for HTB.

Purchase Value

The purchase value of a new build means the price you purchased it for. The value of the property must be €500,000 or less to qualify for HTB.

Approved Valuation

If you are self-building a property, the approved valuation is the valuation of the property approved by the lender at the time you took out the mortgage. The approved valuation must be €500,000 or less to qualify for HTB.

Mortgage

You must take out your mortgage on the property with a qualifying lender. This loan must only be used for purchasing, or self-building, the property. The loan must be at least:

  • 70% of the purchase value
  • or
  • 70% of the approved valuation.

This is known as the loan to value ratio.

You are allowed to have a guarantor on the loan. The guarantor does not need to be a first-time purchaser.

Amount you can claim

The amount that you can claim is the lesser of:

  • €30,000
  • 10% of the purchase value of a new home or of the approved valuation of the property, in the case of self-builds
  • the amount of Income Tax and DIRT you have paid for the four years prior to your application.

The maximum payment is €30,000 per qualifying property under the enhanced relief. This cap applies regardless of how many people enter into a contract to purchase the qualifying property.

There is more information in Help to Buy (HTB) and the Summary Guide for Help to Buy Applicants.

How will the refund be paid?

If you purchase a qualifying property, the refund will be paid to the qualifying contractor.

If you self-build the qualifying property, the refund will be paid to a bank account you hold with your loan provider.

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