The Help to Buy (HTB) scheme provides financial assistance to first-time property buyers ("FTBs"). FTBs can apply for a cash refund of a maximum of €20,000 or 5% of the purchase price of a new home. The scheme is designed to help FTBs fund the deposit required to buy or build a new house or apartment.
The relief only applies to properties that cost up to €500,000 (the limit was €600,000 on or before 31st December 2016).
How much can a person claim?
The amount a person can claim is the lesser of:-
5% of the purchase price of a new home. For self-builds this is 5% of the completion value of the property or
the amount of income tax and DIRT you have paid in the four years before your purchase or self-build.
Please note that the maximum payment is €20,000 per property, irrespective of the number of purchasers.
What are the conditions to make a claim?
To claim relief each purchaser must qualify as a FTB. This means that each person must:-
be a first-time buyer,
buy or build a new property between 19th July 2016 and 31st December 2019,
live in the property and use it as the main home for five years from purchase or build, and
be tax compliant.
Self-assessed individuals will be required to obtain a tax clearance certificate.
Being a FTB means that the person cannot have previously bought or built a house or apartment, either on his/her own or jointly with anyone else.
Where buying property jointly with another person, both individuals must meet all of the above conditions.
What types of property qualify for relief?
To qualify for relief properties must be a newly build property used by the FTB as his or her home. In addition, the property must never have been used, or have been suitable for use, as a residential home by any other person.
How will the refund be paid?
Payments for new properties built after 1st January 2017 are made directly to the building contractor. For self-builds on or after 1st January 2017 refunds are paid directly to the financial lender.
How to make an application for relief?
To arrange a meeting with a tax consultant qualified in this area contact Daphne Coakley by email or at +353 (0)1 6978012.