Help to Buy Scheme

Understanding the Help to Buy Scheme

Here’s everything you need to know about the scheme that’s making the housing market more affordable for first-time buyers.

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

A real incentive to secure a new home

The incentive will give you a refund of Income Tax and Deposit Interest Retention Tax that you paid in Ireland (minus any refunds you have already claimed). The refund will be from the four years prior to making the application.

Enhanced Help to Buy Scheme

A temporary enhancement to the existing HTB scheme for the remainder of 2020 was announced in the July 2020 Stimulus plan. This enhanced HTB relief has been extended to 31 December 2021 in Finance Act 2020. The enhanced HTB relief provides that where applicants satisfy certain conditions, increased relief is available up to a maximum of €30,000.

To claim HTB, you must:

  • be a first-time buyer
  • buy or build a new property between 19 July 2016 and 31 December 2021
  • live in the property as your main home for five years after you buy or build it
  • be tax compliant, if you are self assessed you must also have tax clearance.

To qualify, you must not have previously bought or built a house or apartment, either on your own or jointly with any other person. If you are buying or building the new property with other people, they must also be first-time buyers. If you have inherited or been gifted a property it will not affect your eligibility.

If you are buying the property, you must have signed a contract to buy that property on or after 19 July 2016. If you are self-building, you must have drawn down the first part of the mortgage on or after that date.

How you can apply

You can apply via the Revenue Online Service (ROS). It gives full details of what you need to supply to complete the application and claim stages of this online process.

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