Enhanced Help To Buy Scheme
How Much can you claim?
How to apply?
Can revenue claw back a refund?
The Enhanced Help to Buy incentive is a scheme for first-time property buyers. It is designed to help you with the deposit you need to buy a new home.
The incentive takes the form of a tax refund of income tax and DIRT tax paid by the applicant(s) in Ireland over the previous four years.
If you have previously made an application under the Help To Buy Scheme you may still qualify for the Enhanced Help To Buy Scheme and avail of the increased limits. To do this you should cancel your old application and make a new application under the Enhanced Help to Buy Scheme.
The scheme also applies to self-builds but they are not dealt with here.
2. How Much Can You Claim ?
The amount you are entitled to is the lesser of
- 10% of the purchase price of the house.
- The amount of Income tax and DIRT tax you have paid in Ireland over the preceding four years (PSRI & USC payments are not included)
You can claim up to a maximum of €30,000.
To make a claim under the Enhanced Help to Buy Scheme you must:
- Sign the contract for the property between 23 July 2020 and the 31st December 2021.
- Be a first-time buyer.
- Live in the property for a period of five years after you buy it. Revenue can clawback the refund if you do not.
- Be tax compliant – self assessed applicants must have a tax clearance certificate.
- Not have previously bought or built a house or apartment either on your own or jointly with any other person.
Inherited or gifted property does not affect your eligibility.
4. The Property
The property you buy must be:
- Your home
- Newly built with the construction subject to Value Added Tax (VAT) in Ireland.
- The property must never have been used, or have been suitable to use, as a residential home.
- The purchase value must be less than €500,000.
- Your mortgage must be taken out with a qualifying lender and must be for at least 70% of the purchase value of the home. You can have a guarantor on the loan.
- Built by a contractor who is registered under the scheme.
How will the refund be paid?
The refund will be paid directly to the contractor.
5. How To Apply?
PAYE applicants must submit an income tax return for each of the preceding four years for which they are making a claim. They must also pay any outstanding tax due. Use Myaccount to submit the tax returns. Online tax returns are pre-populated with your pay and tax details.
SELF-EMPLOYED applicants must be fully tax compliant and have tax clearance. Use Revenue’s online Service (ROS) to submit a form 11 if required.
There are two distinct stages – the Application Stage and the Claim Stage.
To find out the maximum amount you can claim you should complete the application stage.
You can apply as an individual or part of a group.
Complete a declaration and select the years for which you are applying for a refund of income tax and DIRT tax.
Assuming you’re tax compliant and have submitted your tax returns as stated above your application will be approved.
You will be provided with
- An application Code and a summary of the maximum amount you can claim.
- You’ll also get a 6-digit access number separately through Myenquiries.
Keep both the Application Code and the Access Number as you will need them for your mortgage lender and the building contractor.
If you make an application but do not make a claim before the 31st of December 2021 you’re application will expire. You will have to make a new application but please bear in mind that the Enhanced Help To Buy Scheme is due to expire on 31st December 2021 and revert to the normal Help To Buy Scheme which allows for a maximum refund of €20,000 and 5% of the purchase price.
You can make a claim once you have signed the contract for your new house.
- Upload evidence of your mortgage.
- Upload a copy of your signed contract.
You will be asked to confirm some details about:
- The property.
- The purchase price.
- The completion date.
- The mortgage.
- Amount of deposit already paid.
When you are applying with another person you will need to confirm the portion of the refund to be refunded to each person.
When complete you will receive a Claim Reference Number.
You should provide the contractor with both the Claim Reference Number and the Access Number you received after the application stage.
The contractor then verifies your claim.
6. Can Revenue claw back a refund?
Revenue can claw back refunds if:
- Revenue discover you were not entitled to the refund
- you do not live in the property for a minimum of five years
- you did not complete the process of buying the property.
Revenue can claw back refunds from the contractor if:
- you do not complete the purchase of the property within two years.
- Revenue has reasonable grounds to believe that you will not complete the purchase of the property within two years.
There is some flexibility around the two-year period if Revenue is satisfied that the property is either:
- almost complete at the end of two years.
- likely to be completed within a reasonable time frame.
Once the residence is built and the sale is completed, you are responsible for meeting the conditions for the Help To Buy refund.
The contractor is no longer responsible.
Please note the information contained herein is meant for general informational purposes only and, while compiled in good faith, should not be relied upon for either making a claim under the Help To Buy Scheme or entering into a contract to buy a house. It is the responsibility of each individual to satisfy the legal requirements of the Help To Buy Scheme and to ensure they understand their responsibilities and liabilities under the scheme. ONS Ireland recommend that all individuals seek the appropriate professional advice before completing an application for the Help To Buy Scheme or signing a contract to buy a house. Further information on the Help To Buy scheme can be found here on Revenue’s website.