In relation to the requirement for applicants who are seeking a mortgage to produce a tax clearance certificate, mortgage lending by banks and other Central Bank regulated mortgage lenders is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Finance.
The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan (RIHL) is the only mortgage product for which my Department has responsibility. The RIHL, which was introduced from 1 February 2018, enables credit worthy first time buyers to access sustainable mortgage lending to purchase new or second-hand properties. The low rate of fixed interest associated with the RIHL provides first time buyers with access to mortgage finance that they may not otherwise have been able to afford at a higher interest rate.
As part of the eligibility criteria for a Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan applicants must:
- be in continuous employment for a minimum of two years, as the primary earner or be in continuous employment for a minimum of one year, as a secondary earner;
- have an annual gross income of not more than €50,000 as a single applicant or not more than €75,000 combined as joint applicants; and
- submit two years certified accounts if self-employed.
In terms of self-employed applicants, income details provided by the applicants must be supported by the following:
- Minimum of two years accounts with an Accountant's or Auditor's Report (a qualified report is not acceptable) from a suitably qualified practitioner (ACCA/FCA/CPA/IPA) along with an up to date tax balancing statement for the company/business;
- Minimum of 12 months most recent personal current account bank statements and a minimum of 12 months most recent business current account statements verifying net income, and 12 months most recent statements verifying savings; and
- A Tax Clearance Certificate is required to confirm that a self-employed applicant's tax affairs are in order with the Revenue Commissioners.
Decisions on individual loan applications are a matter for each local authority's Credit Committee.