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Help-To-Buy Scheme

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 1 December 2020

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Ceisteanna (235)

Michael Collins

Ceist:

235. Deputy Michael Collins asked the Minister for Finance if he will address a matter in relation to the help-to-buy scheme (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40267/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

The Help to Buy (HTB) incentive, is a scheme to assist first-time purchasers with the deposit they need to buy or build a new house or apartment. The incentive gives a refund of Income Tax and Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) paid in Ireland over the previous four years, subject to limits outlined in the legislation. Section 477C Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 outlines the definitions and conditions that apply to the HTB scheme.

The Government announced a temporary enhancement to the existing HTB scheme for the remainder of 2020 as part of the July Stimulus plan. The legislation to give effect to this increase has been outlined in the Financial Provisions (Covid-19) (No.2) Bill 2020 and was signed into law on 1 August 2020.

In summary, the legislation introduced as part of the July Stimulus, provides that where applicants enter into a contract for the purchase of a new house or apartment, or make the first draw down of the mortgage in the case of a self-build property, during the period from 23 July 2020 to 31 December 2020, they will be eligible for increased relief under the HTB scheme to the lesser of:

- €30,000 (increased from €20,000),

- 10 per cent (increased from 5 per cent) of either the purchase price of the new home or, in the case of self builds, the completion value of the property, or,

- the amount of Income Tax and DIRT paid in the four years prior to making the application.

From the information provided, the first drawdown of applicant’s mortgage was made prior to 23 July 2020. Unfortunately, this was not within the specified period 23 July 2020 to 31 December 2020 to avail of the temporary enhanced HTB relief. The original HTB relief is still available subject to satisfying the conditions of the scheme. As with all time bound reliefs, there will always be those who just miss out on qualification. I do not intend to extend the parameters of scheme any further as it would become less targeted and more costly.

I am advised by Revenue that it has published Tax and Duty Manual 15-01-46 on its website, which contains detailed guidance on all matters relating to HTB, including the temporary enhanced HTB scheme.

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