First Time Buyers – Help To Buy Scheme- some quick facts.

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First Time Buyers – Help To Buy Scheme- some quick facts.

This scheme came into being on the 3rd of January 2017. Please see below some answers taken directly from the Revenues FAQ section on the HTB scheme – for more complete information please log onto


Who is entitled to claim?

A first-time buyer of a house or apartment who purchases or self-builds a new residential property between 19 July 2016 and 31 December 2019 may be entitled to claim a refund of income tax and Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) paid over the previous four years.

The first-time buyer must not have either individually or jointly with any other person (directly or indirectly), previously purchased or built a house or apartment. Where more than one individual is involved in purchasing or building a new home, all of the individuals must be first-time buyers.

The property must have been purchased or built as the first-time buyer’s home. It does not include properties acquired for investment purposes.

The property must be occupied by the first-time buyer, or at least one of the first-time buyers in the case of multiple first-time buyers (a group), for a period of five years from the date the property is habitable.

What are you entitled to claim?

First-time buyers are entitled to claim a refund of any income tax and DIRT paid over the previous four years.

Universal Social Charge (USC) or Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) are not taken into account.

The relief is confined to a maximum of 5% of the purchase price of a new home or in the case of self-builds 5% of the completion value of the property, up to a value of €400,000.

Where a first-time buyer signs a contract to purchase a new residence or in the case of a self-build, the first-time buyer draws down the first tranche of the relevant mortgage loan in the period from 19 July 2016 to 31 December 2016, then the new homes may be valued between €400,000 and €600,000. However, the maximum relief of €20,000 will continue to be available. No relief will be available for new purchases costing over €600,000 or self-builds valued at over €600,000.

In all other cases, the new homes must be valued at €500,000 or less.

What do you need to do before you apply?

Before you apply, you must be registered for myAccount (PAYE) or ROS (self-assessed).

The HTB incentive involves a refund of income tax and DIRT paid over the previous four tax years. However, it will be open to HTB claimants to select all or any of the previous four tax years for the purposes of calculating the HTB refund.

What information is needed to make a claim?

To make a claim, you must enter the required information online, confirming the:

 contract is signed (a copy of the signed contract must also be uploaded)

 balance of the deposit is paid / total deposit

 property details

 purchase price

 purchase date/completion date

 mortgage institution details

 mortgage approval details (including loan-to-value ratio)

 details of each first-time buyer

 portion of refund agreed for each first-time buyer (if a group)

 details of the Developer/Contractor (if property purchased)

 details of the Solicitor (if a self-build)

 proof of drawdown of the first tranche of the relevant mortgage (if a self-build)


Once the claim is submitted, as part of the claim process, the details will need to be verified by the Developer/Contractor in the case of a new build or a Solicitor, acting on your behalf, in the case of a self-build before the refund will be paid.

Do you have to take out a mortgage to be eligible?

Yes. As the aim of the incentive is to help those struggling to put together the deposit required, there is a requirement that the first-time buyer take out a mortgage of at least 70% of the value of the purchase price, or in the case of a self-build, 70% of the valuation approved by the mortgage provider. Cash-buyers are not eligible for the incentive.

Why are some rebates to be paid to contractors for purchases in the years 2017 to 2019?

The HTB rebate will take the form of a repayment of income tax and DIRT paid in the years selected for refund by you from the four tax years prior to making an application. Where a contract is signed for the purchase of a new dwelling in the period from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2019, the rebate will be paid directly to the contractor as part of the deposit required from the purchaser. This will be treated by the contractor as a credit against the purchase price of the qualifying residence.

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