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How does the Help To Buy scheme work?

Am I eligible – and where do I apply?

Image: Shutterstock

THE HELP TO Buy scheme is a government incentive that was introduced in 2017 to assist first time buyers with a tax refund that could go towards the deposit on a new home.

It is only available for new-build or self-build properties worth €500,000 or less. The scheme offers a tax rebate worth 5% of the property price, up to a maximum of €20,000.

What you’re actually getting is a refund of income tax and DIRT that you’ve paid over the previous four years, so if you are applying for €10,000 you need to have paid at least that much to Revenue during that period.

To qualify for the scheme, you must be buying or building the property to live in as your home for at least five years, not just as an investment.

All individuals purchasing the property must also be first time buyers – so if this is your first home but your partner has bought an apartment in the past, you won’t be eligible for Help To Buy as a couple.

The scheme is currently due to finish at the end of 2019. You can apply online via revenue.ie.

About the author:

Sarah Harford

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