Know your rights: Help to Buy

I’m planning to buy my first home, how do I qualify for the Help to Buy Scheme?

As a first-time buyer, if you buy or self-build a new residential property, you may be able to claim a refund of income tax and DIRT that you paid over the previous 4 tax years. You cannot claim relief on the PRSI or USC you paid.

The maximum relief has been temporarily increased until 31 December 2020. Now, you can claim enhanced relief on the lesser of:

  • €30,000
  • 10% of the purchase price of the property
  • 10% of the completion value of a self-build
  • The amount of income tax and DIRT you paid for the previous 4 years

To be eligible for the enhanced relief, you must sign a contract for a new house or draw down on a self-build mortgage between 23 July 2020 and 31 December 2020.

To qualify, the property must:

  • Be a new-build property or a self-build
  • Cost under €500,000
  • Be bought or built as your first home (it cannot be an investment property)

You must also:

  • Live in the property for 5 years from the date that it is habitable
  • Be fully tax compliant for the 4 years immediately before your claim

You do not qualify if you:

  • Are a cash buyer
  • Are buying with someone else who is not a first-time buyer
  • Have previously bought or built a property, either individually or jointly with anyone else, even if you are now separated or divorced from that person. If you have inherited or been gifted a property previously, it does not affect your eligibility.

You must take out a mortgage of at least 70% of the purchase price (or, for a self-build, 70% of the valuation approved by the mortgage provider). This is known as the loan to value ratio. You can have a guarantor on the loan.

You can read more about the Enhanced Help to Buy Scheme on

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