Thursday, 29 March 2018
Department of Finance
Help-To-Buy Scheme Data
107. To ask the Minister for Finance the median and mean tax rebate issued to first-time buyers under the help to buy scheme in 2017; the cost of the scheme in 2017; and the number of purchasers that availed of the scheme on a national, Dublin and ex-Dublin basis in tabular form. [14764/18]
113. To ask the Minister for Finance the number and value of help to buy applications that were originally granted but were subsequently found to not qualify for the grant; the number and value of cases in which the borrowers did not qualify at the time of the purchase of the property; the number and value of cases in which the borrowers did not qualify due to the breaking of the terms of the help to buy scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14826/18]
114. To ask the Minister for Finance the number and value of successful help to buy applications since its inception; the average grant by region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14827/18]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 107, 113 and 114 together.
The Help to Buy (HTB) incentive was introduced in Finance Act 2016, backdated to 19 July 2016. The online HTB system was made available by revenue in January 2017 and I am assured by Revenue that there are no issues with the system and that it is robust and working correctly.
I am advised by Revenue that there were 5,392 HTB claims in 2017, of which 4,824 have been approved, with a combined total cost to the Exchequer of €68.9m. The median and mean tax rebate for HTB claims approved in 2017 is €14,750 and €14,277 respectively. From inception of the scheme to end February 2018, there have been 6,005 claims, of which 5,529 have been approved, with a combined total cost of €79.4m.
The following table sets out 2017 claims on a national, Dublin and ex-Dublin basis:
I am further advised by Revenue that HTB statistics for 2017 are available on their website
These statistics show the number of HTB applications that have reached the claim stage in 2017 broken down by geographical area. The average value of approved claims (to end February 2018) by county is given in the following table.
|County||Average Value of Approved HTB Claims|
In relation to ineligible claims, I am advised by Revenue that it is not possible to provide information on these at the time of the purchase of the property or due to breaking the terms of the incentive. The HTB incentive operates on a self-assessment basis and the claim is also verified by the qualifying contractor. Eligibility of retrospective claims is reliant on meeting the criteria in respect of a contract executed in the relevant period. The online system rejects claims unless the details provided by the claimant are in accordance with the relevant eligibility criteria. In line with Revenue’s normal risk-based approach, targeted checks are carried out to confirm the eligibility of claims. Where it is clear that despite the details input by the claimant, the eligibility criteria were not in fact met, Revenue will, in accordance with the legislation, seek to recover the amounts claimed incorrectly and apply interest and penalties, where appropriate.
I am also advised by Revenue that, to date, only a very small number of follow-up compliance letters have issued to claimants and where documentary evidence is provided that confirms eligibility for the scheme, this allows for the matter to be resolved to Revenue’s satisfaction.