Tuesday, 12 October 2021
Department of Finance
Help-to-Buy (HTB) 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 paid in the State over the previous four years, subject to limits outlined in the legislation. Section 477C of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 outlines the definitions and conditions that apply to the scheme. Another main aim of the policy underpinning the design of scheme is to help encourage the building of additional new properties.
With regard to the Deputy's question about extending the scheme to second-hand properties, HTB is specifically designed to encourage an increase in demand for new build homes in order to encourage the construction of an additional supply of such properties. A move to include second-hand properties within the scope of the relief might not improve its effectiveness; on the contrary, it could serve to dilute the incentive effect of the measure in terms of encouraging additional supply. I can confirm, therefore, that I have no plans at present in this regard.