Step-by-Step Guide to the Help to Buy Scheme


The process of purchasing your first home can be an incredibly daunting task. From the jitter of nerves and excitement the moment you find your dream house up until the ‘sale agreed’ sign is placed outside, the journey to becoming a home owner is often a long challenging process. Not to mention that your home is likely to be the most expensive thing you buy in your adult life. The first step for most is getting your deposit together.

To make this process a bit easier on your pocket, a Help to Buy incentive was introduced in 2017. However, if you’re still a bit confused about the process, our AA Home Insurance team have put together a short guide of what you need to know.

Help to Buy Criteria: 

If you’re buying or building your home between 19 July 2016 and 31 December 2019, you may be entitled to claim a tax refund. This includes the Income Tax and Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) that you paid in Ireland over the previous four years. Where more than one individual is involved in purchasing a new home, all of the individuals must be first-time buyers.

Applicants must have taken out a mortgage for at least 70 per cent of the value of the property and the property must be occupied by the first-time buyer for a period of five years from the date the property is habitable. The maximum refund available is 5% of the value of the property, up to €20,000. The scheme is only available to those buying properties valued less than €500,000.

How to apply

Step 1: Create an application

You can apply to the scheme using Revenue’s MyAccount feature as an individual, or as part of a group. You must complete a declaration and select the relevant years you want to use for a refund. If you are tax compliant, your application will be approved and you will be provided with an application number and a summary of the maximum amount you can claim.

Step 2: Submit the claim

Once you have signed the contract for your home, you can make your claim. To do so login at Revenue Online Service (ROS) and upload evidence of your mortgage and a copy of the signed contract. Alternatively if you are building a home, upload proof of the drawdown of the first part of the mortgage. A copy of the valuation report from your lender should also be submitted at this stage.

Step 3: Confirm the details

You will then be asked to confirm details about the property including:

  • the purchase price
  • date of completion
  • mortgage details
  • amount of deposit already paid.

If you are applying with other people you will also need to confirm the portion of the refund to be refunded to each person. If you are self-building, you will need to provide the BIC and IBAN of the loan bank account. Once you have submitted your claim you will be provided with a claim reference.

Step 4: Inform your contractor

Before you receive any refund, the information you have provided will need to be verified by your developer or contractor. In the case of a self-build, the solicitor acting on your behalf should verify the details.
Provide them with your claim reference (issued to you after step 2) and access code (issued to you when you submitted your application).

Step 5: Receive your claim

The refund that you finally receive is limited to 5% of the purchase price of the house. This may mean that it is different to the maximum relief amount that you were given at application stage.

More information on the Help to Buy Scheme can be found on

Get €100 Cashback when you take out AA Home Insurance with your Mortgage Protection. Terms & Conditions apply.