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Step-by-step guide to the Help to Buy Scheme - AA Ireland Step-by-step guide to the Help to Buy Scheme - AA Ireland

AA Home Insurance

Step-by-step guide to the Help to Buy Scheme - AA Ireland

Published 18th October 2021Read Time 10 min

Please note the new ‘Enhanced Help to Buy’ is applicable from 23 July 2020 to the 31 December 2024. The original help to buy scheme applies from the 1 January 2017 to 22 July 2020.


The Help to Buy scheme applies only to new homes for first-time buyers


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 homeowner is often a long, challenging process. Not to mention that your home will likely 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 confused about the process, our AA Home Insurance team has compiled a short guide on what you need to know.


Who is entitled to The Help to Buy Scheme?

If you bought a new build or built your home as a first-time home buyer between 19 July 2016 and 31 December 2022 (as extended in Budget 2022), you may be entitled to claim a tax refund. This includes the Income Tax and Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) you paid in Ireland over the previous four years. The property must be a newly built home and occupied by a first-time buyer for five years from the date the property is habitable. Where more than one individual is involved in purchasing a new home, all individuals must be first-time buyers. Applicants must have taken out a mortgage for at least 70% of the property’s value. The maximum relief available is 5% of the property’s value, up to €20,000 or the total Income Tax and DIRT paid in the previous 4 years. The scheme is only available to those buying properties valued at less than €500,000 (or less than €600,000 if bought before 31 December 2016).


Enhanced Help to Buy Scheme

A temporary enhanced Help to Buy scheme applies to properties bought between 23 July 2020 to 31 December 2024 as part of the covid-19 July Stimulus package. This allows an increase in the maximum claim to €30,000, 10% of the property price, or the total amount paid in Income Tax and DIRT (whichever is lowest).

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How to Apply for The Help to Buy Scheme

You can apply to the scheme using Revenue’s MyAccount feature as an individual or as part of a group. You must select the relevant years you want to use for a refund and make sure you have submitted an Income Tax Return for each year. 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.

Once you have signed the contract for your home, you can make your claim. To do so, login to 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.

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

Before you receive any refund, your developer or contractor must verify the information you provided. In the case of a self-build, the solicitor acting on your behalf should verify the details. They will need your claim reference and access code.

The refund you finally receive is limited to 5% of the house’s purchase price. This may mean it differs from the maximum relief amount you were given at the application stage. If you buy a new build after 1 January 2017, the refund will be paid to the contractor. If you self-build the property after 1 January 2017, the refund will be paid to a bank account you hold with your loan provider. More information on the Help to Buy scheme can be found on the Revenue website.

If you’re in the market for home insurance, check out our AA Home Insurance. Terms & Conditions apply.

Looking for more advice as first-time buyers? We have compiled some helpful guides for buying a house and our top tips for making that first call to get home insurance.