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Contractor/developers must be registered for first time buyers to benefit from Help to Buy scheme

The Help to Buy (HTB) incentive is designed to assist first-time buyers with obtaining the deposit required to purchase or self-build a new house or apartment to live in as their home. The incentive provides for a refund of income tax and DIRT paid over the previous four tax years to first-time buyers.

The contractor/developer will be part of the HTB process where the buyer is purchasing a new house or apartment (conversely the contractor/developer will not be involved in the case of a self-build).

There are 2 stages to the process:-

  1. First Time Buyer Application

  2. First Timer Buyer Claim

Qualifying Contractors are involved in the last stage of the HTB process; by verifying the property sale. For a contractor to become part of the HTB process, they must first apply to Revenue to register as a Qualifying Contractor. They do this by submitting a completed HTB1 form (obtained on Revenue website), through MyEnquiries in ROS, as Help to Buy Scheme – Contractor Approval.

The documentation relevant to the application includes details of the proposed qualifying residences with their planning permissions. A scanned PDF of each planning permission is included with the completed HTB1 form. In addition to planning permissions, the following details need to be furnished in the application:-

  1. Address/locality of works,

  2. eRCT Site Identifier Number (if the works have commenced),

  3. Sale price of each of the units,

  4. If the works will be phased, and if so, over how many phases,

  5. Expected completion date of works, including completion date for phases if any,

  6. Details of the title in the land on which the qualifying residences are to be constructed, including a scanned PDF of the folio for the land, and any other relevant information about its title.

Once a contractor has submitted their application to be registered as a Qualifying Contractor it will be processed by Revenue. If all the details of the application are in order, Revenue will confirm the contractor is a registered HTB Qualifying Contractor by publishing the contractor’s name and Tax Reference Number (TRN) on Revenue’s website.

If there are issues/queries with respect to the details submitted by the contractor Revenue will issue a response through MyEnquiries. If the developer/contractor wants to include additional residences because of a variation to planning permission allowing an intensification of the use or additional units, if not previously submitted to Revenue, the above information will need to be furnished in respect also of the additional units.

After the application (stage 1) is completed by the first time buyer the Mortgage Query tool available on the Revenue’s website (at can be used by the applicant’s lending institute or the developer/contractor to confirm the maximum relief available to an applicant prior to signing any contracts. This is done by entering the HTB Application number and HTB access code (provided by the first time buyer).

Contractors/developers need to be aware the HTB refund may change once the purchase price of the property is confirmed.

If you have any questions about this, or any other aspect of property development, I would be delighted to assist - just give me a call on 01 539 0060 to arrange to meet or to discuss the issue.

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