Returning to Ireland in 2019? Buying a house in Ireland

Tax questions on returning to Ireland - buying a house - Crowe Ireland

Returning to Ireland in 2019? – Here’s what you need to know.

Tax is always a major concern for ex-pats thinking of returning to Ireland. In a special holiday season series, our tax department are sharing some of the common questions that we are frequently asked from people who are looking to return home.

Question #4: I am planning on buying a home when I return to Ireland. What are the taxes and reliefs available to me?

Where you are returning home to Ireland and looking to purchase a property, there are a number of taxes to be aware of which will increase the overall cost for you. You may also be eligible for the Help to Buy Scheme.

The Help to Buy Scheme

There is a tax relief available for first time buyers in Ireland where they are purchasing a new build. The Help to Buy scheme provides a loan of an extra 5% to qualifying applicants up to a maximum of €20,000. However, the qualifying amount of rebate is linked to the amount of Irish income tax you paid in Ireland in the previous four tax years. If you have been working abroad for the last four years, you will not qualify for this rebate. However, if you have only been away for a short time you may still be eligible particularly if you defer acquiring your property for the first year after you arrive home. The scheme currently runs until 31 December 2019.

Stamp Duty

Stamp Duty is payable by the purchaser of residential property at a current rate of 1% of the purchase price. For properties in excess of €1 million a 2% rate will apply. You will be required to pay this amount within 44 days of the date of signing the contract for your new home.

Local Property Tax

A second tax to consider is Local Property Tax (“LPT”). This is an annual charge on all residential properties in Ireland which came into effect in 2013. The amount of LPT due in 2019 will be based on the value declared for the property and the LPT rate applied by the Local Authority where the property is located. There is an exemption from LPT for new properties purchased between 1 January 2013 and 31 October 2019 until the end of 2019.

Read the answers to the rest of our tax series on returning home:

Question #1: I’m planning on returning to Ireland midway through 2019. Will my foreign employment income be taxable in Ireland?

Question #2: I’m planning on returning to Ireland and taking up employment. I have been away for a number of years. How do I apply for tax credits?

Question #3: I have been living abroad for a number of years and am planning on returning to Ireland. I bought a property abroad and will sell the property before returning to Ireland. Will the proceeds be taxable when brought into Ireland? What about any money I have saved in my foreign bank account?

Question #5: I have made contributions to a foreign pension fund. Can I transfer these benefits back to Ireland?

Question #6: I paid social insurance contributions while living and working abroad. Will these contributions count towards qualifying for my Irish state pension?

Question #7: I am returning with a spouse / children who are not Irish citizens. What practical steps do I need to take in accessing benefits etc., for my family?

Question #8: I am moving to Ireland to work for an Irish subsidiary of my foreign employer. Am I entitled to any Irish tax reliefs or exemptions?

If you have any questions about returning to Ireland or any other personal tax issues, please contact a member of our tax team.