We're spending €5m a week on renovations
Homeowners are splurging €5m a week on doing up their houses.
Consumers have carried out 20,000 home improvement jobs worth a total of €385m since the Government's Home Renovation Improvement (HRI) scheme was launched in October 2013.
New windows, kitchen overhauls, general repairs and home extensions are the most popular jobs being carried out, according to new Revenue figures obtained by the Irish Independent.
However, thousands of householders have still not availed of the valuable tax break which gives them a rebate on the VAT paid on building works.
The Revenue said that the HRI had given a boost to home renovations and employment in the construction sector.
"The introduction of HRI has seen an increase in home renovation activity and is contributing to a gradual pickup in employment and self-employment activity in the construction sector," said a spokesperson.
It is also helping to give them more information about activity in the construction sector, so they could target under-the-counter jobs.
"Data from Revenue's online Relevant Contracts Tax and HRI online provide a comprehensive overview of activity in the construction sector and enables Revenue to develop focused compliance programmes to identify and tackle shadow economy activity within the construction sector," the spokesperson said.
Homeowners and landowners can get between €595 and €4,050 back, in the form of a credit against their income tax, for building work costing €4,405 to €30,000 before VAT.
They can only get this if the contractor records details of the work and the cost in advance on the Revenue's HRI system.
The Revenue said that it had issued a notice to 11,298 homeowners in February who were entitled to claim tax credit for work carried out and paid for, which had still not been claimed on.
A significant number of homeowners had gone on to file claims over subsequent weeks, a spokesperson said.
"To date over 6,800 homeowners have used the online system to claim HRI tax credits of approximately €13m, half of which will be credited against their taxes in 2015 with the remainder in 2016," she said.
However the remaining 4,500 people have yet to apply to get their tax back, which must be done online.
In any case, people have four years to apply for the tax credit as with other tax reliefs.