First-time buyers' tax relief 'safe until end of year'
THE Government looks set to extend valuable tax relief for first-time buyers until the end of the year. Mortgage interest relief is worth up to €31,500 over a seven-year period.
The money saved by ending the tax relief earlier was to go towards providing more extra tax relief for the "negative equity generation" who bought at the height of the property boom between 2004 and 2008.
Mortgage experts said first-time buyers now make up the majority of those taking out home loans, and scrapping mortgage tax relief early would act as a disincentive to them.
A spokesman for the Department of Finance dismissed reports that the tax relief would remain until the end of the year, and insisted the Government intends to keep its promise to boost mortgage relief for those who bought in the boom. But other government sources said it may be impossible to put legislation in place to scrap the relief for new buyers by June.
This could mean that buyers planning to purchase this year now have until the end of December if they want to benefit from the tax incentive.