Section 244 Relief for interest paid on certain home loans

(1)(a) In this section-

“dependent relative” in relation to an individual, means any of the persons mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (2), or in paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (2A), of section 466 in respect of whom the individual is entitled to a tax credit under that section.

“EEA Agreement” means the Agreement on the European Economic Area signed at Oporto on 2 May 1992, as adjusted by all subsequent amendments to that Agreement;

“EEA state” means a state (including the State) which is a contracting party to the EEA Agreement;

“loan” means any loan or advance or any other arrangement whatever by virtue of which interest is paid or payable;

“qualifying interest”, in relation to an individual and a year of assessment, means—

(i) as respects a year of assessment before 2018, the amount of interest paid by the individual in respect of a qualifying loan,

(ii) as respects the year of assessment 2018, 75 per cent of the amount of interest paid by the individual in respect of a qualifying loan,

(iii) as respects the year of assessment 2019, 50 per cent of the amount of interest paid by the individual in respect of a qualifying loan, and

(iv) as respects the year of assessment 2020, 25 per cent of the amount of interest paid by the individual in respect of a qualifying loan;

“qualifying loan”, in relation to an individual, means a loan or loans which, without having been used for any other purpose, is or are used by the individual solely for the purpose of defraying money employed in the purchase, repair, development or improvement of a qualifying residence or in paying off another loan or loans used for such purpose;

“qualifying residence”, in relation to an individual, means a residential premises situated in an EEA state or in the United Kingdom which is used as the sole or main residence of-

(i) the individual,

(ii) a former or separated spouse of the individual, or a former civil partner or a civil partner from whom the individual is living separately in circumstances where reconciliation is unlikely, or

(iii) a person who in relation to the individual is a dependent relative, and which is, where the residential premises is provided by the individual, provided rent-free and without any other consideration;

”relievable interest”, in relation to an individual and a year of assessment, means-

(i) in the case of-

(I) an individual assessed to tax for the year of assessment in accordance with section 1017 or 1031C, or

(II) a widowed individual or a surviving civil partner,

the amount of qualifying interest paid by the individual in the year of assessment or, if less, €6,000,

(ii) in the case of any other individual, the amount of qualifying interest paid by the individual in the year of assessment or, if less, €3,000,

but, notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this definition and subject to paragraph (c), as respects the first 7 years of assessment for which there is an entitlement to relief under this section in respect of a qualifying loan [taken out on or after 1 January 2004 and on or before 31 December 2012, “relievable interest”, in relation to an individual and a year of assessment, shall mean-

(iii) in the case of-

(I) an individual assessed to tax for the year of assessment in accordance with section 1017 or 1031C, or

(II) a widowed individual,

the amount of qualifying interest paid by the individual in the year of assessment or, if less, €20,000,

(iv) in the case of any other individual, the amount of qualifying interest paid by the individual in the year of assessment or, if less, €10,000;

“residential premises” means-

(i) a building or part of a building used, or suitable for use, as a dwelling, and

(ii) land which the occupier of a building or part of a building used as a dwelling has for the occupier’s own occupation and enjoyment with that building or that part of a building as its garden or grounds of an ornamental nature;

“separated” means separated under an order of a court of competent jurisdiction or by deed of separation or in such circumstances that the separation is likely to be permanent.

(b) For the purposes of this section, in the case of an individual assessed to tax for a year of assessment in accordance with section 1017 or 1031C, any payment of qualifying interest made by the individual’s spouse or civil partner, in respect of which the individual’s spouse or civil partner would have been entitled to relief under this section if that [spouse or civil partner were assessed to tax for the year of assessment in accordance with section 1016 (apart from subsection (2) of that section) or section 1031B (apart from subsection (2) of that section) shall be deemed to have been made by the individual.

(c) The number of years of assessment for which the amount of relievable interest is to be determined by reference to paragraph (iii) or (iv) of the definition of “relievable interest” shall be reduced by one year of assessment for each year of assessment in which an individual was entitled to relief for a year of assessment before the year 1997-98 under section 76(1) or 496 of, or paragraph 1(2) of Part III of Schedule 6 to, the Income Tax Act, 1967.

Amendments

Finance Act 2000 section 17(a)(iii).

Finance Act 2002 section 138.

Finance Act 2003 section 9(1)(a).

Finance Act 2007 section 6.

Finance Act 2008 section 7.

Finance (No. 2) Act 2008 section 14(b).

Finance Act 2010 section 7(a).

Finance (No. 3) Act 2011 section 1.(2).

Finance Act 2012 section 9(a).

Finance (No.2) Act 2013 Schedule(1).

Finance Act 2014 section 7.

Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Act 2019 section 29.

 

(1A)(a) This section shall not apply as respects interest paid on or after 1 May 2009.

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), this section shall continue to apply for the year of assessment 2010 and subsequent years of assessment up to and including the year of assessment 2020 in respect of qualifying interest paid in respect of a qualifying loan taken out on or after 1 January 2004 and on or before 31 December 2012.

(c)(i) Paragraph (b) shall not apply in respect of qualifying interest attributable to that part of a qualifying loan used to repay another qualifying loan (in this paragraph referred to as an “existing qualifying loan”) unless the qualifying interest on that existing qualifying loan would, had the existing qualifying loan not been repaid, have been interest referred to in paragraph (b).

(ii) Where subparagraph (i) applies, the number of years of assessment for which there is an entitlement to relief under this section in respect of qualifying interest attributable to that part of a qualifying loan used to repay the existing qualifying loan shall not exceed the number of years of assessment for which relief would have applied had the existing qualifying loan not been repaid.

(d) As respects the year of assessment 2009 only, the definition of “relievable interest” is amended—

(i) in paragraph (i) by substituting “the amount of qualifying interest paid by the individual in the period 1 January 2009 to 30 April 2009 or, if less, €2,000 and the amount of qualifying interest paid by the individual in the period 1 May 2009 to 31 December 2009 or, if less, €4,000” for “the amount of qualifying interest paid by the individual in the year of assessment or, if less, €6,000”, and

(ii) in paragraph (ii) by substituting “the amount of qualifying interest paid by the individual in the period 1 January 2009 to 30 April 2009 or, if less, €1,000 and the amount of qualifying interest paid by the individual in the period 1 May 2009 to 31 December 2009 or, if less, €2,000” for “the amount of qualifying interest paid by the individual in the year of assessment or, if less, €3,000”.

Finance Act 2012 section 9.

(2)(a) In this subsection “appropriate percentage”, in relation to a year of assessment, means—

(i) as respects qualifying interest to which subsection (1A)(b) applies—

(I) where relievable interest is determined by reference to paragraph (i) or (ii) of the definition of “relievable interest”, 15 per cent for that year, and

(II) where relievable interest is determined by reference to paragraph (iii) or (iv) of the definition of “relievable interest”:

(A) 25 per cent for the first and second years of assessment for which there is an entitlement to relief under this section,

(B) 22.5 per cent for the third, fourth and fifth years of assessment for which there is an entitlement to relief under this section, and

(C) a percentage equal to the standard rate of tax for the sixth and seventh years of assessment for which there is an entitlement to relief under this section,

and

(ii) notwithstanding subparagraph (i), 30 per cent for the year of assessment 2012 and subsequent years of assessment up to and including the year of assessment 2017 as respects qualifying interest paid on a qualifying loan taken out on or after 1 January 2004 and on or before 31 December 2008 to purchase an individual’s—

(I) first qualifying residence, or

(II) second or subsequent qualifying residence but only where the first qualifying residence was purchased on or after 1 January 2004.

(b) Where an individual for a year of assessment proves that in the year of assessment such individual paid an amount of qualifying interest, then, the income tax to be charged, other than in accordance with section 16(2), on such individual for that year of assessment shall be reduced by an amount which is the lesser of-

(i) the amount equal to the appropriate percentage of the relievable interest, and

(ii) the amount which reduces that income tax to nil.

(c) Except for the purpose of section 188, no account shall be taken of relievable interest in calculating the total income of the individual by whom the relievable interest is paid.

Amendments

Finance Act 2008 section 5(c).

Finance Act 2010 section 7(c).

Finance Act 2012 section 9.

Finance Act 2017 section 6(c).

 

(3)(a) Where the amount of relievable interest is determined by reference to paragraph (iii) or (iv) of the definition of“relievable interest”, then, notwithstanding any other provision of the Tax Acts, in the case of an individual who has elected or could be deemed to have duly elected to be assessed to tax for the year of assessment in accordance with section 1017 or 1031C, where either-

(i) the individual, or

(ii) the individual’s spouse or civil partner,

was previously entitled to relief under this section or under section 76(1) or 496 of, or paragraph 1(2) of Part III of Schedule 6 to, the Income Tax Act, 1967, and the other person was not so entitled-

(I) the relief to be given under this section, other than that part of the relief (in this subsection referred to as “the additional relief”) which is represented by the difference between the relievable interest and the amount which would have been the amount of the relievable interest if this had been determined by reference to paragraph (i) or (ii) of that definition, shall be treated as given in equal proportions to the individual and that individual’s spouse or civil partner for that year of assessment, and

(II) the additional relief shall be reduced by 50 per cent and the additional relief, as so reduced, shall be given only to the person who was not previously entitled to relief under this section or under section 76(1) or 496 of, or paragraph 1(2) of Part III of Schedule 6 to, the Income Tax Act, 1967.

(b) Paragraph (a) shall apply notwithstanding that-

(i) section 1023 or 1031H may have applied for the year of assessment, and

(ii) the payments in respect of which relief is given may not have been made in equal proportions.

Amendments

Finance Act 2000 section 17(b).

Finance (No. 2) Act 2008 section 14(b).

Finance (No. 3) Act 2011 section 1(2).

(4)(a) Notwithstanding anything in this section, a loan shall not be a qualifying loan, in relation to an individual, if it is used for the purpose of defraying money applied in-

(i) the purchase of a residential premises or any interest in such premises from an individual who is the spouse of the purchaser,

(ii) the purchase of a residential premises or any interest in such premises if, at any time after the 25th day of March, 1982, that premises or interest was disposed of by the purchaser or by his or her spouse or if any interest which is reversionary to the interest purchased was so disposed of after that date, or

(iii) the purchase, repair, development or improvement of a residential premises, and the person who, directly or indirectly, received the money is connected with the individual and it appears that the purchase price of the premises substantially exceeds the value of what is acquired or, as the case may be, the cost of the repair, development or improvement substantially exceeds the value of the work done.

(b) Subparagraphs (i) and (ii) of paragraph (a) shall not apply in the case of a husband and wife who are separated.

(5) Where an individual acquires a new sole or main residence but does not dispose of the previous sole or main residence owned by the individual and it is shown to the satisfaction of the inspector that it was the individual’s intention, at the time of the acquisition of the new sole or main residence, to dispose of the previous sole or main residence and that the individual has taken and continues to take all reasonable steps necessary to dispose of it, the previous sole or main residence shall be treated as a qualifying residence, in relation to the individual, for the period of 12 months commencing on the date of the acquisition of the new sole or main residence.

(6)(a) In this subsection, “personal representative” has the same meaning as in section 799.

(b) Where any interest paid on a loan used for a purpose mentioned in the definition of “qualifying loan” by persons as the personal representatives of a deceased person or as trustees of a settlement made by the will of a deceased person would, on the assumptions stated in paragraph (c), be eligible for relief under this section and, in a case where the condition stated in that paragraph applies, that condition is satisfied, that interest shall be so eligible notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this section.

(c) For the purposes of paragraph (b), it shall be assumed that the deceased person would have survived and been the borrower and if, at the time of the person’s death, the residential premises was used as that person’s sole or main residence, it shall be further assumed that the person would have continued so to use it and the following condition shall then apply, namely, that the residential premises was, at the time the interest was paid, used as the sole or main residence of the deceased’s widow, widower or surviving civil partner, or of any dependent relative of the deceased.

Amendments

Finance (No. 3) Act 2011 section 1(2).

(7) This subsection shall apply to a loan taken out and used by an individual—

(a) on or after 1 January 2012 and on or before 31 December 2012 solely for the purpose of defraying money employed in the purchase of an estate or interest in the land referred to in paragraph (b) and in respect of which the permission in subsection (10) applies but only where a residential premises, which is a qualifying residence in relation to that individual, is constructed on that land, or

(b) on or after 1 January 2012 and on or before 31 December 2013 solely for the purpose of defraying money employed in the construction of a residential premises which is a qualifying residence in relation to that individual on land—

(i) in respect of which he or she has, on or after 1 January 2012 and on or before 31 December 2012, acquired an estate or interest, and

(ii) the acquisition of which was financed by way of the loan referred to in paragraph (a).

Amendments

Finance Act 2013 section 9.

(8) This subsection shall apply to a loan in respect of which there was in place, on or after 1 January 2012 and on or before 31 December 2012, an agreement evidenced in writing to provide that loan to an individual and—

(a) part of that loan is used in the period 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2012, and

(b) the balance of that loan is used in the period 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013,

by that individual solely for the purpose of defraying money employed in the repair, development or improvement of a residential premises which is a qualifying residence in relation to that individual.

Amendments

Finance Act 2013 section 9.

(9) Any loan to which subsection (7) or (8)(b) applies shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to be a qualifying loan taken out on or after 1 January 2012 and on or before 31 December 2012.

Amendments

Finance Act 2013 section 9.

(10) Relief shall not be granted in respect of interest paid on any loan to which subsection (7) or (8) applies unless any permission required under the Planning and Development Act 2000 was granted on or before 31 December 2012 in respect of such construction, repair, development or improvement, as appropriate, and such permission has not ceased to exist.

Amendments

Finance Act 2013 section 9.

(11) For the purposes of the application of this section, the definition of ‘relievable interest’ in subsection (1)(a) has effect as if—

(a) in subparagraph (i) of that definition—

(i) as respects the year of assessment 2018, ‘€4,500’,

(ii) as respects the year of assessment 2019, ‘€3,000’, and

(iii) as respects the year of assessment 2020, ‘€1,500’, were substituted for ‘€6,000’,

(b) in subparagraph (ii) of that definition—

(i) as respects the year of assessment 2018, ‘€2,250’,

(ii) as respects the year of assessment 2019, ‘€1,500’, and

(iii) as respects the year of assessment 2020, ‘€750’, were substituted for ‘€3,000’,

(c) in subparagraph (iii) of that definition—

(i) as respects the year of assessment 2018, ‘€15,000’,

(ii) as respects the year of assessment 2019, ‘€10,000’, and

(iii) as respects the year of assessment 2020, ‘€5,000’, were substituted for ‘€20,000’, and

(d) in subparagraph (iv) of that definition—

(i) as respects the year of assessment 2018, ‘€7,500’,

(ii) as respects the year of assessment 2019, ‘€5,000’, and as respects the year of assessment 2020, ‘€2,500’, were substituted for ‘€10,000’.

Amendments

Finance Act 2017 section 6(d).