Help to Buy (HTB) incentive

What do you need to do before you apply?

Before you apply, you must be registered for either:

If you pay tax through PAYE

Before you apply for HTB, you must submit an Income tax Return for each year you wish to apply for a payment and pay any outstanding tax due. You must have a Tax Clearance Certificate if you were registered for another tax in any part of the refund years in which you are applying for.

Use myAccount to submit an Income Tax Return for the relevant years. Online Income Tax Returns are pre-populated with your pay and tax details.

In cases of retrospective applications, you can download the form and submit on paper. When you have completed this form, you can scan it and then upload it in MyEnquiries. To do this, you should:

  • click 'Add new enquiry'
  • select 'Help-To-Buy scheme' from the dropdown options available under 'My Enquiry relates to'
  • select 'Income tax return from the dropdown options available under 'And more specifically'
  • attach the scanned pages of your Income tax Return (Form 12)
  • submit your enquiry.

If you are self-employed

If you are self-assessed, you must be fully tax compliant and have tax clearance. You must have filed your Income Tax returns and paid all the tax that you owe for any years where you were self-employed. Use Revenue Online Service (ROS) to submit your Form 11.

Four year rule

You may have signed your contract to buy a new build or draw down the first part of your mortgage for a self build between 1 January and 31 March 2021. If so, you may select either the:

  • year of purchase to be the actual year you bought or built your home
  • previous year provided you make your application before 31 May 2021.

This will allow you to select the four year period which is of most benefit to you.


If your contract or draw-down date is 2 February 2021, you may choose whether that took place in either 2020 or 2021.

If you choose 2020, this will allow you to use your Income Tax and DIRT for the four years from 2016 to 2019.

If you choose 2021, you can use the years from 2017 to 2020.

Selecting 2020 as a year

You may select 2020 as a year in your HTB application once you:

  • have submitted your annual Income Tax Return for that year
  • and
  • have received your Statement of Liability from Revenue with respect to that year.

The Statement of Liabilities is not issued until after your return has been submitted. An underpayment of tax in 2020 due to income received from the Pandemic Unemployment Payment or Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme does not need to be paid in 2021. Revenue will collect the underpayments, interest free, by reducing your tax credits over 4 years starting in 2022.

Next: How do you apply for Help to Buy (HTB)?