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25 Jan 2017

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Anyone who has gone through the torture of saving for a deposit knows how important every penny can be. You’ve looked on with envy as your co-workers fritter their money away on lattés and fancy takeaway lunches while you tuck into Tuesday’s curry on a Friday lunchtime.

You’ve swerved the Friday night drinks, eliminated the impulse purchases and missed the weekends away with your friends. Basically you feel like you’ve missed out on life’s little extras for the last few years.

But now, it’s payback time. Your mortgage is approved – and the latté and croissant brigade are still stuck in rental purgatory.

What’s better is that there are a few ways you can claw back some money on your mortgage this year. There are government schemes that offer refunds to anyone who has squirreled away the cash for a deposit in the last few years.

So, here’s our guide to how you can go about getting your hands on some extra cash.

Help-to-buy scheme

In the last budget, the government implemented a scheme to help first time buyers. It’s a bit convoluted but it basically means you can claim a rebate of income tax paid in the four years before you buy your house. (According to Revenue: “A first-time buyer of a house or apartment who purchases or self-builds a new residential property between 19 July 2016 and 31 December 2019 may be entitled to claim a refund of income tax and DIRT paid over the previous four tax years.”)

The house must be a new-build (or self-build) – ruling out anyone buying a second-hand house and it cannot be valued at over €600,000. The relief is also capped at €20,000. The mortgage must be for at least 80% of the value of the property.

There are loads of forms to fill out but still – it could be worth €20,000 to you so it’s definitely worth the hassle.

DIRT Relief

This relief is open to first time buyers who buy any type of property between 14 October 2014 and 31 December 2017. DIRT (Deposit Interest Retention Tax) is one of those taxes not many people really understand but it’s a tax on the interest your savings earn.

So let’s imagine you earned interest in on your savings of €900. The DIRT applied to that would be 41% so you’d have paid DIRT of €369 to Revenue.

Under the DIRT scheme, you’d be entitled to some money back: up to a maximum of 20% of the purchase price of the property. It doesn’t look like much – but the average refund in 2015 (when only 75 people applied) was over €10,000 as there is no cap on the maximum amount claimable.

2% Back in cash

The EBS 2% Back in Cash mortgage offer is exactly what you think it is. It’s not fancy marketing jargon or anything too complicated. If you are a first time buyer and take out a mortgage with EBS, you get 2% of the value of the mortgage back in cash as a lump sum.

So, let’s assume you are getting a mortgage of €250,000. The EBS 2% Back in Cash offer means that you’d receive €5,000 back in cash. To spend on whatever you want. That would mean a hell of a lot of lattés.

That’s pretty sweet really.

Switch and save

Feel like you’re trapped with your current mortgage provider? Well the good news is that you are not – you can switch to EBS and avail of the brilliant EBS 2% Back in Cash offer. So not only are we saving you hassle, you can also get a tidy cash bonus for switching.

Why not let us help you save even more?

If you want to know more about the mortgage process, a 30 minute mortgage meeting with your EBS mortgage advisor will sort  you out.

There are more tips in our First Time Buyer guide.

Don’t forget to visit our Facebook page for the latest home inspiration, news and great competitions.

The content of this blog is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely on the information in this blog which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS d.a.c.

EBS d.a.c. neither accepts nor assumes any responsibility in relation to the contents of this blog and excludes all warranties, undertakings and representations (either express or implied) to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.

EBS d.a.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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