€10m paid out so far under €125m mortgage interest relief scheme

March 29, 2024

Just €10m has so far been paid out in mortgage interest relief under the Government scheme announced in the budget, despite €125m being allocated for it.

12,107 PAYE taxpayers have made a claim for the assistance, which is designed to help those who struggled with mortgage repayments last year because of rising interest rates.

Of these 11,832 have fully benefited from the credit and 11,050 of those received a refund of tax totalling €10m.

A further 919 taxpayers either had a balanced tax position or had an underpayment reduced through the use of the credit.

138 claimants were not in a position to benefit from the credit because they did not pay income tax in 2023.

While a further 137 claimants paid tax which was less than the full credit which they claimed.

There are around 707,000 mortgage holders in the State, but the number of people who may be entitled to claim the tax credit is not known.

The data was contained in an answer from the Minister for Finance to a series of parliamentary questions tabled by Sinn Féin’s finance spokesman, Pearse Doherty.

He described the scheme, which opened to applications in January, as “botched” because it is failing to support households struggling with soaring mortgage costs.

“The Government is failing households struggling with soaring interest costs,” he said.

“In less than two years, mortgage interest costs have increased by a massive 64%. Yesterday the Central Bank recorded a further 3% rise in early mortgage arrears in the last three months of 2023, driven primarily by vulture funds.

“This is clear evidence that workers and families are struggling with rising interest rates and the cost of living crisis. It is clear that the government’s botched mortgage interest tax credit is failing to support households.”

Mr Doherty added that among those who have not been able to access the relief are lone parent families that have seen their mortgage costs rise by thousands of euros.

“For over a year, Sinn Féin campaigned for the introduction of mortgage interest relief applied at source, which would have provided households with support of up to €1,500,” Mr Doherty said.

“If our proposals had been implemented, every struggling household would have received much needed support.”

“Instead, under this government, hundreds of thousands of households are facing no support whatsoever.”

The relief is available to homeowners who had an outstanding mortgage balance on their homes of between €80,000 and €500,000 at the end of last year.

Those who qualify receive relief at the standard rate of tax and this is based on the increase in the interest paid in 2023 over interest paid in 2022 up to a maximum of €1,250.

This equates to 20% of the maximum qualifying interest of €6,250.

However, in order to avail of the relief, taxpayers must file an income tax return for last year and upload their certificate of mortgage interest for 2022 and 2023, and confirmation of their mortgage balance at 31 December 2022.

They must also have paid income tax in 2023 and be compliant with Local Property Tax requirements.

Article Source – €10m paid out so far under €125m mortgage interest relief scheme – RTE

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