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Taxation - What to do about Tax when you buy a house

- Do I need to tell the tax office if I buy a house?
- Can I claim tax relief on my mortgage?
- What is a sole or main residence?
- To help with the mortgage repayments, I intend letting part of my house. What tax relief can I claim against my personal income tax and against the rental income?
- Does residence only mean a house?
- Can I claim tax relief on a loan for home improvements?
- What can the loan be used for?
- How much tax relief will I get?
- If I sell my house will I have to pay Capital Gains Tax?
- What happens if I had let part of the house or used part of the house for business purposes?
- What happens if my property has "development value"?
   

1. Do I need to tell the tax office if I buy a house?

Yes - you should inform the tax office as soon as possible so that all correspondence can be sent to your new address.

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2. Can I claim tax relief on my mortgage?

No

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3. What is a sole or main residence?

A sole or main residence is the residence which is your home for the greater part of the time. It does not have to be owned by you e.g. your parents’ residence may also be your sole or main residence, if you normally live there.

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4. To help with the mortgage repayments, I intend letting part of my house. What tax relief can I claim against my personal income tax and against the rental income?

In this situation, part of the mortgage interest may be claimed as a normal interest credit against your personal income tax. However, the balance of the interest may not be claimed as a rental deduction. The mortgage interest applicable to the let part of the house will be determined on a just and reasonable basis. For example, the apportionment of the interest may be by reference to the number of rooms let.

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5. Does residence only mean a house?

No. It also includes:

- A flat
- Any garden or grounds of an ornamental nature which are used along with the house or flat
-

A Mobile Home/Caravan - provided it:

  • Is on a permanent site
• Is of a reasonable size to fulfill the requirements of use as a permanent residence
• Has electricity and other services supplied to it
• Is immobilised (i.e. wheels removed and mounted on blocks).

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6. Can I claim tax relief on a loan for home improvements?

No

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7. What can the loan be used for?

The loan can be used for most work done on your sole or main residence except for money spent on furniture or removable fittings (e.g. light fittings, curtains, carpets etc.). Examples of what the loan may be used for are:

- Extensions, purchase/construction of garage, garden shed, greenhouse etc.
- Construction of driveway, path etc.
- Conversions, painting and decorating
- Installing central heating
- Rewiring or replumbing (including bathroom suites)
- Replacing or installing windows
- Purchase and/or installation of burglar/fire alarms
- Purchase and installation of bedroom and kitchen units which are affixed to and become part of the building
- Treatment for damp, dry rot, woodworm etc.
- Landscaping gardens (including garden walls)
- Contributions to group water and sewerage schemes.

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8. How much tax relief will I get?

None

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9. If I sell my house will I have to pay Capital Gains Tax?

No. If the house (including grounds of up to one acre) has been occupied as your sole or main residence throughout your period of ownership you will be exempt from capital gains tax on the sale.

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10. What happens if I had let part of the house or used part of the house for business purposes?

Full exemption may not be due if only part of the house has been used as your residence. In this case an apportionment will be made to arrive at the exempt portion of the total gain and you will have to pay capital gains tax on the balance.

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11. What happens if my property has "development value"?

Where your property has development value i.e. if it is sold for a price higher than its normal current use value then the relief from capital gains tax as outlined above is confined to what it would be if the property did not have development value.

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