Fine Gael TD for Kildare North, Anthony Lawlor, has today (Friday) expressed concerns that not every first time buyer who bought in 2008 will be entitled to the 30% Mortgage Interest Relief.

“It has been brought to my attention that some first time buyers who bought property in the latter months of 2008 may not be entitled to the higher rate of mortgage interest relief because they chose a deferred option for mortgage repayments. A number of my constituents, who bought in the last quarter of 2008, were informed by their banks that because they did not receive a Certificate of Interest for 2008 they will not be eligible for the higher rate as announced in the Budget in December.

“I have raised this matter with the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, and made it clear that all buyers during this period, irrespective of when they commenced mortgage repayments, should be included in this scheme. During his Budget speech, Minister Noonan made it quite clear that the Government was fulfilling its commitment in the programme for Government to increase the rate of mortgage interest relief to 30% for first time buyers who took out their first mortgage in that period (2004-2008). However, according to the Revenue’s website ‘the 30% rate of tax relief applies to the interest paid … on a loan used to acquire, in the period 2004 to 2008 (both years inclusive), his or her first principal private residence’.

“This information is quite confusing and misleading. According to the Minister, first time buyers who bought a house in 2008 are eligible for the higher rate of mortgage interest relief but Revenue states that it applies only to those who paid interest on their mortgage in 2008. This would exclude people who took the deferred payment option offered by the banks at the time.

“I am urging Minister Noonan to have this technical detail addressed in the Finance Bill and to clarify the matter for all mortgage holders who are relying on the increased rate of interest relief each month.”