Budget 2024: Help to Buy extended, more tax breaks for electricity exports

ROI’s Budget 2024 extends the Help to Buy scheme to the end of 2025 and increases tax breaks on electricity exports to the grid, among other supports.

In this article we cover:

  • What Budget 2024 means for self-builders
  • Details of the measures affecting self-builders

The ROI government has approved a €14bn budget package for 2024, including the establishment of two government funds to provide cash for future spending in public services and climate measures.

Budget 2024: Help to Buy

The Help to Buy scheme has been extended to the end of 2025; the scheme was going to expire at the end of 2024. This, despite a government report stating self-builders would go ahead with their building project even without the support.

The Help to Buy provides income tax relief to assist first time buyers and first time self-builders with obtaining the deposit required to purchase or build their first home.

The Help to Buy scheme has supported 40,000 people to buy or build their first home since its inception, said Minister for Finance Mattie McGrath. He added the scheme was extended to bring “certainty to the market”. He also suggested changes might be made to the scheme in the coming months.

Applicants to the Local Authority Affordable Purchase Scheme (not open to self-builders) will now be able to avail of the Help to Buy scheme. If availing of the First Home Scheme, which is open to self-builders, you cannot avail of Help to Buy.

Retrofit grants

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) grants are fully funded as Budget 2024 allocated the biggest ever budget for residential and community energy upgrade schemes (including the Solar PV scheme), at €380 million.

Investment  also  supports  the  establishment  of  centres  of  excellence  for retrofit skills, including Near Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) and the development of the National Demonstration Park for Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) under Housing for All.

This comes at a time when contractors registered to carry out grant aided work on Irish homes are scoring poorly on SEAI quality checks.

One year mortgage interest tax relief

A temporary one-year mortgage interest tax relief scheme is being introduced for homeowners with an outstanding  mortgage  balance on their  principal  private  residence  of  between  €80,000  and  €500,000 on 31 December 2022.

Qualifying homeowners will be eligible for mortgage interest tax relief in respect of the increased interest paid on that loan between the calendar year 2022 compared to the calendar year 2023 at the standard rate of income tax (20 per cent), capped at €1,250 per property.

Tax relief on exporting electricity to the grid

The tax relief on the Microgeneration of Electricity is increasing from €200 to €400. Below is the explainer from Revenue.

This section provides for an exemption of up to €400 from income tax, USC and PRSI for certain profits arising to a qualifying individual who generates energy from renewable, sustainable or alternative energy sources for their own consumption.

The profits which are exempted are those profits arising from the domestic generation of electricity which is supplied to the grid.

The exemption provided for in subsection (3) applies to profits (chargeable to tax under Case IV) arising to an individual from the generation of electricity from renewable, sustainable or alternative sources of energy at the individual’s sole or main residence (referred to as the micro-generation of electricity) during the period 1 January 2022 to 31 (2) December 2024. To qualify for the exemption the individual (or individuals) must be named on the electricity bill for the premise in question.

Where, in a year of assessment, profits arise to an individual from the micro-generation of electricity this subsection provides that up to €200 of those profits are exempt from Income Tax, USC and PRSI. The €200 exemption applies to each individual named on the electricity bill i.e. it is not divided between them.

Climate and Nature Fund

Budget 2024 is also setting aside money for two continuity funds, one of which will see over €3 billion allocated to climate and nature related investments between 2026 and 2030 in what the Green Party describes as an insurance policy for future generations.

The Climate and Nature Fund is one of the first of its kind in the world and means that even if the economy experiences a downturn, investment in environmental projects will be prioritised in the years to come.

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Written by Astrid Madsen

Astrid Madsen is the editor of the SelfBuild magazine. Email astrid.madsen@selfbuild.ie

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