Irish Tax Implications of Foreign Property Ownership

18 September 2008
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Irish Tax Implications of Foreign Property Ownership

The purpose of this document is to answer some commonly asked questions concerning the ownership of foreign properties and foreign rental income. The information covers the Irish taxation implications of foreign property ownership and not the tax implications in the country where the property is located. The document follows a 'frequently asked questions' format. The questions are intended to deal with the main issues associated with foreign property ownership:

  • acquiring the foreign property
  • renting the foreign property
  • selling the foreign property

We have also included a sample foreign rental income computation which may help your calculations.
This document is for general guidance only and is necessarily in condensed form. It is not possible to cater comprehensively for the many and varied situations that can arise in practice. If you have a specific query arising from your ownership of foreign property, you should contact your local tax office. However, you should note that Revenue is not in a position to provide information about the tax systems in other countries.

Leaflets & Guides

Moving to Ireland Tax Guide

Buying/Renting a House/Apartment in Ireland

  • Buying/ Renting a House/Apartment in Ireland
  • Tax Relief at Source (House Loan Interest)
  • Stamp Duty
  • Renting
  • Personal Property:
    • Transferring Residence
    • Importing a Car

Buying a House in Ireland

When you move to Ireland you may decide to buy your own home or apartment. If you do, some of these points will be of interest to you. If you take out a loan to buy your house you may qualify for tax relief.

Tax Relief at Source (Home Loan Interest Relief)

Tax relief is available on interest paid on a loan used to purchase your principal place of residence. The tax relief is granted at source. This means that the tax relief element on the mortgage interest will be "built into" your monthly mortgage repayment. Therefore, it will not be necessary to claim relief in the annual tax return or to contact Revenue.
The overall annual limits are:

First-Time Buyers All Others
Single Persons €10,000 €3,000
Married/Widowed €20,000 €6,000

The higher limits for first-time buyers apply for the tax year in which the mortgage is taken out plus the six subsequent tax years.
If you are making mortgage repayments and are not receiving Tax Relief at Source (TRS), you should contact TRS Section, Collector-General's Division at LoCall 1890 46 36 26 who will arrange for the relief to come into effect or apply on-line at

Stamp Duty

If you buy a house when you move to Ireland you may have to pay Stamp Duty which is a tax based on the value of the property. For further information contact Stamp Duty Section at LoCall 1890 482 582.
See our list of Residential and Non Residential Property Rates of Stamp Duty.

Renting Property

If you decide to rent a property from a landlord, you may qualify for tax relief on the rent paid. Relief is due at the standard rate of tax (20%) for 2008 subject to the following maximum limits:

Single Widowed Married
Under 55 Max €2,000 €4,000 €4,000
Over 55 Max €4,000 €8,000 €8,000

Relief can be claimed by completing Form Rent 1 (PDF, 59KB)
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Rent a Room

Where a room (or rooms) in a person's principal private residence is let as residential accommodation, gross annual rental income of up to €10,000 will be exempt from tax in the tax year 2008. The relevant Capital Gains Tax/Stamp Duty provisions are not affected. Tax Relief at Source on your mortgage will also not be affected. See IT 70 A Revenue Guide to Rental Income for further information.

Personal Property - Transferring residence from outside the European Union (EU) to Ireland.

In what circumstances may I obtain relief from import charges in respect of personal property?
To obtain relief from import charges (viz. customs duty and VAT) in such cases:

  • the person transferring residence must have had his/her place of normal residence outside the EU for a continuous period of at least 12 months,
  • personal property must have been in the possession of and used by the person transferring residence for a minimum period of 6 months, prior to the transfer of residence and must be imported within 12 months from the date of transfer of residence,
  • goods imported free of import charges under transfer of residence provisions must not be hired out, lent, sold or otherwise disposed of by the person transferring the residence for 12 months after their importation.

The above details outline the circumstances in which a person coming from abroad to take up residence in Ireland may obtain relief from tax in respect of a motor vehicle brought from abroad as his/her personal property. Tax means Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT). It also covers import charges (i.e. Customs duty and VAT) in the case of a transfer from outside the European Union.
In order to qualify for relief certain requirements must be met in regard to:

  • residency, both here and abroad, and
  • the motor vehicle in respect of which relief is claimed.

What are the requirements relating to the motor vehicle?
The following requirements apply to the vehicle:

  • it must be your personal property,
  • it must have been acquired with all the appropriate local taxes paid and these must not have been exempted, or refunded in any way. (There are certain exceptions in the case of diplomats and members of international organisations recognised by the Department of Foreign Affairs. Details are outlined in a separate leaflet available at any Vehicle Registration Office (VRO).),
  • you must have had possession of and have actually used the vehicle outside the State for at least 6 months before your transfer to Ireland. In the case of relief from import charges, you must have used the vehicle at your former normal place of residence. Any possession and use in the State, even during times when you were living abroad, does not count,
  • you must bring the vehicle into the State within 12 months of the date of your transfer of residence.