Applications are now open for the enhanced Help to Buy scheme, announced as part of the Government's July Stimulus package last month.

The incentive scheme allows first time buyers purchasing or building a new house or apartment to claim back income tax or DIRT paid over the previous four years, to help with the deposit needed.

Under the enhanced HTB scheme, first-time buyers who sign a contract for the purchase of a new house or apartment, or make the first draw down of the mortgage in the case of a self-build property, between 23 July 2020 and 31 December 2020 are eligible for the increased relief of up to €30,000.

First-time buyers can now claim up to 10% of the cost of a home priced up to €300,000, and €30,000 on more expensive properties up to €500,000.

This is an increase on the maximum amount of €20,000 people could claim back under the original scheme.

Revenue said all other criteria of the scheme remain unchanged.

It said first-time property buyers who are eligible for the enhanced HTB scheme can now make their application online through myAccount or Revenue's Online Service, ROS.

First-time buyers who signed a contract for the purchase of a new house, or who drew down the first tranche of their mortgage in the case of a self-build, prior to 23 July 2020, will not satisfy the requirements of the enhanced HTB scheme but may still apply for the original relief, up to a maximum of €20,000.

Revenue said those who have already submitted a HTB application to Revenue under the original scheme but who satisfy the requirements of the enhanced relief may cancel their original application and reapply to avail of the increased relief.

It said first-time buyers whose claims under the original HTB scheme were verified by their qualifying contractor, or solicitor for self-builds, after 23 July 2020, but who satisfy the requirements of the enhanced HTB relief can request a review of their claim by contacting Revenue's HTB Team via MyEnquiries.