Tax incentives for the regeneration of historic buildings

Tax incentives for the regeneration of historic buildings, announced by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan in his 2013 budget speech, have come into effect.

The Living City initiative will allow owners of houses that are at least 100-years-old to claim tax relief for their refurbishment, at a rate of 10 per cent per year for 10-years against their income.

The scheme will be available to the owners of historic commercial buildings, who will be able to apply for capital allowances over a seven-year period on the refurbishment or conversion of a property.

The amount of tax relief available under the commercial element of the incentive is capped at €200,000 for any individual project.

The scheme was to be piloted in Limerick and Waterford through Budget 2013, and then extended to Dublin, as well as Cork, Galway and Kilkenny the following year.

The incentives for the refurbishment of pre-1915 houses are targeted at owner-occupiers rather than property developers.

Owners can claim relief only for the years the house is their principal private residence. If the property is sold within the 10-year period, entitlement to the relief stops and the new owner will not be able to claim it.

To claim relief on either commercial or residential buildings, the building must be located in a special regeneration area of the city, generally the historic core of the town.

The grant funded up to 50 per cent of the cost of repairs and conservation measures for buildings on the Record of Protected Structures.

Owners of buildings listed on the record could apply for funding of up to €25,000 towards the costs of work to restore and repair buildings using traditional materials and proper conservation practices.

The withdrawal of the grant resulted in a significant deterioration in the condition of historic buildings, particularly in Dublin city.