A refresher on Dwellinghouse Relief

24 April 2020

working from home

Lots of us are working from home now and of course, what is the first thing that springs to mind as probate practitioners about working from home . . . of course . . . its section 86 of CATCA and dwellinghouse relief . . .!

Revenue have just issued a new e/Brief (20th of April) on updating the taxes manual in relation to same event relief and also in relation to dwellinghouse relief. Dwellinghouse relief has now become quite a complex relief but the intent and purpose of the relief is sound. It was designed to assist the elderly bachelor brothers/spinster sisters or the co-habiting couple, from having to sell the family home on the passing of one sibling/partner (due to the fact of the low level of Class B and Class C). It has grown in form and extent over the years and reduced back due to abuses, but it is an important and fair relief where the criteria applies. You cannot qualify for the relief if you have an interest (however minor) in another dwellinghouse. You might recall the recent controversy caused by the Deane case ([2018] IEHC 519) where the Revenue attempted to argue that if you share in the residue of an estate which includes more than one dwellinghouse that you are prohibited from dwellinghouse relief as the share in the residue constitutes an “interest” in a another property. The High Court rejected this argument and the Revenue have modified the relief under s. 64 of the Finance Act 2019 which amends s. 86 of CATCA. Essentially the rule now is that you will be disqualified from dwellinghouse relief if you have an interest in another dwellinghouse taken from the date of death up to the valuation date. So if you inherit a dwellinghouse as a bequest and also another one as part of the residue, the relief claimed on the bequest will be lost if other dwellinghouse is left intact in the residue and not depleted by expenses or claims.