Why can’t I claim tax relief on my student-flat investment?

Property Clinic: We tried to claim section 50 relief but were told it did not exist

I purchased a property in a student accommodation development. [A tax relief scheme] was advertised extensively in national newspapers at the time and in brochures, which I still have. When we went to claim section 50 relief, we were told it did not exist. Is this possible?

Section 50 relief is a historic relief that applied to student accommodation schemes and was introduced in the Finance Act of 1999. It provided for section-23-type relief whereby expenditure incurred on student rental accommodation could be set against the rental income from the property and other Irish rental income.

The scheme is now terminated, as the expenditure had to be incurred before December 31st, 2006, with some extension to July 31st, 2008.

However, unutilised relief may still be claimed where a buyer has relief carried forward. When an investor purchased a unit from a developer, they should have received a certificate of compliance. This certified that the accommodation was within the specified floor area limits and that it complied with the standards set out in the guidelines and the relevant department’s standards. The application had to be made by the builder/developer.


In addition, there were other qualifying conditions such as the type of leases entered into. The tax relief should have expired by now on any sales of student accommodation built when the scheme was in place.

Suzanne O’Neill is a tax partner at RSM Ireland

Do you have a query? Email propertyquestions@irishtimes.com

This column is a readers’ service. The content of the Property Clinic is provided for general information only. It is not intended as advice on which readers should rely. Professional or specialist advice should be obtained before persons take or refrain from any action on the basis of the content. The Irish Times and its contributors will not be liable for any loss or damage arising from reliance on any content