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Tax Reliefs

Volume 171: debated on Tuesday 1 May 1990

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the information he has on tax and mortgage reliefs which operate in each European country to the benefit of house buyers.

The available information is as follows. All amounts have been converted to sterling using the latest available purchasing power parities.

Austria

Costs of acquiring a residence, including interest: on mortgages, is deductible up to AS 40,000 (£1,466) per year. This is increased by AS 40,000 for a married taxpayer who is the sole earner in a household and by AS 5,000 (£183) for each dependent child.

Belgium

Mortgage interest is deductible up to the amount of imputed taxable income from owner-occupation. There is an additional deduction for mortgage interest in respect of newly built properties.

Denmark

Mortgage interest is partly deductible from earned income. By 1992 interest will be deductible only to the extent of imputed taxable income from owner-occupation.

Finland

Mortgage interest is deductible up to a limit of Mk 25,000 (£2,352).

France

A tax credit is given, for the first five years of a mortgage, equal to 25 per cent. of annual interest up to a limit of F 15,000 (£1,217), increased by F2,000 (£162) for each dependent child. In respect of new dwellings bought or constructed the limits are increased to F30,000 (£2,433) for a married couple and by F2,000 (£162) for the first dependent child, F2,500 (£203) for the second dependent child and F3,000 (£243) for the third and each subsequent dependent child.

Germany

A taxpayer who buys or builds a home may deduct from annual taxable income over a period of eight years 5 per cent. of the purchase price or construction cost, up to a maximum of DM 15,000 (£3,722) per year. There is a further deduction of DM600 (£149) per year for each child living in the household.

Ireland

Relief is given up to a limit of 80 per cent. of the lesser of the amount of interest actually paid and 1£2,000 (£1,639), increased to 1£4,000 (£3,278) for a married couple.

Italy

There is a tax deduction of 22 per cent. of interest expenses of house-buyers. This is reduced to 10 per cent. on that part of such expenses which exceeds the difference between aggregate net income and the upper limit of the first income tax bracket. The first income tax bracket is 10 per cent. on net income up to L6,000,000 (£2,504).

Luxembourg

Mortgage interest is deductible up to LF30,000 (£488) annually, increased by LF30,000 for a spouse and LF30,000 for each dependent child.

Netherlands

Mortgage interest is deductible in full.

Norway

Mortgage interest is deductible in full.

Portugal

Mortgage interest is deductible provided that the total deduction claimed for such interest, life insurance and education costs for dependent children does not exceed Esc. 105,000 (£692) for single taxpayers and Esc. 210,000 (£1,384) for married taxpayers.

Spain

Mortgage interest is deductible from the imputed income from owner-occupied property.

Sweden

Mortgate interest is deductible in full for local income tax and for the basic national income tax (maximum rate 17 per cent.) but not always in full for the supplementary national income tax (maximum rate 25 per cent.).

Switzerland

Mortgage interest is deductible in full for federal tax.