What relief is available for expenditure on heritage buildings and gardens?
Subject to restriction in the case of passive investors and the high earners’ restriction, if you incur expenditure on repairing, maintaining or restoring an approved heritage building or garden, you can set the expenditure against your income from all sources.
You can obtain a similar set off, but limited to €6,350 per year, for expenditure on:
(a) repairing or maintaining an approved object (i.e., picture, sculpture, print, book, manuscript, piece of jewellery or furniture) owned by the owner or occupier of the heritage property,
(b) installing or replacing a security alarm for the property,
(c) providing public liability insurance for the property.
It is a condition of the relief that the public has reasonable access to the property. The property must be open to the public for not less than 60 days per year, 40 days of which must be during May to September inclusive in the year, and 10 of those 40 days must be weekend days (Saturday or Sunday). The access price must be reasonable, and must provide access to a substantial part of the property (not just one or two rooms). Reasonable access may also take the form of using the property as a hotel or guest house, if is open for such use for at least six months of the year.
The property’s opening times must also be provided to Fáilte Ireland for tourism promotion purposes.
You are a passive investor if you claim the relief as owner but you have taken an interest in the premises from the original owner, in such circumstances that original owner can:
(a) influence how the expenditure on the building is to be incurred,
(b) participate in the tax benefit, or
(c) reacquire the interest.