Eligibility for mortgage interest relief now limited to housing loans up to $30M

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The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has announced that the eligibility criteria for Mortgage Interest Relief (MIR) has been revised and is now limited to housing loans/mortgages not exceeding $30M.

Housing loans/mortgages at or below the $30M threshold that were approved by lending institutions on or after January 1, 2020, will therefore be considered by the Authority upon application for the relief.

In this regard, persons who submitted applications during the course of the year 2020 and were denied because their mortgages had exceeded the then $15M threshold, can enquire with the MIR Unit for a review.

The amended Section 20 (A) (1) of the Income Tax Act now provides for “a deduction of the interest paid on housing mortgage loans owed by the individual to licensed financial institutions or approved mortgage finance companies for – (a) the purchase of land for constructing a residential building; (b) the construction of a residential building; or (c) the acquisition of a residential building, to be occupied by the individual as a first time home owner, where the principal amounts of the housing mortgage loans do not and did not at any time exceed the sum of thirty million dollars in the aggregate.”

Once approved for MIR, applicants will be granted a reduction/relief on the interest paid on a mortgage for residential housing purposes. The said relief will take the form of a tax refund credited to the mortgagor’s bank account.

Applicants for MIR can be the sole or joint borrower of the housing loan/mortgage or the sole or joint owner of the property. They are required to submit the following documents to the GRA: –

  1. Completed Application (Form 1).
  2. Completed Form 2 – Letter by Lender and Schedule of Interest Form.
  3. A copy of Identification Card.
  4. A copy of bio data page of passport and the stamped pages.
  5. A copy of Transport/Title Your Mortgage Agreement (s) with the Lending Institution

Once all criteria are satisfied, an approval letter will be issued to the applicant(s).Thereafter, the applicant will be required to attach the original Form 4 received from their lending institution along with the emolument or 7B slip or Income and Expenditure statement wherever applicable when submitting their Income Tax Return