The Help to Buy: ISA Bonus Request System Explained
The Help to Buy: ISA was introduced on the 1st December 2015 as a tax free savings account designed to help more people save a deposit for their first home.
An online portal has been introduced by the government to claim these bonuses and with the majority of ISA holders still saving, the future holds thousands of applications to be processed. Conveyancers will need to be aware of how to claim these bonuses for their clients, so are you ready to use the new portal?
Conveyancers are required to register with the Conveyancers Help to Buy: ISA Portal in order to process requests for bonus payments for their clients, they will also need to sign the Conveyancer Adherence agreement on Lender Exchange. If the Conveyancer is not registered with the Lender Exchange they are still able to process bonus claims but this will cause delays as there will be additional steps in the application.
It is recommended that the bonus application process is started approximately 3 weeks before expected completion, which will allow sufficient time for the ISA to be closed and funds transferred.
To complete the bonus request 3 documents are required; the Help to Buy: ISA Closing Letter, which will show closing balance and account number; a First Time Buyer declaration, signed by the client to confirm they do not own and never have owned any interest in land anywhere in the world; and Confirmation of Property Eligibility, to confirm the property being purchased costs less than £450,000 in London and £250,000 elsewhere in the UK. The property will also have to be mortgaged to be eligible for the bonus. These documents will need to be scanned into the portal.
Any funds that are not used within 3 months of their payment will have to be returned to the scheme administrator so it is important to not request the bonus until you are confident that the purchase is about to complete.
You can register with the Conveyancer Portal and find further details on the scheme at www.helptobuyisaadmin.org.uk/conveyancers/the-scheme.
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