A first-time buyer declaration is a document signed by first time buyers who want to claim a government bonus on their help to buy ISA or claim eligibility for any other government home buying scheme such as the shared ownership scheme or the first time buyer stamp duty relief.

It states that the first-time buyer has never had any interest in any land or property anywhere in the world.

A first-time buyer declaration form will be needed to claim the stamp duty for first-time buyers relief which allows first-time buyers to pay 0% on purchases between 0 and £300,000 and 5% on properties between £300,000 and £500,000.

The first time buyer stamp duty cannot be claimed if the property purchased is over £500,000.

A sample of a first-time buyer declaration can be found here.

How long does it take for help to buy ISA bonus to come through?

It takes 3 weeks from when you apply for it. The governments help to buy ISA admin department recommends your conveyancer apply for the help to buy ISA three weeks in advance to completion of the property purchase.

You will need to fill and sign a first-time buyer declaration form for you to claim your help to buy ISA bonus.

How do I claim my help to buy ISA bonus?

Your conveyancer who is managing your property purchase will have to apply to the government for your help to buy ISA bonus.You will first need to close your help to buy ISA ensuring you don’t make any withdrawals as they will use your last statement balance before the balance became £0 as the balance which they pay the bonus on.

Your help to buy ISA fund manager will provide you with a closing statement and closing letter and then move your help to buy ISA to a normal cash ISA ready for you to withdraw it.

The governments help to buy ISA bonus will then be paid to you and can be used towards your completion costs.

Yes, you can use your help to buy ISA bonus in line with your shared ownership. There is no restriction on this.

John Bate

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.