The key detail in small print, however, was that the rental income against which you could write the costs off did not have to come from the property itself. Not only could it be from other properties in Ireland that year, if you didn’t have enough rental income from your portfolio that year, you could roll it forward to other years.

In other words, policy created a bizarre situation where the optimal tax strategy was to build homes in designated areas such as Ireland’s Upper Shannon region, but it didn’t really matter if you found tenants or not – the important thing was to spend the money on building, in order to reduce your tax bill on other rental income.

Works in Progress