Banks should take on more staff to deal with tax-free mortgage gifts: minister

house for saleBanks should take on extra staff to deal with the flurry of last minute requests for tax-free gifts, finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has told parliament.

Parents have until the end of the year to donate up to €100,000 tax free to their children to pay off their mortgage or put down on a house.

The cash is tax free as long as it is used to buy or improve a home but banks are running out of time to process a surge in last minute claims.

Some have told clients the money must be paid over before December 22 to qualify which is not the case, Dijsselbloem says. The measure was introduced to try to stimulate the housing market.

The minister has also welcomed the decision by banks such as ABN Amro to stop giving staff a discount on their mortgages, news agency ANP said.

According to broadcaster Nos, so far this year 28% more mortgages have been paid off than in 2013 and that figure rose to 40% in November.

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