Old Off-the-Road system ends

Car History Check expert Cartell.ie report there were significant last-minute queues outside motor-tax offices to comply with the new system of declaring vehicles “off the road” according to the Irish Independent this morning. The rush is expected to add an additional €2m to local authority coffers.

A three-month transitional period for declaring vehicles off the road came to an end last night, and anyone who missed it will be liable for back taxes. Large queues formed outside tax offices all over the country yesterday as people tried to register their vehicles before the deadline kicked in last night.

newspaper reports significant queues yesterday

The newspaper reports that A Department of Environment spokesman estimated the new rules added an additional €10m in motor taxes, when compared to last September. It is estimated that as much as €1.5m to €2m of that came in yesterday, as motorists queued to comply with new rules which say they must declare their vehicles off the road in advance.

This is a change from the previous system, where motorists could get their motor tax form retrospectively stamped by the gardai to prove they had been off the road for a certain period of time. Once this was done, no arrears would have been payable.

Now arrears will accrue if the vehicle is not declared in advance. Motorists must tell their local motor tax office how long their vehicle will be off the road.

The Government said the previous system facilitated tax evasion estimated at €55m a year. However, off-the-road notifications posted into tax offices dated yesterday will be accepted and will not run up arrears. The new rules officially kicked in on July 1, but Environment Minister Phil Hogan allowed a three month extension period, which ended yesterday. The Department of the Environment said most of the last-minute queues were caused by people who had vehicles in long-term storage who wanted them declared off the road. The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) called for the deadline to be extended, but Mr Hogan’s spokesman ruled this out because it would require emergency legislation in the Dail. ICSA president Gabriel Gilmartin claimed that staff were “inundated by long queues of people anxious to get their tax sorted out”. “I see a clear need for the transition period to be extended given the sheer number of people turning up at the offices,” he said. (Courtesy of Irish Independent- Fiach Kelly)

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