Off the road: Tax evasion
Environment Minister, Phil Hogan, has published a new bill aimed at closing a legal loophole in the car tax system.
The Non-Use of Motor Vehicles Bill 2013 will give owners the opportunity to tell the motor tax authorities in advance that a vehicle will be off the road and therefore will not be liable for motor tax for that period.
The new bill was introduced in an effort to close off the tax evasion loophole where a driver can present at a garda station and get a form stamped to avoid back-payment of arrears owed.
“Compliant tax payers should welcome this move. Up to €55m per annum is lost currently through evaders taking a holiday from paying their motor tax,” the Minister said.
“I am confident that the vast majority of motorists will welcome me tackling those who are evading their motor tax and who are free riders on the rest of us”.
Motor tax must be paid on all vehicles if they are kept in a public place and used on public roads.
Once the Bill is enacted, a non-use declaration can be made in advance of the vehicle being taken off the road for a period of between three and 12 calendar months.
The declaration can be made up to one month in advance of a tax disc expiry, or a previously declared form of non-use.
It can be submitted via motor tax offices and will also be made available on the motor tax online system later in the year.
Those who fall into arrears of motor tax will no be able to make use of the new declaration until the arrears and a minimum of three months motor tax have been covered.
Anyone found to be making a false or misleading non-use declaration on a vehicle may be liable for a fine of up to €4,000 and/or six months imprisonment.
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