Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Questions (172)

Michael Healy-Rae


172. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance the position regarding a refund of VRT in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23338/14]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the relevant legislation governing the Drivers & Passengers with Disabilities Scheme is contained in Section 134(3) of the Finance Act 1992 (as amended) and Statutory Instrument No: 353 of 1994 (Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Regulations, 1994.

Where a family member of a person with a disability purchases a qualifying used vehicle under the scheme, the residual VRT and VAT borne in respect of the purchase and adaptation of the vehicle may be repaid to that person subject to the limits set out in the legislation. The maximum tax relief due to a family member in respect of any vehicle is €15,875. Any tax repayment on a used vehicle is confined to the residual tax that is remaining in the vehicle at the time of purchase and which had not already been repaid to a previous beneficiary.  Where full relief has been obtained in respect of a vehicle, or the prescribed VRT /VAT repayment limits have been reached, and it is subsequently purchased (as a used vehicle) by another applicant under the scheme, it may still qualify for repayment of excise duty on fuel and for Motor Tax Exemption.

The invoice relating to the vehicle purchased was dated 6th December 2011. It was subsequently established during a telephone conversation with the person (details supplied) that for personal reasons she did not receive possession of or pay for the vehicle until March 2012. The previous owner of the vehicle had benefited from tax relief on the vehicle under the scheme to the value of €11,792 and on this basis the person (details supplied) received a repayment of €4,083 being the maximum tax amount due in respect of the vehicle. The person (details supplied) submitted correspondence to Revenue's Central Repayments Office (CRO) on 18th June 2012 requesting an explanation of the  repayment received. The issue was clarified in a response issued on 21st June 2012 and further clarified during a telephone conversation on 7th September 2012.

It is Revenue's clear understanding arising from details of telephone conversations with the person (details supplied) and her spouse, that the vehicle was in fact purchased in March 2012. However, if the person in question did in fact pay for and take possession of the vehicle in December 2011, as suggested by the Deputy in the details he supplied with this question, then the person should contact Maire A Nic an tSaoi in the CRO (direct line 047-62137). Relevant proofs of payment (e.g. bank statement, paid cheque) and change of ownership in 2011 (e.g. evidence of change of insurance) should be forwarded to the CRO, to facilitate reconsideration of the application.

The administration of the scheme was reviewed during 2011 to ensure that all applications, without exception, would be dealt with in accordance with the legislation.  Revenue met with representatives of the Irish Wheelchair Association and the Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland in November 2011 and briefed both organisations on the outcome of the  review. There were no actual changes to the legislation.