I propose to take Questions Nos. 954 and 974 together.
There are no plans to amend the legislation to extend the grounds for the granting of a refund of motor tax at this time.
The legislation which sets out the circumstances for refunds of motor tax provides for refunds only in certain limited circumstances, namely where:
- a vehicle has been scrapped or destroyed;
- a vehicle has been permanently exported;
- a vehicle has been stolen and has not been recovered by the owner;
- a vehicle in respect of which a tax disc has been taken out has not been used in a public place at any time since the issue of the disc;
- the owner of a vehicle has ceased, because of illness, injury or other physical disability, to use the vehicle;
- the owner of a vehicle has ceased, because of absence from the state for business or educational purposes, to use the vehicle; or
- the owner of a vehicle has ceased, because of service overseas with the Defence Forces, to use the vehicle.
In order to obtain a refund, there must also be a minimum of three months remaining on a disc at the time of surrender of the disc to the licensing authority.
However, I wish to advise that there is a facility in place to declare a vehicle off the road.
The Non-Use of Motor Vehicles Act 2013, as amended, provides for a system of declaring vehicles off the road in advance. A declaration must be made in the last month of an existing motor tax disc or a previously made declaration of non-use. The declaration can be made online or in a motor tax office, and can be made for any number of calendar months between 3 and 12 months i.e. it cannot be made for a period of 1 or 2 months. If a vehicle is subsequently required to be put back on the road, the declaration can be broken at any time simply by taxing the vehicle.