Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Questions (954, 974)

Carol Nolan

Question:

954. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will consider refunding a portion of the motor tax to vehicle owners who have had limited or no need to use their vehicles over the course of the Covid-19 crisis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5635/20]

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Paul McAuliffe

Question:

974. Deputy Paul McAuliffe asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a refund of motor tax prepaid by those who subsequently were advised to cocoon has been considered; and if so, if such a refund can be issued for the months in which Covid-19 restrictions are in place. [5690/20]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

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.