Motor tax legislation provides for refunds in certain limited circumstances, including where a vehicle has been scrapped or destroyed, permanently exported, stolen and not recovered, or where the owner of a vehicle has ceased to use the vehicle because of illness, injury or other physical disability, or due to absence from the State for business purposes, educational purposes or service overseas with the Defence Forces.
There are no plans currently to amend the legislation to extend the grounds for the granting of a refund.
I understand that refunds of a proportion of motor insurance paid were given on the basis of reduced risk due to a reduction in the number of vehicles on the road given the restrictions that were in place in recent months. Motor tax is not linked to the level of use on the road, rather it accrues to the Exchequer as an excise duty. Motor tax receipts are a significant contributor to Exchequer finances and form part of the means in ensuring that Covid-19 supports can continue in the short-term, in helping the re-building of the economy in the longer term, and in ensuring the ongoing provision of public services. In this regard, the Deputy will be aware that the Government has channelled significant Exchequer resources towards the introduction of an extensive range of supports for Covid-impacted businesses, including rates waivers, re-start grants, lending facilities, equity injection, business advisory supports, and, in recent weeks, supports for businesses impacted by local lockdowns. In terms of social protections, resources have been allocated to the continuation of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and Wage Subsidy Schemes into next year.