I am informed by Revenue that VRT is levied under the provisions of the Finance Act 1992, Part II, Chapter IV. There are a number of exemptions and reliefs under this legislation including a zero rating on vehicles such as ambulances and fire engines, and, under certain circumstances, relief from VRT and VAT under the provisions of the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Regulations 1994.
While a vehicle may qualify under one of the above provisions, none of the provisions apply to public service vehicles, whether they are wheel chair accessible or not.
The National Transport Authority “Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Grant Scheme” offers a financial grant for the purchase or conversion of a new WAV and a sliding scale with lesser monies being available for older cars. More information in respect of this grant is in the NTA Information Guide at the following link: https://www.nationaltransport.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Information_Guide_for_WAV20_Grant_Scheme_2020.pdf
As the Deputy may be aware, under the Charities VAT Compensation Scheme, charities which are registered with the Charities Regulator can claim for VAT on any expenditure incurred in relation to their charitable activities, except where the charity is already entitled to a refund, deduction, relief or repayment of that VAT. Under this scheme the applicant is entitled to claim a proportion of their VAT costs based on the level of non-public funding they receive. For example, if 70% of their income comes from non-public funds they may claim back 70% of the eligible VAT incurred. However, as mentioned above, there is a capped amount of funding available annually under the scheme. Charities are paid on a pro-rata basis where the total amount of claims received exceeds the cap. The scheme has closed for this year and will re-open in January 2021 in respect of expenditure incurred in 2020. The scheme is kept under observation and will be subject to review in 2022.