Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Ceisteanna (188)

Michael Lowry

Ceist:

188. Deputy Michael Lowry asked the Minister for Finance if a remission or repayment of vehicle registration tax and value added tax paid may be claimed in respect of the purchase and adaptation of vehicles for use by an organisation for the transport of severely and permanently disabled persons (details supplied) under the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Regulations 1994; if he will examine this case, given that many of the persons transported by this organisation are immobile and confined to wheelchairs; the steps an organisation should take if future problems are encountered with the Revenue Commissioners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39396/15]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

Regulation 12 of the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Regulations 1994 (S.I. 353 of 1994) provides that a qualifying organisation may, under the conditions contained therein, receive remission or repayment of Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) and VAT. Regulation (2)(1) of S.I. 353 of 1994 provides that a qualifying organisation means a philanthropic organisation which is not funded primarily by the State and which is chiefly engaged, in a voluntary capacity on a non-commercial basis, in the care and transport of severely and permanently disabled persons.

Regulation 3 of S.I. 353 of 1994 provides for the criteria which shall determine whether a person is a severely and permanently disabled person under S.I. 353 of 1994. These medical criteria are that a person must:

1. be wholly or almost wholly without the use of both legs;

2. be wholly without the use of one leg and almost wholly without the use of the other leg such that the applicant is severely restricted as to movement of the lower limbs;

3. be without both hands or without both arms;

4. be without one or both legs;

5. be wholly or almost wholly without the use of both hands or arms and wholly or almost wholly without the use of one leg;

6. have the medical condition of dwarfism and have serious difficulties of movement of the lower limbs.

I am advised by Revenue that the organisation concerned made an application to them on 20 August 2015. The work carried on by the organisation was described in the application as a "Day Care Centre for the elderly". The seating capacity of the vehicle was stated to be 14, with one seat provided for a person with a disability. The application was refused on 23 September 2015 on the basis that the organisation was deemed not to be chiefly engaged in the care and transport of severely and permanently disabled persons in accordance with the requirements set out in Regulation 3 of S.I. 353 of 1994.

I am further advised by Revenue that the organisation concerned lodged an appeal against the refusal decision on 8 October 2015 under Section 145 of Finance Act 2001. The first stage of the appeals process consists of the re-examination of the matter by a senior manager within Revenue who was not involved in the original decision and this is currently underway, with further medical verification having been requested from the organisation. If the organisation is dissatisfied with the outcome of this stage of the appeals process, it may apply, within 30 days of being notified of the appeal decision, to have the case heard by the Appeal Commissioners.