Drivers to phone a friend to avoid arrears
on 26/08/2013 00:00:00
Also after the deadline, motorists will have to pay arrears if they want to tax their car for the year ahead.
The "phone a friend" option has been brought in as the Government closes a loophole in the system that had previously given drivers the excuse of claiming their car was parked up and off the road in order to avoid paying motor tax.
Mr Hogan said the State was losing around €50m in uncollected car tax each year as a result.
"After Sept 30, you will not be able to make a declaration that a vehicle was off the road at your local Garda station, as people have been doing up to now," he said.
"This arrangement has made it easy for unscrupulous drivers to evade their motor tax, costing around €50m in uncollected tax each year."
Mr Hogan said that, from Oct 1, "if you want to tax your car, or declare that you want to keep it off the road and not incur a future liability for motor tax, you must pay arrears due".
Since the introduction of the Non-Use of Motor Vehicles Act 2013, Mr Hogan said he had become aware of an issue that has arisen for some owners, who for various reasons are not able to go to a Garda station in person to make the declarations. The parties affected are mainly motorists abroad for an extended period or those with an illness.
They can now nominate another person in writing, in a relevant form signed by the vehicle owner. This person can make the appropriate declarations at a Garda station on their behalf.
They will have to supply relevant documentation. For those abroad, this includes airline tickets, copy of visas, written confirmation from their employer, and an employment contract.
For those who are ill, documentation will have to include a medical letter from a doctor that the person is ill or incapacitated and cannot attend a station in person.
Drivers whose vehicles are off the road were given three months from July to make a declaration, signed at a Garda station, that their vehicle was off the road.
Mr Hogan said: "The transition period will also allow those whose vehicle was off the road to make the declaration to this effect at a Garda Station, and pay their motor tax from the current month, without paying any arrears, if that is their preference."
He said that, after the deadline, "you will no longer be able to make a declaration witnessed by a Garda that your vehicle was off the road, and owners coming forward with untaxed vehicles after this date will be liable for all motor tax arrears before a new motor tax disc can be issued. Owners in arrears will not be able to make a declaration of future non-use until the arrears and a minimum of three months' tax are paid in respect of the vehicle."