Irelands VRT Continues To Draw Criticism

When citizens of Ireland register their motor vehicles, they must pay a Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT). If the car is purchased new from a dealer, the retail price includes VRT.

Owners of cars imported from abroad must pay the tax when they apply for vehicle registration. Critics believe that VRT is simply a version of the excise duty, which is illegal under European Union law.

VAT is also included when a vehicle is sold, resulting in double taxation. One of the latest issues regarding the tax is that van drivers are being improperly charged when importing vans from Northern to Southern Ireland.

There seems to be disagreement regarding whether the tax is 50 euro or 13.3 percent of the value of the vehicle.

According to a Revenue and Customs spokesperson, the decision to charge all vehicles in category B the tax of 13.3 percent of open market selling price was reversed.

However, he went on to say that the Minister for Finance amended the legislation to state that commercial vehicles intended as replacement cars are subject to the 13.3 percent tax.

Vehicles serving as workhorses for commercial entities would only be charged the flat 50 euros.

This leaves much room for interpretation and residents are fuming about once again being taxed. There seem to be no guidelines, leaving buyers of

commercial vehicles unsure of how their cars may be classified.

If someone takes car finance to purchase a jeep for commercial purposes, they may need to pay the 13.3 percent tax, which is considered unfair.

Another issue angering many motorists is the delay in testing newly imported cars. NCT centers are providing drivers with May test dates. These vehicle owners will need to pay 150 euros more for the delay because the commercial VRT tax increases 200 euro effective May 1. People are wondering why they are being punished for governmental delays.