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Ireland could be in breach of EU law by charging VRT on cross-border cars

The opinion found that European Commission’s case was “well founded” and ruled in their favour.

Image: RollingNews.ie

IRELAND COULD BE wrong to charge full VRT to people who bring cars across the border temporarily according to a non-binding opinion of an Advocate General of the European Court of Justice.

In the opinion document published today, which serves to guide the Court’s eventual judgment, Ireland was accused of failing to meet its obligations under EU law by charging full price VRT to those who use cars from the North temporarily. The court’s judges will rule on the case later this year.

In Ireland, the state charges full VRT brought in from the north even if they are being used on a temporary basis. Revenue then refunded a certain portion of the VRT when the vehicle left the state and charged an administration fee of €500 euro.

However, the opinion says that is against EU law.

“The part exceeding the amount due for the period of use of the motor vehicle will constitute a tax levied in breach of EU law. Member states are required to repay, with interest, taxes levied in breach of EU law.”

The opinion found that European Commission’s case was “well founded” and ruled in their favour.

Independent MEP Marian Harkin said the opinion was good news for people in border region.

This has important implications for all the vehicles registered in Northern Ireland that are being used in the Republic on a temporary basis for a fixed period.

“The minor issues were the administration fee and the refusal to pay any interest on monies that were not owed in the first place. In the meantime, the Irish authorities have reduced the administration fee to €100 euro but have refused to pay interest.”

Harkin told TheJournal.ie that the State had been alerted to the EU law but had decided to “turn a blind eye” to it.

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