New measures were introduced in 2013 to clamp down on Motor Tax evasion and drivers now have to declare cars as ‘off the road ’ before the motor tax runs out writes Suzanne Keane.
Up to July 2013 if you weren’t using a car that wasn’t taxed all you needed to do when you eventually wanted to tax it again was fill in an RF100 form, get it stamped at your local garda station and take it to the tax office with your hard earned cash! This loophole has now been closed so if your car is going to be lying idle at any point (and not taxed) you need to make sure it’s declared off the road in advance – otherwise you’ll be liable for back tax.
So how do you declare a car as off the road?
There are now 2 methods of declaring a car off the road.
When you receive your motor tax renewal form you can use the online pin number to declare your car off the road from when the tax disc expires. To do this you just need to follow the usual log-in method (using your registration and pin) and once logged in select the option to declare the vehicle off the road for a time period of your choice (3,6 or 12 months). This is currently free of charge – although rumours suggest there will be a charge introduced in the future.
If you don’t want to do this online you can download the RF150 form from here or you may have received a copy in the post with your renewal. This form must be completed and submitted to your local motor tax office BEFORE your current tax disc expires – otherwise you’re liable for back tax.
On this form you fill in the usual name, address details along with your chassis number and the dates during which the car will be off the road (3 to 12 months). At the end of this time period you should receive a “renewal”, like you usually would for motor tax, which will give you the option to either tax the vehicle or declare it off the road for longer. If you want to tax your car again before this time period runs out you can just fill out an RF100A form and drop it into your local tax office – this won’t be processed until the first day of the month that you’ve requested the tax disc for so if you need it in a hurry you’ll have to queue on the 1st of the month.
It’s important to remember that using a car that has been declared off the road or making a false declaration will leave you open to being fined and/or convicted!! Also, if your car is going to be unused for a period of time and parked in a safe place on private property talk to your insurance company about fire and theft only insurance – this means you can’t use the car on a public road but it will be still be covered against fire and theft if the worst happens and should result in a refund on your insurance premium!