Twenty cars seized in VRT blitz

Twenty cars were seized in Donegal
Twenty cars were seized in Donegal

The Office of the Revenue Commissioners has confirmed that 20 cars were seized for non-compliance with VRT regulations during a two-day ‘blitz’ in Donegal last week.

Revenue officers operated a number of checkpoints in Inishowen and across the county over Thursday and Friday.

While a spokesperson for the Revenue Commissioners did not confirm the locations of the checkpoints, the ‘Journal’ understand they were in Muff, Bridgend, Burt, St. Johnston and Lifford.

The spokesperson said revenue officers were “carrying out routine operations, primarily targeting non-compliance with Vehicle Registration tax regulations.

Along with the seizure of 20 cars, there were also three warnings issued for non-compliance with V.R.T.

There was also one detection of misuse of marked mineral oil as auto-diesel.

In response to claims on social media that some motorists, found to be non-compliant with VRT regulations, were escorted to cash points to pay funds for seizure release, the spokesperson said: “In routine seizure cases, other than those where aggravated circumstances exist, officers are empowered to offer compromise release terms based on a scale related to the value of the vehicle. The release terms are offered in lieu of the forfeiture of the vehicle.”

They added that VRT is chargeable on the registration of motor vehicles in the State and asked readers to contact Revenue if they are aware of anyone ‘evading tax or excise’.

The spokesperson stated: “All motor vehicles in the State, other than those brought in temporarily by visitors, must be registered with the Revenue Commissioners.

“If your readers know someone is evading tax or excise, or involved in smuggling, they should report it to Revenue on the Confidential Freephone 1800 295 295.”

Last week’s enforcement comes just two weeks after the ‘Journal’ told how Western Trust workers living in Donegal had been told the cars they are leasing in the north for work are no longer exempt from registration tax.

A total of 65 Western Trust cross-border workers are affected by the issue, and the majority of those staff have now launched individual appeals.