The Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI ) is calling on the Government to clarify details about articulated vehicle taxation following a Court of Appeal judgement last week that a trailer is not a separate taxable unit.
Hundreds of trucks are due to be re-taxed before the new rates announced in the Budget come into effect on January 1, 2016, yet the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government has not issued instructions to operators on how to proceed. Neil McDonnell, general manager of FTAI, said: “This is a ridiculous situation where the Court of Appeal has made a decision but the Government is dragging its feet over issuing information.
“Minister Kelly needs to put an immediate end to the confusion and advise operators what to do. Last year, the FTAI supported member company Perennial Freight in its appeal against prosecution for ‘undertaxation’ of an articulated truck. The case was heard in the Court of Appeal in June and a decision was delivered on October 21.
The court decided that only the tractor unit of an articulated vehicle was taxable, overturning the Director of Public Prosecution’s interpretation of the law that the trailer was also a taxable unit. Mr McDonnell said: “It was very obvious from the line of questioning taken by the judges that they had difficulty with the DPP’s view of a trailer as a taxable vehicle.
“On its own, a trailer is not a mechanically propelled vehicle. We kept Government informed of progress on this issue and, now a decision has been made by the court, we need some clarity for operators.”