When to be vat registered

when to be vat registered

Must I pay VAT or VRT on my car when I transfer residence to Ireland?

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There are certain circumstances in which a person coming from abroad to take up residence in Ireland may obtain relief from tax in respect of a motor vehicle brought from abroad as his/her personal property. Tax means Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT). It also covers import charges (i.e. Customs duty and VAT) in the case of a transfer from outside the European Union.

Please note that both the Canary Islands and Channel Islands are outside the EU for VAT purposes. Motor vehicles imported from these territories are liable to VAT. In order to qualify for relief from VAT you must have had your normal residence outside the EU for a continuous period of at least 12 months prior to transfer. VAT relief is treated separately to VRT relief in the case of non-EU importations. For a full list of EU territories which are excluded from the EU for VAT purposes please see the bottom of this page.

In order to qualify for relief, certain requirements must be met in regard to:

  • residency, both here and abroad and
  • the motor vehicle in respect of which relief is claimed.
What are the Residency Requirements?

For VRT purposes, you must have had your normal residence as defined below, outside the State at the time of transfer. In the case of a transfer from outside the EU, you must have had your normal residence outside the EU for a continuous period of at least 12 months prior to transfer.

Normal Residence means:

  • the place where you usually lived, for at least 185 days in the year ending on the date of transfer, because of occupational and personal ties
  • if you had no occupational ties, the place where you usually lived for at least 185 days in the year ending on the date of transfer, because of personal ties
  • if your occupational ties were in a different country from your personal ties then the country of your personal ties is taken as your normal residence if you returned there regularly (i.e. for most of your non-working days).
You do not qualify for relief from VRT
  • if you went to live abroad primarily for the purpose of pursuing a course of studies
  • if you were working abroad on a task of duration of less than one year and your personal ties remained in the State
  • if you were working abroad on a task of duration of more than one year and you have been granted tax relief in respect of another vehicle in the previous 5 years.
What are the requirements relating to the Motor Vehicle?

The following requirements apply to the vehicle:

  • it must be your personal property
  • it must have been acquired with all the appropriate local taxes paid and these must not have been exempted, or refunded in any way. (There are certain exceptions in the case of diplomats and members of international organisations recognised by the Department of Foreign Affairs. Details are outlined in a separate page Transfer of Residence (Duty-Free Vehicles) .
  • you must have had possession of and have actually used the vehicle outside the State for at least 6 months before your transfer to Ireland. In the case of relief from import charges, you must have used the vehicle at your former normal place of residence. Any possession and use in the State, even during times when you were living abroad, does not count
  • you must bring the vehicle into the State within 12 months of the date of your transfer of residence.
Is proof of residence required?

Yes. You will be required to produce sufficient evidence to show that you have been living abroad for the required length of time. You will also be required to show that you are taking up residence in the State. The evidence required includes documents relating to:

  • the acquisition and disposal of property abroad and in the State (e.g. rent agreements, mortgage documents, rent/mortgage payments etc.)
  • employment abroad and in the State (e.g. payslips, tax records, social welfare records etc.)
  • other transactions carried out in the course of day to day living (bank statements/transaction documents, bills/receipts for electricity, phone, service charges and other day to day living expenses)
  • travel records connected with trips into and out of the State
  • other such evidence as requested in individual cases.

Remember the onus is on you to prove that you were resident abroad for the required period. If the necessary documentary evidence is not furnished, tax relief cannot be granted.

What evidence is required in respect of the Vehicle?

You are required to prove that you had possession of and actually used the vehicle abroad for at least 6 months before transfer and that the appropriate local taxes have been paid and not refunded. This proof will usually consist of:

  • the vehicle registration document
  • the certificate of insurance
  • the sales invoice, receipt of purchase or other similar document
  • evidence of the date on which the vehicle was brought into the State (e.g. sailing ticket)

You will also be required to produce evidence of use of the vehicle abroad. This evidence will consist of, for example:

  • service and maintenance records
  • fuel receipts
  • documentation that indicates that annual circulation and registration taxes have been paid etc.
  • such evidence as may be requested in individual cases.
Are there restrictions on the sale or disposal of a Vehicle which has been granted Tax Relief?

Yes. You may not sell, dispose of, hire out or lend the vehicle during the 12 months following the date of registration. If you do, the VRT (Customs Duty and VAT if appropriate) must be paid in full.

Where and when do I apply?

If you are transferring residence from within the EU, you must make an application to your local Revenue Office within seven days of the vehicle arriving in the State.

If you are transferring residence from outside the EU, you must lodge your application when importing the vehicle at the Customs Office at the point of arrival in the State.

What forms must I complete?

Where do I Register?

The National Car Testing Service (NCTS) has been appointed by the Revenue Commissioners to carry out a range of vehicle registration functions on their behalf. From 1st September 2010, to register a vehicle, you must first book an appointment at an NCTS centre to have the vehicle examined and pay the VRT due (and other tax liabilities as appropriate). A map with locations of the NCTS centres accepting appointments is here.

You can make an appointment through one of the following methods:

  • On-line: www.ncts.ie/VRT
  • Telephone Lo call number: 1890 927 787
  • Write to the NCTS at:

Vehicle Registration Tax Booking,

Lakedrive 3026,

Citywest Business Campus,

Naas Road,

Dublin 24.

Please ensure you have the following to hand when making the booking as you will be asked for this information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Mobile Number
  • e-mail Address
  • Type of Vehicle
  • Chassis Number /VIN number
  • Current Registration Number of Vehicle

While there will be a charge for this service the charge will be credited against any VRT you will have to pay on completion of the registration process.

How do I register?

In order to register any vehicle, you must present proof of identity i.e. a Passport or a Driving Licence along with the vehicle and all the other required documentation. It is advisable that you should be able to locate the chassis/vin number for the NCTS inspector when presenting the vehicle for inspection.

A used vehicle (one that was first registered at least 3 months ago or one that has travelled at least 3,000 kilometres) presented for registration must be accompanied by.

  • Evidence of previous registration e.g. foreign certificate of registration, a certificate of permanent exportation or a certificate of de-registration, as appropriate (this document will be retained by the NCTS Centre so please ensure you make a copy of it before you go to the test centre),
  • Invoice which must have the date of purchase/sale clearly indicated,
  • Documentation verifying the registered owner's name and address (Utility Bill, Bank Statement). The information leaflet Owner Name and Address Declarations provides additional information regarding owner's name and address details,
  • Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) of the person in whose name the vehicle shall be registered. Documentary evidence of the PPSN will be required. This includes a payslip, P60 or any documentation issued by the Revenue Commissioners which include your PPS number, name and address,
  • For vehicles imported from Northern Ireland, where the invoice is dated more than 30 days earlier than the date the vehicle is presented for registration, details of where the vehicle was stored are required. For vehicles purchased elsewhere (including the UK), shipping details to confirm the date of arrival of the vehicle in the State are required. Where satisfactory evidence of the date the vehicle entered the State is not available, an additional charge may be raised by Revenue for the period from the invoice date to the date of registration,
  • Where an exemption from VRT is claimed, the exemption notification issued by Revenue,
  • Documentation (as approved by the Revenue Commissioners) confirming the level of CO2 emissions of the vehicle at the time of manufacture. Where evidence of the level of CO2 emissions of the vehicle at the time of manufacture is not available at registration - VRT will be charged at the highest rate applicable,
  • For vehicles over 4 years old, an unexpired roadworthiness certificate confirming that an equivalent to the NCTS test has been passed. Where this documentation is not available, the vehicle may be called for an NCTS roadworthiness test shortly after registration.

Documents 1 - 4 above are compulsory and the vehicle will not be registered unless they are all presented with the vehicle at registration.

A new vehicle (one that is unregistered, one that was registered less than 3 months ago or one that has travelled less than 3,000 kilometres at the time of registration) presented for registration must be accompanied by:

  • European Community Whole Vehicle Type-Approval (ECWVTA) Certificate of Conformity or Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) or National Small Series Type-Approval (NSSTA). If the vehicle has been previously registered, evidence of previous registration e.g. foreign certificate of registration, a certificate of permanent exportation or a certificate of de-registration, as appropriate will be required. (This document will be retained by the NCTS Centre so please ensure you make a copy of it before you go to the test centre),
  • Invoice which must have the date of purchase/sale clearly indicated,
  • Documentation verifying the registered owner’s name and address (Utility Bill, Bank Statement). The information leaflet Owner Name and Address Declarations provides additional information regarding owner's name and address details,
  • Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) of the person in whose name the vehicle shall be registered. Documentary evidence of the PPSN will be required. This includes a payslip, P60 or any documentation issued by the Revenue Commissioners which include your PPS number, name and address,
  • For vehicles imported from Northern Ireland, where the invoice is dated more than 30 days earlier than the date the vehicle is presented for registration, details of where the vehicle was stored are required. For vehicles purchased elsewhere (including the UK), shipping details to confirm the date of arrival of the vehicle in the State are required. Where satisfactory evidence of the date the vehicle entered the State is not available, an additional charge may be raised by Revenue for the period from the invoice date to the date of registration,
  • Where an exemption from VRT is claimed, the exemption notification issued by Revenue.

Documents 1 - 4 above are compulsory and the vehicle will not be registered unless they are all presented with the vehicle at registration.

Where a vehicle is presented for registration by an individual other than the person declared as the registered owner, a letter of consent signed by the person requesting registration must be presented. The "individual/agent/motor dealer" representing the person requesting registration must also provide proof of identity i.e. a Passport or a Driving licence.

The vehicle itself will be examined at the NCTS centre to ensure that it matches the various characteristics described in the accompanying documentation e.g. vehicle identification number (VIN), registration number (in the case of a previously registered vehicle) make, model and variant, engine size, number of doors etc. If the requisite documentation is not available at the time of the examination or the vehicle details do not match the documentation, the vehicle will not be registered.

When it has been established that the vehicle is eligible for registration you will be presented with a document containing the vehicle details which you will be asked to sign confirming that you wish to register the vehicle. Following confirmation, Revenue will assign a registration number to the vehicle and this will be issued to you by the NCTS on payment of the tax due.

Please note that a second visit to an NCTS centre as a result of incorrect or missing documentation will be at your own expense.

In all circumstances, the vehicle must be registered within 30 days of arrival in the State and the registration number affixed to the vehicle within three days of registration.

Can I appeal the refusal of my application?

Yes. In the event that your claim is refused, a letter will issue to you outlining the reason for refusal. If you have sufficient grounds, you may appeal within two months of the date of the decision. A separate page, Appeal Procedures. sets out the VRT appeals procedure.

EU Territories which are Excluded from the EU for VAT purposes

Channel Islands, Gibraltar, Andorra, San Marino. Canary Islands, Ceuta, Melilla (Spain).

Livigno, Campione d’Italia, Italian Waters of Lake Lugano (Italy).

French Overseas departments, i.e. Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion, St. Pierre and Miquelon and French Guiana.

Faroe Islands, Greenland (Denmark).

Island of Heligoland and Territory of Busingen (Germany).

Mount Athos (Greece).

That part of Cyprus over which the EU Member State does not exercise effective control.

Source: vrt.ie

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