Dáil Éireann - Volume 673 - 05 February, 2009
Written Answers. - Departmental Offices.
Deputy Joe McHugh Deputy Joe McHugh
Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Finance if he will explain the logic behind the reason to move the Lifford VRT office to Donegal town; if a feasibility study has been conducted in respect of this movement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3955/09]
Deputy Brian Lenihan Deputy Brian Lenihan
Deputy Brian Lenihan: I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that Revenue’s Border Midlands West Region has the largest geographical spread of all Revenue regions. The number of small offices located in this region is a legacy of the prior existence of Customs and Excise stations which, since 1993, are no longer needed in the context of the Single Market. Generally, only limited services are delivered from these small offices.
The functions carried out in the Lifford office have been reviewed and it has been established that there is an overriding business case to integrate these functions into other nearby Revenue locations in Co. Donegal. This position is made more urgent by the condition of the building in Lifford. The structure has serious health and safety issues and would, in any event, require total rebuilding in a different location. The decision has therefore been taken that the reasonable option is to close Lifford and to move the functions elsewhere.
 The Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) functions are moving from Lifford to Donegal Town with effect from Monday 16th February. Revenue’s on-line facilities (ROS) have greatly reduced the demand for service at their Vehicle Registration Offices. All new vehicles can be registered using ROS. Indeed, each of the main dealers in Co. Donegal currently uses ROS for this purpose. No attendance at a Vehicle Registration Office (VRO) is necessary.
In addition, a valuation enquiry facility is available on the Revenue website, allowing all customers to obtain VRT quotations for second-hand vehicles on-line. The registration process for second-hand vehicles has been simplified and it is no longer necessary to physically examine all such vehicles as had been the case previously. There is also a facility for Customers to register vehicles by post without the need to bring their vehicles to a Revenue office. These initiatives have greatly assisted the successful consolidation of vehicle registration services into the larger Revenue centres.
In order to register a vehicle on-line, the VRT must be paid at the time of registration. A deferred payment or FACT (Flexible Accounting of Cash Transactions) facility is available to dealers for this purpose. The deferred payment account is maintained by the dealers in their own bank. The FACT account is a payment account maintained with Revenue. Amounts due in respect of VRT are debited automatically from those accounts at the time of vehicle registration. Lodgements can be made by dealers to their FACT accounts by cheques presented in person or received by post at the VRO. Electronic funds transfer is another method by which dealers can lodge money to their FACT accounts. Staff at the VRO are available to assist members of the motor trade in arranging the payment method best suited to their business requirements.
Based on service demands, the alternatives available and the need for Revenue to make effective use of resources, the consolidation of vehicle registration services into Donegal town is reasonable and will not cause undue difficulty for Customers in the county.
Dáil Éireann 673 Written Answers. Departmental Offices.