By Elias Hazou
Motorists overdue on their road tax will be able to pay the fee in up to twelve monthly instalments, with no late fees or penalties, under an amended government bill expected to be enacted by parliament next week.
An initial provision stipulating that people would get a 30 per cent discount for paying late taxes was removed by troika technocrats, pointing out it would be unfair on those who had paid their road tax on time. The troika had settled for not including any penalties for late payment.
The clause was requested by the Road Transport Department (RTD), whose officials said they had received a large number of requests from people who wanted to settle their road tax debt but could not afford the full amount.
Payment of road tax in monthly instalments will commence in September, three months after passage of the new law. A person will decide the number of instalments beforehand and notify the RTD. Should a driver then miss an instalment, he or she will have their license revoked.
DISY deputy Zacharias Zachariou said lawmakers decided to drop the provision for a discount on late road tax, as this would penalise people who have played by the rules while giving others an incentive to avoid paying on time.
“This is a procedure that covers everyone, so long as they are willing to pay what they owe the state,” he said.
Previously, the House communications committee heard that some €35m is owed in road tax by 65,000 car owners.
Over 80,000 cars are immobilised due to owners not paying their taxes.
The bill, as amended by MPs, also draws out the deadline by which vehicles with unpaid road are deleted from the registry. Previously, under the bill as submitted by the government, the period would have expired on December 32, 2013, making many cars face deletion. Under the amendment, the period has been extended to June 30. Deleted vehicles must be re-registered for a fee.