By ANNE CANALP
The proposed reform to road tax charging will see the Big Brother-style measure monitor vehicle fuel usage.
However suggestions that annual tax would scrapped completely in favour of a fuel surcharge of 40 kuruş per litre, as early as May, have been rubbished by officials.
The proposed amnesty, which now awaits the signature of the President Mustafa Akıncı, was first voted in last August but was stalled by a court order and drew criticism from road tax payers.
Drivers owing up to three years' road tax will “get legal” by paying one year's back tax plus the current year, while owners of vehicles unregistered due to road tax arrears of up to 15 years will pay two years plus the current year. Those vehicles will then be legal, re-registration charges will not be imposed and drivers will have a 90-day period to settle up, with a chance to pay the arrears bill in up to 12 instalments.
Prime Ministry undersecretary Olgun Amcaoğlu said a tender to switch to the new microchip system would go out as soon as the relevant law was enacted.
He added that the “smart” registration would thwart tax-dodgers and non-registered vehicles – which currently number 77,000 or some 60 per cent of road users -- adding: “The chip will be like your phone, with an identity number and GPS, and monitor fuel usage for road tax. It will also stop the crafty non-payers.”
İbrahim Akın, head of the Car Dealers' and Importers' Association said: “Once the electronic chip system is in place, which will take around nine months, anyone without an MoT, tax or insurance will be unable to buy fuel.
“Every car will be automatically monitored and the government will reclaim so much lost revenue that they will not need to tax fuel excessively.”
Mr Amcaoğlu added: “A surcharge will be put on to fuel but claims of an increase of 40 kuruş per litre are not true and would just send drivers to fill up in the South.
“The Finance Ministry is currently working on this issue. There are around 250,000 vehicles on our roads and I can assure those who have paid their road tax that they will not lose out.
“If the amnesty is signed off by the president it will become effective once published in the Official Gazette and if you have six months left on your tax disc when changes to the system are introduced later you will be refunded those months.”
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