Appeal against toll Vat to be decided soon

Revenue will decide in January on Vat charges on M50 and Port Tunnel tolls

A decision on an appeal over the imposition of Vat on tolls on the M50 and Dublin Port Tunnel is expected in January, according to Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar.

The department and the National Roads Authority have jointly appealed a decision by the Revenue Commissioners in May 2010 to impose Vat on State-owned motorway tolls.

Unfair advantage
The Revenue decision was prompted by a European Court of Justice ruling which said the State had failed to implement EU Vat legislation correctly and that an exemption on services provided by the State constituted an unfair advantage over private operators.

Responding to questions on the matter, Mr Varadkar said: “This is a matter for the Revenue Appeals Commissioner to decide, but the NRA and I have made a strong case against the imposition of Vat on these tolls.”


Since the Revenue decision, the NRA has been paying the Vat on behalf of motorists – estimated at approximately €1.5 million per month or more than €42 million to date.

No competition issues
The NRA has claimed no competition issues arise because there is no rival, privately-operated motorway serving the capital.

If the current Vat rate were applied to the M50, the charge for a car with a toll tag could rise by 48 cent or by 71 cent for a car without an account.

Toll charges at the Dublin Port Tunnel would also increase from €10 to €12.30 during peak journey times and from €3 to €3.69 at off-peak.

David Labanyi

David Labanyi

David Labanyi is the Head of Audience with The Irish Times