Tag Archives: tax-dodgers


Now that the Department of Finance and the ISA have raised the white flag and abandoned the tax-evaders’ delight, the Mineral Oil Tax scheme for private pleasure craft, I thought I might rewrite my page on tax-dodging boat-owners. The version here is completely new.

Owners who wish to pay the tax in 2019 for 2018 will find information here. Private owners want Form PPN1; the link on that page still shows last year’s form but it may be possible to use it, changing the dates as appropriate. That’s what Revenue told me to do last year.

Join the elite while saving the nation

One of the most exclusive groups in Ireland is that of the boat-owners who pay Mineral Oil Tax on the diesel they use for private pleasure navigation. My own view is that, if you make payment of a tax effectively optional, most people won’t pay it. I have been providing supporting evidence for some time here, here, here and here, from which last I can say that there were 23 law-abiding boat-owners in Ireland last year (and 8816 boats registered on the Shannon, not to mention those based on other waters).

Clearly, this ridiculous system should be abolished: boats using diesel for private pleasure navigation should be forced to use non-marked fuel and pay the full non-rebated rate. Until that happy day comes, those who wish to join the respectable classes can download the return form for 2013 here [PDF]. Mineral Oil Tax on fuel used in 2013 is to be paid by 1 March 2014.

More on Mineral Oil Tax

I showed here that very few boat-owners paid the Mineral Oil Tax for 2009 (38) and 2010 (41). I now have the figures for 2011 (MOT paid by 1 March 2012) and I can report that there has been a very significant change, of 46%, in the numbers paying the tax.

Unfortunately the change was downwards, from 41 to 22. The Revenue Commissioners tell me that

[…] there were 22 returns received by 1 March 2012 for 2011, amounting to €53,398.58 MOT [Mineral Oil Tax] on 141,503.29 litres oil.

That’s an average of 6432.1 litres each, which is a lot; I suspect that much of the total came from the hire fleet, with less than twenty private owners making returns.

This ridiculous tax should be scrapped; those operating private pleasure craft should be required to use non-rebated diesel.



Tax-dodging boat-owners redivivus

In December I posted a piece suggesting that the amount of money received by the Revenue Commissioners in Mineral Oil Tax was far below what it should be. New readers may wish to know that, under an insane system introduced by the Irish government to give the impression of complying with a European Union ruling, owners of private pleasure-craft are allowed to buy cheap green (rebated) diesel (marked gas oil) but are supposed to pay to the Revenue the difference between the amount they paid at the pumps and the amount that would have been paid without the rebate. This difference is called Mineral Oil Tax.

Having discovered the total amount received by the Revenue, and deduced from that the number of litres on which the tax was paid, I wrote:

Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that the average pleasure craft has a 40hp diesel engine (which is what my 1960s cruiser had). That would use two gallons or nine litres per hour. So the 313,748 litres of diesel on which Mineral Oil tax was paid [for the year 2010] would have kept one cruiser going for 34,861 hours.

On the other hand, if there are 10,000 pleasure craft in Ireland, with diesel engines averaging 40hp, then they are claiming to have cruised for an average of three and a half hours each in the whole of the year 2010.

I suspect therefore that there is significant underpayment of the Mineral Oil tax and I suggest that the system should be abolished: boat-owners should pay the full (auto diesel) price.

I later converted that post into a page, to give it more permanence. On that version, I added the suggestion that the inland hire fleet probably accounted for the vast majority of the diesel on which Mineral Oil Tax was paid. Note that the owner of a hire fleet would make a single return covering the entire fleet.

Some folk objected to my mentioning this matter at all; others suggested that I was wrong and that most boat-owners were undoubtedly law-abiding taxpayers. Accordingly, I asked the Revenue for the number of returns received in each of the two full years for which the scheme has operated. The response:

[…] the number of returns for 2009 (received in 2010) was 38 and for 2010 (received, near end of 2010 or in 2011), the figures was 41.

Most boat-owners have been dodging the tax. I rest my case.