A single mum could face prison because she didn’t pay tax on a tax bill where she owed nothing.
Nurse Liane was stunned when she was prosecuted by the DVLA for not paying the £0.00 bill for tax on her car.
The mum, who works as a nurse at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity, was taken to court and has been ordered to pay a whopping £310 fine.
Liane, who has a six-year-old son, owns a 2013 1.1 litre Ford Fiesta, which she bought in May 2016.
It was the first car which attracted a vehicle Excise Duty rating of £0.00 she has ever owned.
Liane said: “I’ve been driving for 18 years and had eight cars before, I think, and I’ve always taxed my cars before, every time.
“You know how it is, you get the letter reminding you it’s due, and you go off and do it. I’m a bit of a goody-goody.”
But Liane says no letter arrived at her house when the tax was due at the end of April this year and because she knew she didn’t have to actually pay any money, Liane assumed that it was all dealt with by DVLA.
She said: “That was naïve I suppose, but I’d never had a car you didn’t have to pay to tax before. I didn’t realise I still had to do the admin.”
The first she knew anything was amiss was when an official came along and stuck an ‘untaxed vehicle’ sticker on it.
She said: “I was sitting here and I saw him and wondered what was going on. As soon as I knew there was a problem I ‘taxed’ the car. I filled in all the forms but of course didn’t have to pay any money.”
Liane ‘taxed’ her car on June 6, just over five weeks after it was due. But that didn’t satisfy the DVLA.
First the agency wanted Liane to pay £30 as a penalty, which she refused to do, then it took her to court.
Liane pleaded not guilty in absentia at the hearing at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court on 30 October but has been hit by a fine of £310.
She told Gloucestershire Live : “I can’t pay that. I’m panicking now what I’m going to do. I don’t know if I’ve got a criminal record now.
“It just seems a crazy waste of taxpayers’ money to chase me so hard when I don’t actually owe them any money at all.”
A DVLA Spokesman said: “By law vehicles must be taxed or declared off road by making a Statutory Off Road Notification. This applies to all vehicles – including those that don’t attract any fee for the vehicle tax.
“This regular contact means we have an up to date record of the keeper of the vehicle which helps ensure we have accurate records, which of course helps police should they need to trace or contact the keeper of a vehicle.
“We issue reminders as a courtesy service for customers but the law is clear that it is the individual keeper’s responsibility to ensure that their vehicle is taxed correctly and on time.
“Our online vehicle enquiry service is available 24 hours a day for motorists to check when their tax is due”.