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Vets may be bitten by service tax
January, 27th 2007

Keeping a pet may just get a tad costlier as you may end up paying more for that visit to the vet. The government is examining a proposal to bring veterinary services for pet animals under the tax umbrella in the forthcoming Budget. Pet lovers may hate it, but the government has bracketed veterinary services along with other new areas that it is looking to bring under the service tax net. However, the proposal to bring livestock under the tax net has not found much favour as it could impact, among others, the farm and dairy sectors.

But if veterinary service were to be taxed, it would attract a 12% levy. However, if your vets annual turnover is less than Rs 4 lakh, he may not need to register himself as a service provider. Veterinary service is among the 44 new services that the Centre has offered to states as a compensation for the phase-out of central sales tax. States, however, have shown their willingness to bring only those politically correct services under the tax net.

Services like health and hospital services are among them. As taxing these services could have political ramifications, states are not keen in this front. As a result, sources said the government may not tax all the 44 services. They said there was a case for taxing veterinary services as it would have no implications on the middle or low-income groups. Veterinary service, they said cost much more than a visit to a doctor and with the growing popularity of exotic breed of pets, veterinary pet practice was booming.

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