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Tax levy on cash transactions may go
February, 05th 2007

The tax you pay on large cash withdrawals from your current account may no longer be levied after Budget 2007.

The Centre is examining the possibility of withdrawal of the Banking Cash Transaction Tax in the forthcoming budget. The review follows objections from several quarters, including state governments who have to withdraw large amounts for salary payments.

A BCTT of 0.01% is applicable on all cash withdrawals above Rs 25,000 for individuals and the Hindu Undivided Family on a single day. Corporates are also subject to the levy if they withdraw more than Rs 1,00,000 in a day. The levy does not apply to Jammu & Kashmir and withdrawals from savings accounts. The government has collected Rs 404 crore through BCTT till January 31, 2006.

Finance ministers of some states have repeatedly raised the issue of having to pay BCTT on salary withdrawals. An official said the government would definitely look into the demand made by the states. The BCTT was introduced in the Budget 2005-06 to set an audit trail and to prevent money laundering using banking channels.

The other measures to gather intelligence like annual information returns and Prevention of Money Laundering Act have proved effective in the collection of data on unaccounted money.

Finance minister P Chidambaram had drawn criticism from his own party members over the levy of BCTT.

An official said there was a case for review of the levy as it had completed two years during which other means of establishing audit trail had been established. Since Mr Chidambaram had said the tax was being brought in as a temporary measure, he may like to revisit it this Budget.

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