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Travel agents seek review of international tour package TCS

With days to go for the roll-out of tax-collected-at-source (TCS) on overseas tour packages using credit cards, industry bodies have written to the government flagging concerns, amid fears that domestic travel agents will be hit. Citing the recent clarification to keep debt and credit transactions up to INR 7 lakh outside the ambit, industry bodies including Ficci, Assocham, PHD Chamber of Commerce and several others have argued that it is ambiguous.

Domestic agents fear that they will lose business to foreign rivals who operate through travel platforms. They have been arguing that they should not be asked to track compliance, and the task should be assigned to banks. Besides, agents said that banking sector is not ready to implement it from July 1. Some of the credit card issuers, such as SBI Card, have, however, begun sending mails to card holders in the new regime. In a letter to revenue secretary Sanjay Malhotra following a meeting, they have suggested that the INR 7-lakh threshold should be applicable to all modes of travel, including packages.

They said senior citizens and first-time travellers prefer packages, while those who travel overseas regularly make individual bookings. Besides, they want the threshold to include all modes of payment, including net banking and UPI and also cover the purchase of foreign exchange and loading of pre-paid forex cards.

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