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What is Toll Tax? Everything You Need to Know

Toll-tax is a tax levied on the use of certain roads, bridges, and tunnels. It is generally assessed by the operator of the facility. The proceeds from the tax are used to maintain and improve the facility.

In our country, toll booths are placed approximately at every 60 km intervals. There are several hundreds of toll plazas present across India.

And every time we travel we have to pay the toll tax. But have you ever wondered, what exactly is this tax, or why are we paying it? Well in this article all of these questions that you might have are answered.

What is Toll-Tax?

Toll Tax or Toll is the tax collected by the NHAI (National Highway Authority of India) to help them in the maintenance of the roads. This tax is supposed to be paid on crossing a certain stretch of road. 60 kilometers in India. 

While crossing national highways, tunnels, bridges, state highways, etc. you might have noticed booths stations after every few kilometers. These booths or plazas are the ones who are responsible for collecting the toll tax. 

The toll plazas have several booths that you have to cross in order to move forward on your journey. While crossing the booths you are asked to pay the toll tax.

The toll tax is different booths is different. The price or the tax is calculated keeping in mind several factors. It also differs from vehicle to vehicle. The larger and heavier the vehicle the higher the tax.

Features

  • Toll tax is an indirect tax and hence is not charged to everyone
  • It is charged to help the government in the up-keeping of the roads and national and state highways
  • NHAI (National Highway Authority of India) charges these taxes not the RTO
  • It is applicable on only 4-wheeled or larger vehicles
  • The revenue generated is distributed among contractors to maintain a stretch of road
  • You get a receipt at every payment
  • The payment is done at toll plazas
  • The tax decreases with time
  • The reduction rate of toll tax is 40% after the construction of the road is completed
  • Two-wheelers are exempted from this tax

Why do we Pay Toll tax in India?

In India, the toll tax is collected to cover the construction of highways, roads, and different on-road services. If a certain road or highway is under construction, then the toll tax collected at toll plazas close to the road is high.

Once the construction is completed, the toll is decreased back to just enough for the up-keeping and maintenance of the road.

Heavy vehicles that travel from the highways cause damage to the roads. Other than that, natural factors like wind, rain, pollution, etc. also cause damage to the roads. To make sure that these damages are taken care of for the travelers to have a smooth journey the toll tax is collected.

Who are exempted from paying Toll Tax?

  • President of India
  • Vice President of India
  • Prime Minister of India
  • Governors of states
  • Chief justice of India
  • Speaker of House of people
  • Cabinet ministers of the central government
  • Chief ministers of the States
  • All the Judges of the Supreme court
  • Ministers of State of Union government
  • Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories
  • Chief of Staff Holding
  • Chairman of the Legislative council of state
  • Speaker of the legislative assembly of the state
  • Chief justice of high courts
  • All the Judges of the High court
  • Members of Parliament
  • Army Commander
  • Secretary of Government of India
  • Secretary of Council of state
  • Secretary of House of People
  • Foreign dignitary on a State visit
  • Magistrates of all states
  • Physically challenged person
  • Defence personnel from all the three services
  • Territorial Army & NCC cadets(On duty)
  • District collectors
  • Human remains vehicle
  • Fire Brigade
  • Ambulance

In what situations are normal citizens exempted from paying the toll tax?

  • If the waiting time at a plaza goes above 3 minutes

Toll Tax Calculation

For the calculation of Toll tax, the NHAI (National Highway Authority of India) takes into consideration:

  • The state of the roads
  • Load the vehicles carry
  • Size of the vehicle
  • PCU (Passenger Car Unit)
  • The distance between two consecutive toll plazas

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Difference between Toll Tax and Road Tax

Toll TaxRoad Tax
Collected by NHAI (National Highway Authority of India)Collected by States and Union Territories
Charged on four-wheelers or larger vehiclesCharged on every vehicle
Charged on drivers crossing the toll boothsCharged on all vehicle owners
Charged on toll-booths, toll plazas, through FASTagPaid at RTOs
Has to be paid as many times as you travel across the toll booth/plazaHas to be paid on once (at the time of registration)
Calculated based on the size of the vehicle, the distance of the road, load in the vehicleCalculated as a small percentage of the cost of your vehicle

Toll Plaza Rules

  • There cannot be more than 6 vehicles in one lane of a toll plaza
  • It should not take more than 10 seconds per customer during the peak hours
  • If the maximum waiting time of vehicles increases above 2 minutes, then the number of lanes must be increased at the plaza

FAQs Related to Toll-Tax

What will happen if I don’t pay the Toll Tax?

You have to pay the toll tax. If you fail to do so, your license renewal can be stopped. Your registration may also be cancelled if the due is very big and the RTO gets involved.

Who does the toll tax go to?

The toll tax goes to the government of India after you have paid it.

Can I go to jail if I haven’t paid my toll tax?

Yes. There are chances that you may be imprisoned if you don’t pay your toll tax repeatedly.

Is it legal to collect toll tax in India?

Yes. It is legal to collect toll tax in India

Is the journey free if I have had to wait for more than 3 minutes at a toll plaza?

Yes. If you have had to wait for more than 3 minutes at a toll plaza, then according to the rule, you are exempted from paying the toll tax.

Is there a digital way to pay this tax?

Yes. You can use FASTag to pay your tax directly, without any physical contact.

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