Chauth (from Sanskrit meaning one-fourth) was a tax or tribute imposed, from early eighteenth century, by the Maratha Empire in India. It was nominally levied at 25% on revenue or produce, whence the name.

The right to assess and collect this tax was asserted first by Shivaji in the later seventeenth century, on spurious grounds that his family were hereditary tax collectors in Maharashtra. The sardeshmukhi was an additional 10% levy on top of the chauth.


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