Schools set S.1 fees

Uganda private schools and proprietors association board member Sarah Nkonge Muwonge speaks during a meeting with the Uganda Revenue Authority and Kampala Capital City Authority officials in Kampala yesterday. They discussed the taxes imposed on private schools. PHOTO BY FAISWAL KASIRYE

What you need to know:

Government says it resumed the income tax because its exemption in 2007 achieved its purpose.

KAMPALA- Private schools proprietors have said they will increase tuition in the face of a new taxation policy on education institutions.

Mr Sospater Akwenyu, the proprietor of Uphill College Mbuya, warned that the policy would deny many children with humble backgrounds from accessing quality education.

“We shall be forced to raise school fees with these many taxes. This is the duty of government to provide education. But you have failed to do it. Instead of complementing us now, you are heavily taxing us. What is your interest?” Mr Akwenyu asked.
His colleague at Minaka Kindergarten and Primary School, Ms Nalongo Kawenja, said: “We are not here to accept taxes. Go back and get the knives and begin cutting them.”

The remarks were made at a dialogue between ministry of Education, their counterparts in Finance, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Kampala Capital City Authority and owners of private schools at Namboole Stadium yesterday.

But government officials maintained their stand on taxing private education institutions, insisting they must be paid this financial year.

Ms Doris Akol, the URA commissioner general, yesterday told stakeholders that if they don’t comply to the new tax policy, it will attract a fine.

Ms Akol said the reasons for income tax exemption to private education institutions in 2007 had been achieved, adding that it had to resume this financial year to cater for government’s other pressing needs.
“There has been termination of exemption on income derived from private education institutions.

It was given for a purpose and it has now been realised because the education sector has now grown with many schools,” Ms Akol said.
“That is why a number of investors are vying into the education business. These have to begin contributing to government coffers,” she added.
Affected also include supplies of printing services like text books which have been subjected to value-added tax.

However, Ms Zaujja Ndifuna, Mbogo schools proprietor, pleaded with government to be lenient on them.
“You love this country but I don’t think you love it more than us. We are going to end up buying products expensively. In addition to eight taxes we have to pay, that withholding tax is now a burden to us. Are you understanding us? Are you willing to listen to us? Let us have general taxation in order not to suffocate schools,” she pleaded.

What some schools will charge

Our Lady of Good Counsel 970,000
Bweranyangi girls 660,000
Kyambogo College School 414,000
Rock High School 241,000
Buguma SS 690,000
Standard College Ntungamo 495,000
Namilyango College 1,200,000
Progressive SS Kitintale 710,000
St Joseph’s Naggalama 1,000,000
Seeta High Schools 985,000
Trinity college Nabbingo 1,240,000

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