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General News of Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Source: XYZ

Private universities must be granted tax holidays - Spio

A former Education Minister Ekwow Spio-Garbrah says government must give private universities a few years tax holiday before taxing their profits, if any.

According to the former Ambassador, private universities can only be asked to pay tax if it is established that they are making profits.

Parliament recently amended the Internal Revenue Service Act to remove private universities from the tax exemption category.

The Conference of Private Universities expressed their distaste about the decision and stated that they may be compelled to pass on any extra cost to students.

However, the President of the Dominion University College, a private University affiliated to the University of Cape Coast speaking on the XYZ Breakfast Show on Tuesday stated that the government must extend to private universities similar tax write-offs comparable to those enjoyed by some investors in Ghana.

“There are many other industries in Ghana, whether they are hotels; pure commercial enterprises, mining enterprises, oil and gas, exploration, where they get five year or seven tax holidays even though they are purely commercial enterprises.

“…Whether they are start ups, joint ventures or they came through merger acquisitions as long as they are operating as a commercial enterprise our laws give some of these businesses and industries many years of tax holidays.

“So you would expect that at the minimum in the educational sector, even if taxation were to become an issue that a similar tax holiday would be given to educational institutions that even in the best case scenario are unlikely to declare a so-called profit in at least 10 years,” Dr. Spio Garbrah told host Moro Awudu.

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