Tax Burden: Private School Owners Write Open Letter to Governor Abdulrazaq
By Olarotimi Oshin
The National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools NAPPS says KWIRS may eventually send all private school packing with Tax burdens in Kwara
NAPPS members understand that Taxation is statutory and that no one can shy away from it.
This piece is in response to NO DOUBLE TAXATION OR NEW TAX IN KWARA: KW-IRS…written by Titilayomi Ogunwale
Head, Corporate Affairs, KW-IRS
* All schools in Kwara may die soon if tax system by KWIRS is not checked by the state Governor.
* Million of employed Nigerians in Private Schools may face the unemployment market in Kwara if KWIRS persists with the current multiple taxation system.
National Association of Proprietors of private Schools NAPPS is compelled to write this open letter to the Governor to prevail over KWIRS , saying running of Private school is not a business but Social Service to humanity….
Taxes and revenues generation will have a composite effect on end users. Kwara state internal revenue service KWIRS and the Kwara state government must understand that whatever tax or taxes placed on schools will have a residual effect on Parents are who are residents/Kwarans.
However, should school increase school fees, as a result of increase in operational costs, then some parents may withdraw their children. The result of this is that private school may consequently not be able to pay their taxes, nor be able to pay general overhead costs and as a result lay off their teachers leading to a sharp rise in unemployment.
The Kwara state government must be reminded that Private Schools is private sector driven with viable Labour market that provides employment opportunities to millions of Nigerian which the Federal/State governments can not employ and also creates conducive learning environment for the Nigerian Children.
It is a known fact that the State government lacks the capacity to provide adequate educational infrastructure for all children in the State. Research findings had shown that Student/Teacher ratio in public schools is 100:1 which is against the National policy of ratio 25:1.
Nobody is blaming government but the budgetary allocation to Education is still low and not enough to cater for all millions of out of school children scattered across the Federation.
On this note, private schools who are in partnership with the government should not be discouraged in carrying out this social service to humanity as a result of horrendous tax burden.
The KWIRS’ view of private school as business oriented because they collect school fees may be wrong. The little profit that accrued from the school fee collected is a reinvestment till proprietor/propritress dies because of continual need for infrastructural development to meet the need of the day so as to remain competitive and give the best standard obtainable to all pupils and students. The reoccurring expenses on schools are inexhaustive.
Presently KWIRS have about 10 different taxes/levies slammed on private schools which is becoming debilitating and may bring an immitent collapse to the sector.
The taxes/revenues are:
1. PIT (personal income tax )
2. Land charge
3. Signage and Advertisement fees,
4. Fire prevention/inspection fees,
5. Schools’ Health Safety permit,
6. Pest control and fumigation certificate
7. Annual Renewal fees (MOE)
8. Business Premises (Ministry of Enterprise)
9.. Mobile Advert
10 . Ministry of women affairs (Day Care)
KWIRS should know that if these excessive taxation should continue, many of the so called employees in Private Schools may become unemployed as many schools may collapse.
Government should be encouraging this kind of sectors rather than being discouraged by KWIRS.
The parents are the end users of private schools and they should not be over burdened with taxes.
Again NAPPS know that “Taxation is statutory and no one can shy away from it.
Private schools are big time employer of labours and problem solvers. Running of private school is never a business but service to humanity. Some Proprietors were lost prematurely to cardiac arrest every year over indebtedness to Financial institutions aside mental health issues.
In Kwara state, research shows that Private schools employed millions of NCE holder and graduates who may have constitute social security treat to the nation as a result of unemployment.
In my opinion Government should encourage a Social Service rather than being muffled with tax burden.
Kwara state internal revenue service should use different tax line on private schools and not like production companies and hospitality firms.
Lastly , Governor Abdulrahaman Abdulrasaq should direct the Ease of Doing to look at the possibility of “a single Tax system” for private schools rather than splintered taxes and levies in which some are double taxation.
Private schools are key to educational and economic development of the State.
Running Private school is very tasking, most especially when the only revenue is school fees with attendant school fees defaulters.
Humongous taxes will make Parents pay through their noses should this continue and many private schools may eventually collapse. I just pity education system of Nigeria.
Lastly, private schools that are run on stolen money by politicians are highly profitable and can so be taxed but same does not go for owners who build their Schools from the scratches.
A proverb says .. He who wears the shoe knows where it pinches most.
Olarotimi Oshin is a Journalist and an Educator. He writes from Ilorin for NAPPS , a body of all private schools owners in Kwara state.