Former President of the Private Universities Students’ Association of Ghana (PUSAG) Benjamin Panlogo-Logodam, has appealed to government to withdraw the 25 per cent corporate tax imposed on accredited private institutions in the country.
He said the government must return the tax law to its former state, where all non-profit private educational institutions (private, secondary and tertiary) were tax exempted.
In a statement signed by Mr Panlogo-Logodam, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, he stated that until 2013, private universities in Ghana were exempted from the payment of corporate tax in accordance with Section 10 (1d) of the Internal Revenue Act.
Mr Panlogo-Logodam said the Act exempts “income accruing to or derived by an exempt organisation other than income from business”. Section 94 of Act 592 defines exempt organisation as “religious, charitable or educational institution of a public character’.
“However, the Internal Revenue Act (ACT 592) was amended by Act 859 in May 2013, with the aim of bringing private universities into the tax net,” he added.
The former PUSAG President, however, stressed that profit making institutions should be mandated to pay taxes.
He stated that the taxation of private universities per the amended Act was detrimental to the interest of university education and Ghana’s development planning.
He, therefore, urged the new government to endeavour to meet periodically with the Council of Independent Universities so as to receive first-hand information on the challenges that confronted private educational institutions to find lasting solutions to them.
“The President Akuffo- Addo’s Government must find a way to meet periodically with the Council of Independent Universities to receive first-hand information on the challenges that confront private educational institutions and find lasting solutions to them,” Mr. Panlogo-Logodam stated.
He suggested that all private universities that had been accredited for 10 years or more, that had their own campuses and met the requirements of a Charter, must be granted University Charter as soon as possible, without lengthy bureaucratic processes.
Mr Panlogo- Logodam also advised the Government to make a portion of the GETFUND available for infrastructural development in private universities and to promote student welfare.
He explained that private universities enrolled more than 30 per cent of tertiary education students in Ghana and it would be prudent for the Government to allocate 30 per cent of GETFund to private university students.
“This is the right time for Government to consider a Private Education Trust Fund for private educational institutions,” he stressed.
Mr Panlogo-Logodam, therefore, urged the Minister of Education to avoid discriminating against private universities but rather champion the welfare and wellbeing of both private and public educational institutions.