Pri­vate schools urge U-turn on VAT

As­so­ci­a­tion ar­gues ex­tra 23 per­cent charge is un­fair and should be scrapped

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

More than 100,000 peo­ple have signed a pe­ti­tion call­ing on the gov­ern­ment to aban­don its plans to slap a 23 per­cent value-added tax rate on pri­vate ed­u­ca­tion in Greece, which un­til now had no VAT at all.

The pe­ti­tion was cre­ated by the As­so­ci­a­tion of Pri­vate Schools, which has writ­ten to the gov­ern­ment urg­ing it to with­draw the mea­sure, which was agreed as part of the fis­cal ad­just­ment in- cluded bailout.

In the let­ter, the school ar­gued that af­ter suf­fer­ing the ef­fects of cap­i­tal con­trols, par­ents may be forced to re­move their chil­dren from pri­vate schools if 23 per­cent VAT is added to the tu­ition feeds. The levy will also ap­ply to cram­ming schools but not to in­sti­tu­tions that are reg­is­tered as non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions.

The as­so­ci­a­tion also points out

in

the

coun­try’s

third in its mis­sive that the par­ents of some 80,000 chil­dren at pri­vate schools con­tinue to pay taxes to fund state schools and help the na­tional bud­get by sav­ing the gov­ern­ment from hav­ing to use taxpayers’ money for their ed­u­ca­tion.

Kathimerini un­der­stands that the pro­posal for 23 per­cent VAT to be added to pri­vate school­ing was pro­posed by the Greek gov­ern­ment and not its lenders. The mea­sure is pro­jected to raise 168 mil­lion eu­ros this year and 240 mil­lion in 2016. How­ever, the neg­a­tive re­ac­tion to the tax, which does not ex­ist in any other Euro­pean Union coun­try, has prompted the gov­ern­ment to re­view its de­ci­sion.

Sources said that the coali­tion has sug­gested mak­ing house­holds who pay for school fees el­i­gi­ble for tax re­bates. The schools have pro­posed VAT be­ing added only to ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties.

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