CHAIRMAN, Anambra State Internal Revenue Service, (AIRS), David Nzekwu, has debunked allegations of multiple taxes on private schools as well as exposed the exploitative tendencies students were subjected to in the hands of private school owners in the state.
Dr Nzekwu said it was rather unfortunate that some private schools don’t pay taxes. He observed that there seems to be an ulterior motive behind the actions of some of the private school owners, whom he said, ganged themselves up to exploit other proprietors.
He explained that every private school doing business in Anambra must affect three categories of registration; business premises registration, registration in the ministry of teaching and registration at the Internal Revenue Service, respectively. He said that the refusal of private school owners to register with relevant government authorities was the subject of discord.
The AIRS boss recalled that owners of private schools took the state revenue service and some other government organs to the State House of Assembly where they alleged that they were subjected to multiple taxation and complained about withholding tax, observed that the Anambra State Waste Management Agency (ASWAMA), and Anambra State Signage & Advertisement Agency (ANSAA) charges which they complained of were for services rendered by those agencies among which law states that they must pay.
“We have been engaging with the proprietors of private schools. In the first instance, any business operating in the state is to register with the state authority. In this instance, there are three registers in the state that any private school that operates in the state should be in; business premises register, the Ministry of Education and the third is the State Board of Internal Revenue. And these are all specified in the law. So, what we did, we set out to address critical complaints that were raised by owners of private schools in the state. They complained that some touts go to school extorting illegal levies from them.”
“To address their complaints, we asked them to ensure that they register with relevant government agencies. So that they will only pay to the government; they will only pay to the government taxes, levies, charges, and dues that they were supposed to pay through the right channel through government account using their Anambra Social Service Identification, ANSSID number.”
Dr Nzekwu maintained that the state board of internal revenue will continue to enforce payment of taxes and levies in accordance with the provisions of tax laws to ensure that every private business and other taxable investments made their remittances to the government coffers even though he also discovered that of all the private schools operating in Anambra state, only about 187 are duly registered with the Anambra State Internal Revenue Service.