MOET attempts to force teachers to pay tax for private tutoring
February 21, 2012
The draft regulation by the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) says that teachers have to pay tax for private tutoring. Experts, though believing that private tutors are high income earners who should be taxed, still have doubts about the feasibility of the attempted regulation.
Teachers get rich quickly thanks to private tutoring
T, a teacher of a high school in Hanoi, related that 10 years ago, when moving from a northern province to Hanoi, she had to stay at a relative’s home. Several months later, she borrowed money to buy a small house located on a small alley.
Two years ago, she not only paid off all the debts, but also had money to buy a 100 square meter apartment. At a meeting with friends on Tet holiday, T revealed that she was going to buy a car which she would drive to school and private tutoring classes.
T said that her school is now a famous school, and she does not have many tutoring classes, therefore, her income is modest. “My friends, who teach at famous schools, can earn nearly 100 million dong a month, which is enough to buy a luxury scooter,” she said.
T, like many other teachers, does not live on the salaries they get from the state budget, but from the tuitions they collect at extra classes.
A teacher of the Le Quy Don High School said that in general, teachers in big cities can earn big money from extra classes. Besides, they also get money from parents for “sensitive reasons”. A paradox has existed that the teachers of primary schools can earn more money than university lecturers. It is because primary school teachers can provide private tutoring, while university lecturers cannot.
Analysts say nearly 100 percent of high school students go to private tutoring classes, because they have to attend the university entrance exams, the most important exams in students’ lives.
“Those teachers, who do not have private tutoring classes, can teach at people founded schools, which can bring the income high enough to live in comfortable circumstances,” the teacher of Le Quy Don school said.
Meanwhile, a student of the Giang Vo Secondary School, said that she and the other 59 classmates go to extra classes three times a week. With the tuition of 30,000 dong per private lesson, her teacher can earn 9 million dong from the class alone.
“The teacher’s income must be much higher than 9 million dong, because she also gives private tutoring to other students as well,” she said.
A parent whose son is studying at Trung Tu Primary School, said that the teacher of his son can earn 43-48 million dong a month from the two private tutoring classes. Meanwhile, in Vietnam, those, who have the monthly income of 10 million dong are considered “high income earners.”
Tutors to be taxed?
An official of MOET said that collecting tax is the job of the finance ministry, not the education ministry. Therefore, the tax payment has been stipulated in the draft regulation on private tutoring management as a principle that all teachers must follow.
However, doubts have been raised about the feasibility of the regulation on taxing tutors. The problem is that no ministry or branch knows exactly about the real income of teachers. Students pay teachers in cash and many income items are not reported. Therefore, there is no ground for the taxation bodies to tax tutors.
However, some teachers have said that they would accept to pay tax, because all the citizens have to obey the laws.
“Once you pay tax, this means that you provide a healthy service with the permission from the State,” TK, a teacher of the Khuong Thuong secondary school in Hanoi said.