UGANDA: Private universities fear tax hit

The Uganda Revenue Authority is demanding corporation tax arrears from Uganda Christian University, a move that has prompted an outcry from other private universities that see themselves as the next targets, reports New Vision. Vice-chancellors have objected to the demand and urged the government to emulate Kenya and Tanzania, where non-profit universities are exempt from corporation tax.

"We the vice chancellors of the Uganda Vice Chancellors' Forum do stand in solidarity with Uganda Christian University and other not-for-profit universities in their appeal to receive exempt status from Corporation tax as a not-for-profit educational organisation with a public purpose," the university leaders said in a resolution after a meeting held on 3 March. The forum brings together heads of both private and public universities.

"To tax private universities in Uganda is probably either to drive them out of business or to turn them into institutions of the wealthy elite," observed Uganda Christian University Vice Chancellor Professor Stephen Noll. The URA move comes hardly two years after President Yoweri Museveni promised a tax waiver to private universities.
Full report on the New Vision site