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Give evening tutors income tax break



EDITOR: This is an open letter to the Minister of Finance to ask him to consider a change in income tax payable by tutors in furtherance of the Education Revolution.

Vincentians are today in greater numbers than ever before, attending evening classes in an effort to further their education, or in the case of school children, to increase their chances of excelling at their exams.{{more}}

As a result, there is a great need all over the country for tutors willing to give classes to students at all levels from those at the common entrance stage, right up to adults pursuing their degrees at the UWI School of Continuing Studies.

On behalf of these tutors, I am asking the Minister of Finance to consider introducing a flat tax rate on income (say 10%) earned by these “evening class tutors”. At present, the income earned from this extra work is added to the tutor’s regular income, sometimes pushing the tutor into a higher tax bracket. The tutors then have to pay additional tax which in many cases makes the effort not financially worthwhile. Some experienced teachers have opted not to conduct classes or scale back because of this disincentive.

What I am calling for is not without precedent here in St Vincent and the Grenadines. The income earned by local medical doctors who conduct practical sessions for the Kingstown Medical College is taxed at flat rate. The extra money earned is not added to their other income for computation of tax payable, making the extra effort worth the while.

Prime Minister, remember – teachers are the fuel of the education revolution.