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A student walks on the campus of Build Bright University in Phnom Penh in 2014.
A student walks on the campus of Build Bright University in Phnom Penh in 2014. Eli Meixler

Universities told not to tax scholarships

Cambodia’s higher education institutions have been warned not to charge students a 20 per cent “tax” on scholarships.

The warning came in a statement from the General Department of Taxation posted on the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport’s Facebook page yesterday in response to a June 11 letter from the International University revealing the practice posted on the institution’s Facebook page.

The annual “profit tax is the direct burden of the university or private educational institutions. It’s not the burden of the students,” the department statement said.

“Only profitable educational institutions must pay tax on annual profit. This means that in case [there’s no] profit, private educational institutions do not have the duty to pay this tax.”

International University officials declined to answer questions and instead provided a statement, which reiterated the content of the department’s statement.

Department director Kong Vibol and Ministry of Education spokesman Ros Salin both declined to comment yesterday.

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