Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2012, 60, 259-264

https://doi.org/10.11118/actaun201260070259
Published online 2013-07-02

Tax justice of the reform of higher education: tuition fees or tax relief?

Pavel Semerád, Veronika Sobotková

Ústav účetnictví a daní, Mendelova univerzita v Brně, Zemědělská 1, 613 00, Brno, Česká republika

This paper deals with the current reform of higher education which is now being discussed in the Czech Republic. The Government and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports propose a tuition fee for students at universities but there is still no clear concept of it. University leaders and students are against the tuition fee because of their fear of getting into debt during their study. The aim of this paper is to show an alternative way of funding higher education without tuition fee loans and from the point of view of tax justice. According to the concept of horizontal justice (Mankiw, 1999) taxpayers should pay taxes at the same rate, but it does not work this way. The result of research is that changes in Act 586/1992 Coll., on income tax and in Act 117/1995 Coll., on state social welfare are required. Abolition of tax relief is proposed where discrimination against other taxpayers and groups of students could occur. By abolition of tax relief for a student and tax relief for a dependent child the amounts of 4,020 CZK and 13,404 CZK respectively could be saved. Changes in legislation could be politically more acceptable than the tuition fee. The solution could also lead to simplification for taxpayers. The target should be equal access to higher education for all students.

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