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LCQ11: Private independent kindergartens apply for conversion into non-profit-making operation

    Following is a question by the Hon Tsang Yok-sing and a written reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (December 19):


     It has been reported that currently, about 100 private independent kindergartens have applied for conversion to non-profit-making kindergartens but only 31 of them have converted successfully. According to the report, the authorities had indicated that the vetting and approving of applications from kindergartens for the grant of exemption from tax under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap. 112) would take eight weeks only. However, a kindergarten criticised that having submitted its application for 10 months, it had not yet converted successfully, which had seriously affected its enrolment exercise which commenced in November this year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it has plans to help kindergartens applying for conversion to non-profit-making kindergartens understand the relevant application procedures more clearly and to vet and approve such applications expeditiously; if it has, of its plans; if not, the reasons for that?


Madam President,

     Around 100 private independent kindergartens (PI KGs) had indicated earlier that they would convert into non-profit-making (NPM) operation. As of mid- December, 82 of them have been recognised by the Education Bureau (EDB) as NPM KGs.

     To facilitate PI KGs to acquire NPM status as early as possible, EDB in collaboration with Inland Revenue Department (IRD) had organised briefing for their operators on the application details in late January 2007 and uploaded the relevant information onto EDB's webpage in early February 2007.

     KGs wishing to become NPM should first seek exemption from taxes from IRD. In general, IRD will grant tax exemption within eight weeks from the date of receipt of the application if all the necessary documents submitted are in order. Otherwise, the time taken to process an application will depend on whether all the necessary documents for the particular case have been submitted and how long the applicants will take to rectify deficiencies and supply further information as requested.  EDB and IRD stand ready to offer assistance.

     PI KGs wishing to join the Pre-primary Education Voucher Scheme with NPM status from the 2008/09 school year onward can complete the conversion process before the 2008 summer recess.

Ends/Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Issued at HKT 12:45


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