[EDITORIALS]Private Tutors and Practicalities

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[EDITORIALS]Private Tutors and Practicalities

The system of private tutors reporting money made at their jobs is spurring doubts about its practicality. The number of tutors who have already reported earnings is surprising low, although the deadline for reporting, Tuesday, is approaching. According to the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development only 3,431 private tutors reported their jobs to the nation's Education Boards from July 9 to July 31. Only 3.4 percent of the total private tutors, who are presumed to number around 100,000, have reported that they work and what they earn.

The low rate of reporting by private tutors has been anticipated. The current system mandates anybody, except for undergraduate and graduate students, who is involved in tutoring regardless of the amount involved, to report to the local education authority. If the income from private tutoring exceeds the minimum wage set by the state, it is subject to an income tax levy next year. Part of that income should also go to the national pension and to medical insurance, which surely would burden private tutors who reported. And since there are no incentives, such as tax deductions for those who reported, no one can be expected to report.

Some housewives who earn a small income have reported to education boards. Monthly earnings that fall below 300,000 won ($230) account for the bulk of the reports and one tutor reported earning 2,500 won for teaching an elementary school student. Private tutors who earn several million won seldom report their earnings.

The government has announced that it is going to conduct a wide-scale crackdown on the private tutors who have not reported earnings. The government vows that it will perform that action with the help of the National Police Agency, the National Tax Service and the Education Board. Tax investigations will take place and penalties will be imposed on those who have not reported. The government had even considered conducting tax probes on parents of students who received tutoring from the unreported private tutors, but that plan was suspended due to legal problems. It seems that regulating housewives who tutor privately to earn pocket money is a waste of manpower.

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