Would you like to see tax covered as part of the national curriculum?
According to a national campaign group, understanding tax responsibilities from a very early age could prove a hugely positive step.
The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) is calling for the inclusion of tax education in a revised national curriculum in their response to a consultation from the Department for Education.
Even the most financially astute of children are unlikely to list tax as a key concern in their lives and frankly it would be worrying if they did. However, this does not diminish the importance of providing them with at least an elementary understanding of the tax process and the obligations they will have as young people and later in their lives.
It is against this background, and as part of the LITRG’s wider mandate to provide guidance and support to unrepresented taxpayers, that the group would like to see a commitment in this curriculum review that pupils be given at least a basic grounding in the fundamentals of tax and finance at an early stage.
LITRG’s Chairman, Anthony Thomas, said: “Unfamiliarity with general financial matters, often combined with a lack of numerical ability and a fear of the unknown, can lead to a whole host of problems for any taxpayer. Education is the ideal medium through which we can not only alleviate potential problems but contribute to good citizenship. We are therefore very disappointed to see that since the last draft consultation paper in February 2013 the specific mention of taxes has been removed at Key Stage 4 of the framework and this is a worrying development.
“Our recommendations have been produced as a result of our day-to-day experience and our hopes for the future. We strongly encourage the DfE to integrate the teaching of tax in the following key areas:
Mathematics – which should include taxation issues arising from daily living and real life experiences
Citizenship/Law – which should focus on the contribution of tax to the running of the state, the tax obligations of its citizens and the law-making process itself
History – the contribution of taxation to the formation of free societies
Computing – an insight into government websites to aid learning in taxation and law
“LITRG is always willing and ready to engage with the DfE, HMRC and other interested parties to support new learning in schools by offering literature and guidance on taxation for use in workshops, forums and tuition sessions in areas where teachers may need extra development.”