Teach more taxes in schools, campaigners say

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It is part of a joint submission by the LITRG, the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) and the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Youth Financial Education as part of the survey of barriers faced by schools when providing financial services. education.1

Kelly Sizer, Senior Technical Manager at LITRG, said:

“Research shows that many people have an insufficient understanding of taxation. This can lead to non-compliance, tax liability and penalties, which in turn can impact people’s overall well-being.2

“While taxation is complex, it is relatively easy to introduce some key concepts to school-aged children, starting with a basic foundation at primary level that can be developed as they progress through their schooling. This can help strengthen future compliance with the tax system.

“However, at present, taxation does not appear anywhere on the English national curriculum in its own right.3 Until taxation is given greater prominence in the national curriculum, it is difficult to see how schools will commit the resources needed to educate their students on this important issue.

The submission suggests to the APPG that a coordination strategy is needed to match potential volunteers from the tax profession with schools to help deliver the courses. Professional bodies such as CIOT and ATT could promote such a program to their members, in order to develop a bank of volunteer volunteers that schools could call upon.

Kelly Sizer said:

“Resources are already available to support teaching tax at school, such as HMRC Tax Facts and Junior Tax Facts,4 but we understand that some teachers might find the topic outside of their comfort zone. This is where qualified tax professionals can help, adding their skills to those of the teachers to deliver the courses.

“We know that some tax professionals are already supporting local schools in delivering financial education on an ad hoc basis, but a national program to match professionals with schools could help further get involved.”

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