Tax is one of those subjects that has rarely been taught in schools and yet it’s an area that many young people say they want to understand more about. A lack of knowledge and understanding worries many of them because it leaves them feeling unprepared for the world of work.
But it’s not just the nuts and bolts of the tax system that students need to understand: knowing why we pay tax in the first place is fundamental to understanding how society works.
Tax is the way we fund our society: we all pay a little into the kitty and our elected government spends it on our behalf. That includes providing us all with free healthcare, free education and a police service that doesn’t rely on bribes.
We all benefit from these things, so we all contribute to them.
But how many of your students will find it a nasty shock when a chunk of their first pay packet is taken as tax? And how many of them will appreciate why that’s happened?
Citizenship education is all about helping young people understand and take control of their society, so we are delighted that HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) has created Tax Facts, a free, award-winning programme to help your students understand what HMRC does, why it does it and how tax will affect them directly.
Tax Facts includes four short, light-hearted animated videos about some of the key tax issues your students will face as they begin their working lives:
- About HMRC
HMRC’s work and the basics of the tax system
- Starting Your First Job
What to expect when you enter the world of work, such as tax deductions and National Insurance contributions
- Working For Yourself
What to do if you’re planning to become self-employed
- The Hidden Economy
How people try to get out of paying their taxes and what HMRC is doing to tackle this.
The resources have been awarded Quality Marks by the Association of Citizenship Teaching (ACT) and the Personal Finance Education Group (pfeg), and named ‘Best Free Educational Resource’ in the 2016 Education Resources Awards.