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.”
Notes to editors
1. LITRG’s full comments can be found here: http://www.litrg.org.uk/News/2013/130808_LITRG_Nat_curr_review
2. Experts from LITRG are available for interview or to provide background information. Please contact them via the contact details at the top of the page.
3. The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) is an initiative of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) to give a voice to the unrepresented. Since 1998 LITRG has been working to improve the policy and processes of the tax, tax credits and associated welfare systems for the benefit of those on low incomes.
4. The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) is the leading professional body in the United Kingdom concerned solely with taxation. The CIOT is an educational charity, promoting education and study of the administration and practice of taxation. One of our key aims is to work for a better, more efficient, tax system for all affected by it – taxpayers, their advisers and the authorities. The CIOT’s work covers all aspects of taxation, including direct and indirect taxes and duties. Through our Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG), the CIOT has a particular focus on improving the tax system, including tax credits and benefits, for the unrepresented taxpayer.
The CIOT draws on our members’ experience in private practice, commerce and industry, government and academia to improve tax administration and propose and explain how tax policy objectives can most effectively be achieved. We also link to, and draw on, similar leading professional tax bodies in other countries. The CIOT’s comments and recommendations on tax issues are made in line with our charitable objectives: we are politically neutral in our work.
The CIOT’s 16,800 members have the practising title of ‘Chartered Tax Adviser’ and the designatory letters ‘CTA’, to represent the leading tax qualification.
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Low Incomes Tax Reform Group - an initiative of the Chartered Institute of Taxation
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