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Looking for home-schooling ideas? Try tax!

Published on 30 March 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has seen the closure of schools across the country. If you’re searching for something a bit different to teach, try HMRC’s Tax Facts and Junior Tax Facts – a fun and free way to get children to understand some basics about the tax system. Parents and carers might learn a few things too!

home schooling father and child
(c) Shutterstock / Andrey_Popov

How can we have fun learning about tax?

To help teach tax, a few years ago HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the UK tax authority, produced two sets of ‘Tax facts’ materials:

  • Junior Tax Facts – aimed at children 8 to 11 (though even younger children should find the animation funny)
  • Tax Facts – aimed at young people from 14 to 17

The links to both resources above take you to the Times Educational Supplement. There, you can find a short, animated video for each. There are also downloadable teachers’ packs, which help to understand a bit more and include some tasks. These are free to access.

Why should we teach our children about tax?

a) Because it is fun – yes, you read that right! FUN!

Home-schooling is a new experience for many families. A challenge that we weren’t expecting to be facing now, or ever. Many of us are scouring the internet, desperate to find things to keep the children amused and that will teach them something.

So, where does tax fit in?

After all, ‘fun’ might not be the first word you would think of if asked to describe tax! But many tax professionals would disagree – call us strange, but we do actually find tax interesting and – yes, sometimes even fun!

b) To avoid tax ‘traps’ in future

For some years now, the tax profession has been concerned that the general public do not know enough about tax. This means that people fall into tax traps, which they might have avoided if tax had been on their radar. How about you use home-schooling to teach the children in your care a little bit about tax, which might help them avoid such traps in future?

c) To help children appreciate why they pay tax

Now, perhaps more than ever, it is vital that children grow up with an understanding of how tax pays for society including essential services such as hospitals, doctors and ambulances. HMRC’s Tax Facts animations show this in a way that is simple and entertaining (and indeed somewhat poignant in the current situation).

Tell us what you think

If you do try this out, we’d love to hear how you get on – did your children enjoy learning about tax? Let us know via our website contact page, or social media.  

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Contact: Kelly Sizer (click here to Contact Us) or follow us on Twitter @litrgnews

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