APPG on Financial Education for Young People: Inquiry into the barriers facing schools as they deliver financial education

Published on 9 June 2022

General financial education for children is essential. However, this submission emphasises the importance of introducing a basic understanding of tax throughout the education system.

Image of studying and tax

Paying tax and national insurance contributions is part of life and it is essential that people understand both why we pay them and gain an understanding that citizens have tax obligations.

Whilst the tax system is extremely complex, it is relatively easy to introduce some of the key concepts to children of school age, starting with a basic foundation at primary level. These foundations can be built upon as the child progresses through the education system, sufficient to provide a basic understanding of how the tax system works. This will help overcome the problem, evidenced in this paper, of young people’s inadequate grasp of tax.

LITRG (in terms of unrepresented taxpayers) and CIOT/ATT members (when acting as agents to help paying members of the public) see far too many cases in which tax problems could perhaps have been avoided if those concerned had had a better understanding of tax. People need to understand that at present, the tax system is largely designed such that individuals have the primary responsibility for their own tax affairs. The consequences that flow from lack of knowledge of this point and the tax system generally can include tax debt and penalties – which can in turn impact on people’s general wellbeing. Such difficulties can also undermine faith and trust in the tax system – something which HMRC is aiming to improve, but may struggle to do so without people having a basic understanding of tax. 

The full response can be found here.

Contact: Kelly Sizer (click here to Contact Us)
First published: 09/06/22



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