Every parent strives to teach their children the fundamentals of being a good person by instilling values such as honesty, kindness, generosity, empathy, caring and gratitude.
The Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) school education program is also playing a small part in the quest to ensure future generations develop a sense of community by promoting an understanding of how tax contributes to society.
While one of its main goals was to educate students in high schools, this year the team has also incorporated primary school students.
“It’s not going into primary schools and telling them about how tax works, it actually starts with value-based thinking,” ATO assistant commissioner Kath Anderson said. “The aim is to shape their values and beliefs about tax as an essential part of a highly functioning community. It’s to try and draw for them connections between the tax system and the services they enjoy.
“For example, you might speak to the students about what services they used on the way to school. They may have travelled on a road, used a bus or walked past a hospital. And now they are sitting in their school. It’s the money all other Australians, including their parents, are paying which enables those services to exist.
“As they progress through the school years we provide more tax technical content, like what is income tax and what is deduction.”
Teachers across Australia can help students improve their understanding of the Australian tax and super systems using the Tax, Super + You website – a free educational online resource provided by the ATO which aligns with the Australian Curriculum.