Friday, August 17th, 2012
Thousands of youngsters received their A-level results yesterday, with the traditional focus on university places or career paths open to the school leavers.
But HM Revenue and Customs has revealed plans to shake-up the curriculum – a move which could create a generation of young tax spies.
Officially, the aim of the “tax matters” campaign is to make children grow into better citizens, teaching them the basics of the tax system and the purpose behind it, as well as a greater sense of civic responsibility.
It even covers the basics of how to pay tax and national insurance – all laudable aims and useful life-skills, one might assume.
But the taxman’s plan also calls for pupils to think about people who do not want to pay tax or try to defraud the system.
On top of that, pupils are then challenged to “think of any examples they may have heard of in their local area?”
Coming on top of the latest crackdown in which HMRC published an online photo gallery of the “top 20 tax fugitives,” Baker Tilly’s George Bull fears the taxman is creating a generation of tax spies.
“In the Soviet era, children were recruited to inform on their parents,” the tax lawyer said, perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek.
“While we support HMRC in its reasonable efforts to manage the tax system, recruiting children in to a Stasi-style venture might, we suggest, be going a little too far.”
This article was posted: Friday, August 17, 2012 at 9:37 am