THE tax department wants to catch the next generation of tax payers early. School children will learn the importance of taxes for the society as part of their curriculum,an education the government thinks will ensure they grow up to become honest tax payers.
The school going children in the age group of 10-18 years will be introduced to the concept of taxation through the subject Need for taxation in civil society from the next academic session itself. The idea is to prepare children to be responsible and compliant tax payers when they grow up, said S S N Moorthy,chairman,Central Board of Direct Taxes.
The total number of taxpayers in the country continues to be very low at about 3.3 crore due to large-scale evasion,under-reporting and tax exemptions. The thrust of the direct taxes reforms has been to lower tax rates and make the process simpler to increase compliance.
The direct taxes code has also proposed to widen the tax slabs and the highest 30% tax will be levied only on income in excess of.10 lakh a year. The government hopes low rates and greater awareness about the necessity of taxes will help improve compliance,and it wants to start early.
When you bring in such a concept in learning framework,you can permeate childrens consciousness and impart values that make them aware overall accountability towards society, said Ameeta Mulla Wattal,Principal,Springdales School,endorsing the concept.
The national council of educational research and training,or NCERT,will introduce the text books on the subject covering wide variety of topics including history of taxation,rationale for taxes,how the government raises revenues and spends it.The programme is keeping with global practices that make children aware of the need for taxation at a formative stage,ensuring that they are more inclined to fulfil their tax related obligations in their adulthood.
The government also hopes aware children will act as a pressure groups to convince their parents to pay their due taxes. Ms Wattal pointed that this will make children aware of the delivery of services and conscious of government expenditure. Children will also be given some basic idea of tax calculations as a part of the programme.To make it interesting modes of delivery in the programme would include projects,quizzes,debates,essays,on-line tutorials to make it easier and interesting for them to learn.