Tax is now being taught to children in an effort to provide the future generation with a sense of financial responsibility. But the feeling among finance directors appears to be that tax should, perhaps, be left to the experts.
Nearly half of those polled in this week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Personnel Big Question believe that the majority of the UK’s current generation is financially illiterate. While 48% see the populace as financially naive, only 37% thought that the level of financial knowledge of the nation was acceptable.
One FD commented: ‘I’m often astonished at the financial naivety of even senior colleagues who are brilliant in many respects but guilty of schoolboy howlers when it comes to financial management.’
Others are unsure that teaching tax in classes will have any positive impact at all. ‘The level of financial literacy, even in a well-educated proportion of the population is generally very low,’ said another respondent.
‘The difficulty is how to teach a subject like tax to children with so little experience of the world.’
While this generation may not be tax savvy, according to those surveyed, some don’t see this as an issue and said that it highlights the need for qualified accountants. As one pointed out: ‘Tax laws change each year and you need to be a tax specialist to understand it anyway.’
But this may not be a recent issue, as one FD pointed out: ‘Every generation … always has been and always will be (financially illiterate).’
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