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Tax 101 | What is tax and why do we need it?

Worksheet | The value/s of tax

The story of tax

  1. Watch The story of tax and discuss the values which underpin this narrative. What was important to the early community? What is shown as being important in colonial times? What is shown as being important in contemporary society?

  1. Our tax system is a reflection of our community values. Discuss the kinds of values that are being expressed through Australia's system of tax? You could consider the following quotation in your discussion:

Australians value their tax and superannuation systems as community assets, where willing participation is recognised as good citizenship.
(Michael D'Ascenzo, Commissioner of Taxation, 2010)
  1. The nine values in 'Values for Australian schooling' are:

  • Care and compassion

  • Integrity

  • Doing your best

  • Respect

  • Fair go

  • Responsibility

  • Freedom

  • Honesty and trustworthiness

How might each of these values influence the structure and processes of a tax system?

  1. Identify seven values (from the list above or from discussion) which you think underpin Australia's tax system.

Arrange them in a shape that shows which values you believe are the strongest influence on our tax system to the least strong. (Note that using a diamond shape is often effective.)

In your view, are these the best values for our tax system? Create a new design which reflects your view of the most important underpinning values of an effective tax system.

Printable worksheet: © Commonwealth of Australia 2011, except where indicated

otherwise. You may use, download and reproduce this material free of charge for
non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements
associated with the material.

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