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St. Francis de Sales Catholic Junior School

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14/06/2018: HMRC Junior Tax Facts Workshop

HMRC - Junior Tax Facts Workshop

Today, Year 6 were visited by 'The Tax Man' - which busted our first myth, did you know that half of HMRC's (Her Majesty's  Revenue and Customs) workforce are women?  We learned about the importance of taxes on a local and national level, and explored what our country would be like if we didn't have them: no free healthcare, free education, police force, fire brigade or even museums!


It was also interesting to discover some strange taxes that have been imposed throughout history: a beard tax; hat tax and even a window tax!  The window tax was really interesting because it caused widespread illnesses due to a lack of fresh air and sunlight - it is also the origin of the expression 'daylight robbery'.


We also heard about the Jaffa Cake debate: HMRC argued that Jaffa Cakes are chocolate covered biscuits; whereas McVities disagreed, arguing that it was a cake.  Cakes are exempt from tax in the UK.  When the case was brought before a judge, it was eventually decided that Jaffa Cakes were more a cake than a biscuit because cakes go hard when they are stale (like a Jaffa Cake does), but biscuits turn soft and crumbly.  Therefore, no VAT is charged to Jaffa Cakes!


After our session, we felt as though we had learnt a lot about the importance of taxes to keep our society functioning well and to look after everyone fairly.