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I believe they should be mandatory to teach life skills in school


Marshalscienceguy
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Which is why, tomgwyther, you are writing for the US, I guess, not even the Western world in general.

 

UK as it happens, not that there is a huge diference between US and UK. The book would generally be aimed at UK teenagers.

It would teach all those skill which are not evolved naturally or taught in schools.

Calculating one's tax return is - when you get down to it- quite an un-natural thing to do, when contrasted with hunter-gathering.

Moreover: AIA, POA, P45 P90 LEL PAYE were all alien to me when I left school.

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Calculating one's tax return is - when you get down to it- quite an un-natural thing to do, when contrasted with hunter-gathering.

Moreover: AIA, POA, P45 P90 LEL PAYE were all alien to me when I left school.

Adding up and taking away is all that's necessary for a tax return, or the documents you mention.

 

And I think adding up is not limited to the human species, as I seem to recall some experiments show even some birds can to adding up, and even solve puzzles.

 

I understand brain power (if that's what you want to call it), is a consequence of the ratio of brain weight to body weight. Can't recall what it is (it'll doubtless be on the jolly old internet), if the ratio of brain weight is above a certain value relative to body weight, the creature will be, what we call, intelligent. In the bird family, I think it is crows have a high brain weight to body weight.

 

Anyway, as I mentioned above, according to a recent study our brains have shrunk compared to our ancestors. In other words, and not to put too fine a point on it, the interpretation surely means our ancestors required more brain power to survive out there in the environs than what we do currently in our cushioned and cosseted world.

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Adding up and taking away is all that's necessary for a tax return, or the documents you [tomgwyther] mention.

 

...

No it's not all that's necessary. Awareness of the law and tax requirements including where to get required documents, when to file, records one is required to retain for supporting tax filings, and so on are part-and-parcel of filing taxes, and again these are not common sense things.

 

Moreover, your opinion on what is or is not a life-skill is moot when we consider it was a young person that started this thread to express concern over what they were not taught.

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No it's not all that's necessary. Awareness of the law and tax requirements including where to get required documents, when to file, records one is required to retain for supporting tax filings, and so on are part-and-parcel of filing taxes, and again these are not common sense things.

Awareness of the law? Now that's interesting because I've been filling in such forms for more years than I can remember and I've never looked up any law. I just fill in the £$%^ form. But perhaps that's where I've been going wrong.

 

Moreover, your opinion on what is or is not a life-skill is moot when we consider it was a young person that started this thread to express concern over what they were not taught.

Concern over what they were not taught!

 

So they know what they were not taught. And what's more, and as I think I've said previously, I had what I would call sod all education. The school I attended was religious and it is clear that they considered that would provide all that's necessary (Interestingly, such schools are in the news recently. Well they've been around for some time). When I left I could just about write my own name, and even just being able to write this (I couldn't live without spellcheck) doubtless it may be viewed I'm still the same. But if I have progressed, it's because I've done it all myself. I didn't say or express concern over what I was not taught. I wouldn't have known what it was, anyway.

 

If you know what you were not taught, go out and find all about it and learn.

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As mentioned in other posts, doing you taxes is way more complex that mere addition and subtraction. Otherwise accountants wouldn't need to pass exams to practice.

 

For example:
Ddo you know what you annual mileage allowance is, when it runs from/to, how that mileage changes depending on the vehicle class and the total mileage covered in any tax year and how to calculate diferent types of mileage, how vehicle value depretiation changes depending on whether it is covered under you annual investment allowance, which is dependant on which tax year your filing for etc etc etc.

The above information is just an example of how to fill in ONE box in a 26 page document. It get more complex if you're a farmer or fisherman.

No one ever taught me how to fill in tax return. Luckily my Mother was a tax officer for year and would spend evenings explaining how it all worked.

 

Tax isn't the only thing which isn't taught in school, nor the only subject I would wish to cover in my book.

How to write a will, rent a house, get a mortgage, basic car maintainance, various types of insurance, how the law works, how a contract works, are not effectively taught in schools.

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Awareness of the law? Now that's interesting because I've been filling in such forms for more years than I can remember and I've never looked up any law. I just fill in the £$%^ form. But perhaps that's where I've been going wrong.

 

Concern over what they were not taught!

 

So they know what they were not taught. And what's more, and as I think I've said previously, I had what I would call sod all education. The school I attended was religious and it is clear that they considered that would provide all that's necessary (Interestingly, such schools are in the news recently. Well they've been around for some time). When I left I could just about write my own name, and even just being able to write this (I couldn't live without spellcheck) doubtless it may be viewed I'm still the same. But if I have progressed, it's because I've done it all myself. I didn't say or express concern over what I was not taught. I wouldn't have known what it was, anyway.

 

If you know what you were not taught, go out and find all about it and learn.

That is all just so much drivel. The topic is not about you; it is about developing a future curriculum that takes into account shortfalls encountered in past curricula.

.

...

Tax isn't the only thing which isn't taught in school, nor the only subject I would wish to cover in my book.

How to write a will, rent a house, get a mortgage, basic car maintainance, various types of insurance, how the law works, how a contract works, are not effectively taught in schools.

I would say 'not effectively taught in all schools'. See my post #5 for a link to state-by-state life-skills curricula in the US.

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For example:

Ddo you know what you annual mileage allowance is, when it runs from/to, how that mileage changes depending on the vehicle class and the total mileage covered in any tax year and how to calculate diferent types of mileage, how vehicle value depretiation changes depending on whether it is covered under you annual investment allowance, which is dependant on which tax year your filing for etc etc etc.

Yep. No problem at all.

 

The above information is just an example of how to fill in ONE box in a 26 page document. It get more complex if you're a farmer or fisherman.

No one ever taught me how to fill in tax return. Luckily my Mother was a tax officer for year and would spend evenings explaining how it all worked.

Are you honestly telling me that one has to be some sort of expert to fill in such a form? I cannot believe a government department produces a form for the general puplic to complete that requires expert guidance to complete. I can only conclude I must be some sort of expert, because I've never found it necessary to engage or seek such advice.

 

That is all just so much drivel.

That's a coincidence, because your response seems the same to me.

 

All I was trying to convey was that if someone actually knows what it is they are not being taught, then just go out and find out all about it. It's not knowing what it is you're missing, I suggest, is when things become a tad more difficult. But that wasn't the question.

 

In my case I just went up the library and read everything I could get my hands on. Why can't people do these simple things. No drive.

Edited by Delbert
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...

 

That is all just so much drivel.

That's a coincidence, because your response seems the same to me.

 

Perhaps if your schooling had been better than 'just about write my own name' level the grasp of my writing would not so easily evade you.

 

All I was trying to convey was that if someone actually knows what it is they are not being taught, then just go out and find out all about it.

Again you have failed to understood the OP. Marshalscienceguy is lamenting after the fact a particular deficit in his education. It is hindsight.

 

It's not knowing what it is you're missing, I suggest, is when things become a tad more difficult. But that wasn't the question.

Yes it was the question.

 

In my case I just went up the library and read everything I could get my hands on. Why can't people do these simple things. No drive.

Your failure to comprehend the value of education illustrates the importance of education. Moreover, your blaming lack of education on the student portrays ignorance and selfishness.

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Awareness of the law? Now that's interesting because I've been filling in such forms for more years than I can remember and I've never looked up any law. I just fill in the £$%^ form. But perhaps that's where I've been going wrong.

 

 

Concern over what they were not taught!

 

So they know what they were not taught. And what's more, and as I think I've said previously, I had what I would call sod all education. The school I attended was religious and it is clear that they considered that would provide all that's necessary (Interestingly, such schools are in the news recently. Well they've been around for some time). When I left I could just about write my own name, and even just being able to write this (I couldn't live without spellcheck) doubtless it may be viewed I'm still the same. But if I have progressed, it's because I've done it all myself. I didn't say or express concern over what I was not taught. I wouldn't have known what it was, anyway.

 

If you know what you were not taught, go out and find all about it and learn.

Here in the good old U S of A the majority of people have someone else do their taxes. So clearly people dont know something. http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2013/01/09/tax_season_2013_most_americans_won_t_do_their_own_taxes_will_pay_professional.html
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Taxes asside. there are a number of other things which are not taught in UK schools, Unknown unknowns if you will.

Things about which you only gain knowledge when they go wrong or when there is problem.

Your rights and obligations when renting a house for example, how your utility bills are calculated, what rateable value your property is and what to do if you're made homeless.

Another thing which has come to light for me is: What to do if you have a baby. My wife's just given birth to a baby girl; during her pregnancy, I found out that there were huge gaps in my knowledge, mainly about how the hospital system works, what to expect and when. Yes, information is out there, but one has to know that it is, where to find it and that you were lacking it in the first place.

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Are you honestly telling me that one has to be some sort of expert to fill in such a form? I cannot believe a government department produces a form for the general puplic to complete that requires expert guidance to complete. I can only conclude I must be some sort of expert, because I've never found it necessary to engage or seek such advice.

Oh good!

Since you know all that stuff, perhaps you can help me.

My career path is a bit odd at the moment and, while I'm a chemist by training, I'm currently working as a computer programmer. I find it helpful to be a member of two professional organisations.

I happen to prefer the publications from the American Chemical Society, rather than their UK counterpart- The Royal Society of Chemistry.

 

Can I claim a tax rebate on both of these professional memberships (chemistry and computing)- even though one of them is based in, and billed to, another country?

 

I need to be able to fill that in on my tax return and you seem to think it's obvious.

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It's worth noting that the knowledge and experiences we're discussing (Taxes, law etc) are in the contexts of what the average 15 year old would know. It's very easy for us older folks to say
"I can figure that out, easy!"
When we have the benefit of hindsight. For a young adult, just starting out in the world, it must be bewildering; not even to know what the correct questions to ask are, and even then, to not know what exactly the answer means.

 

It would be interesting to give a group of 15 year olds a set of scenarios, forms to fill in or actions to take, and see how well they do.

 

e.g.
You have just been involved in a road traffic accident, you don't know who's fault it is, the other driver is shouting at you and becoming hostile.
What do you say to them?
Whom should you contact?
what details do you need?
what do you do next?

You recieve a letter from the tax office which says that "HMRC belive you owe us money, it must be paid by a certain date"
You do not have the money, nor are you likely to.

what office should you speak to?

which organisation should you contact?

Which forms will you need?
what other information will you need and where can you get it?

Your land lord wants to evict you in next month, you rent is late by one week, you have nowhere else to go
can he do this?
who can you speak to?
what legislation do you need to know?
what happens if I refuse?

 

Your bank is taking charges which exceed your earnings, leaving you broke.
Can they do this?
Why are they doing this?

How do you stop this?
Whom can you contact for advice? the bank wont help.

You get a letter from a company claiming to be a debt collector on behalf of the bank, they want a lot of money plus fees
Can tey do this?
to what extent can they charge fees?
can they come to your house as they threaten to do?
what powers do they have?

A close relative has dies, you ave discovered the body, there are no family or friends available to help. Although upset by the death, you have to act.
Who do you call first?
what information/paperwork of the dead person will you need?
who is responsible for the cost of the funeral?
who else need to know what has happened and why?

Whilst onboard a boat, you spot someone struggling in the water, no-one else has noticed.
What is the first thing you should do?
What must you continue to do?
what ust you not do?

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