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Promoting the need for growing financial education across the board has been a key activity for CHASM over the last ten years since the Centre was formed.  The Office for Tax Simplification (OTS) have just published their ‘Tax and Life Events’ report in which CHASM is featured as an example of best practice, highlighting in particular its work seeking to educate graduating students to increase their financial capability.   

Managers from the OTS visited CHASM in the summer to learn more about the Centre’s research and activities in the area of financial and tax education and awareness raising.  They were particularly interested in the financial capability seminars the CHASM hosted for University students earlier this year. CHASM’s work, led by Professor Andy Lymer and jointly undertaken with Dr Emily Rozier and Jess Bates of the University’s Funding, Graduation and Awards team, was endorsed by the OTS in its report which outlines the key factors that are likely to make a difference in people’s interaction and engagement with the UK tax system.  The report highlighted that ‘The seminars used a payslip to introduce the ideas of income tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs), how income tax and NICs are calculated, PAYE tax codes and what they mean, and how to check that income tax and NICs have been calculated correctly. They also included more wide-ranging exploration of tax and finance topics students were likely to face as they started work addressing issues such as debt, insurance and pensions.’

CHASM has a long standing history of promoting the need for tax education within more general financial education.  Our research and expertise led to the commissioning in 2016 of Dr Lee Gregory, Professor Peter Davies and Professor Andy Lymer to work with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People and with Young Enterprise. It also has resulted in articles by Professor Andy Lymer and colleagues that were published in the Chartered Institute of Tax’s Tax Advisor magazine on how to improve tax literacy and tax morale in young adults and the influence of the nudge theory in tax policy.  Other work in this area has included research on public attitudes to wealth taxes by Professor Karen Rowlingson, Professor Lymer and Dr Rajiv Prabhakar.

Visit our website for more information on CHASM’s research and activities on financial education.