Tax types

SubjectMathematics YearSenior secondary Curriculum Time380

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In this suite of activities, students consider tax types which make significant contributions to government revenue and critically analyse how changes in excise affect production and consumption. They use technology to manipulate and display data.

Australian Curriculum or Syllabus

Essential mathematics

Unit 1

Topic 1: Calculations, percentages and rates


  • calculate a percentage of a given amount (ACMEM011)
  • determine one amount expressed as a percentage of another (ACMEM012)
  • apply percentage increases and decreases in situations; for example, mark-ups, discounts and GST. (ACMEM013)

Topic 4: Graphs

Reading and interpreting graphs:

  • interpret information presented in graphs, such as conversion graphs, line graphs, step graphs, column graphs and picture graphs (ACMEM037)

Drawing graphs:

  • determine which type of graph is best used to display a dataset (ACMEM040)
  • use spreadsheets to tabulate and graph data (ACMEM041)
  • draw a line graph to represent any data that demonstrate a continuous change, such as hourly temperature. (ACMEM042)

Teacher resources

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Excise revenue


Impact of excise tax

Student learning resources

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Tax types


Excise revenue


Impact of excise tax

Suggested activity sequence

This sequence is intended as a framework to be modified and adapted by teachers to suit the needs of a class group. If you assign this activity to a class, your students will be assigned all student resources on their 'My learning' page. You can also hand-pick the resources students are assigned by selecting individual resources when you add a work item to a class in 'My classes'.

Part A: What other taxes do we pay?

  1. Use a grouping strategy to organise students in groups of 3 or 4.
  2. Students read the explainer and in groups develop dot-points of the main points of taxation in Australia and write these on the whiteboard.
  3. When all dot-points are displayed, discuss them and develop an agreed class list of dot-points which summarise taxes in Australia.

Part B: Calculating revenue from excise

  1. Use the Excise revenue – Visualiser to remind students what a spreadsheet formula looks like, how you anticipate the table will be set out and what the graph for the first question will look like. Make sure students remember how to copy formulae to save them time.

    Refer students to Building charts and tables – How-to-sheet if needed.
  2. As a class, read the instructions on the worksheet and clarify as required. If necessary, redisplay the visualiser.
  3. Students work individually on the tasks.
  4. Once students have completed the tasks, discuss their findings with the whole class.

Part C: Investigating excise

  1. Explicitly teach students how to calculate percentage change (increase and decreases).

    Refer students to Calculating percentage change – How-to-sheet if needed.
  2. As a class, read the instructions for the investigation, and clarify if required.
  3. Use the Impact of excise tax – Visualiser to demonstrate how to use the percentage change formula and how the graph will look.
  4. Give students time to complete the activity.
  5. As a class, discuss students’ findings.