My responsibilities in relation to tax

SubjectNSW Commerce YearStage 5 Curriculum Time100

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In this activity, students also explore the concept of honesty, how honest they are and the consequences of being dishonest, both generally and in relation to taxation. They learn that employees have a responsibility to complete a tax return by the end of October 31 each financial year and explore the concept of allowable deductions and how these can be used to reduce taxable income.

Australian Curriculum or Syllabus

This activity contributes to the following outcomes.

A student:

  • applies consumer, financial, economic, business, legal, political and employment concepts and terminology in a variety of contexts COM5-1
  • analyses the rights and responsibilities of individuals in a range of consumer, financial, economic, business, legal, political and employment contexts COM5-2
  • researches and assesses information using a variety of sources COM5-7
  • explains information using a variety of forms COM5-8
  • works independently and collaboratively to meet individual and collective goals within specified timeframes COM5-9

Related Life Skills outcomes: COMLS-4, COMLS-5, COMLS-6, COMLS-11, COMLS-12, COMLS-13

Content descriptions

Option 5: Law in Action

Rights and responsibilities of individuals


  • examine the rights and responsibilities of individuals in a range of situations, including:
    • commercial, family and work situations.

Option 7: Towards independence

Managing finances


  • explain the responsible management of finances when living independently, including: (ACHEK018)
    • tax obligations, e.g. applying for a tax file number, completing a tax return

Student learning resources

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How honest are you?


The consequences of dishonesty


My responsibilities in relation to tax


Allowable deductions

How to

Writing paragraphs in Commerce

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. The content in this activity is most relevant for students in Stage 5. 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: Honesty

  1. As a class, discuss the meaning of honesty. Invite students to give examples of honesty and dishonesty.
  2. Students complete the How honest are you? Quiz.
  3. Invite students to share their results or if they were surprised by them.
  4. Use a grouping strategy to organise students into groups of 3 or 4.
  5. Groups complete a mind map by following the group instructions.
  6. Post mind maps on the wall.
  7. Conduct a gallery walk and allow groups to explain their mind maps to others.
  8. As a class discuss the collective views of the consequences of dishonesty.

Part B: Tax returns and allowable deductions

  1. Students read the explainer. Encourage students to use the reading for meaning strategy or take notes using the Cornell note taking system to scaffold their reading.
  2. Students complete the worksheet.

Part C: Honesty and the ATO

  1. Explain that the Australian taxation system is based on the principle of trust and that the ATO assumes people are being honest when they submit their tax returns.
  2. Explain that people cheat the system by either:
    • not declaring income
    • over-claiming deductions.
  3. Original groups brainstorm the consequences of cheating the tax system, drawing on earlier discussions around the consequences of dishonesty.
  4. Use a discussion strategy such as a snowball discussion so that each group shares their findings with another group and so on, until the whole class is joined up in one large discussion.
  5. Students write a paragraph explaining the consequences of people cheating the tax system for themselves, others, and broader society.
    Refer students to Writing paragraphs in Commerce - Model.